Proposition 24 Becomes Law, Protecting Internet Privacy In California

California voters have expressed wanting more protective and robust data privacy protections. The measure passed on the ballot by a vote of 56%, or 6.77 million votes.

Proposition 24Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Proposition 24 amends current legal consumer privacy laws. It will prevent businesses from sharing personal information, and limit businesses’ use of ‘sensitive personal information,’ including precise geolocation, race, or health records, and verifies invalid personal information. The law will also create a new California Privacy Protection Agency designed to enforce the regulations.

Proposition 24 will expand California’s privacy law by protecting users’ data and establishing the agency to regulate big tech, Advocates contend that Proposition 24 won’t solve all extant issues, stating the law will still require Californians to request no longer having their data collected.  For each website or app visited, users must adjust their own preferences. Opponents contend this s less than ideal compared to companies asking consumers for their explicit permission to sell data.

Alastair Mactaggart, the law’s sponsor and chair of the organization Californians for Consumer Privacy, declared the law a victory for consumers and privacy laws. Mr. Mactaggart said, “with tonight’s historic passage of Prop 24, the California Privacy Rights Act, we are at the beginning of a journey that will profoundly shape the fabric of our society by redefining who is in control of our most personal information and putting consumers back in charge of their own data.”

The law builds on the California Consumer Privacy Act, a consumer protection passed in 2018. It is one of the nation’s most clearly defined and robust privacy laws. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said this summer that strong privacy protections have become apparent amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, because working from home has brought increased reliability and an essential neccessity of the internet.

Mr. Becerra also testified before Congress in September, saying the California Consumer Privacy Act protects the state’s enforcement of data privacy laws.

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