California passes a privacy law affecting the companies that have access to personal data of consumers. The law requires the companies to disclose the information they gather, the purpose it is for, as well as what third parties it is shared with.
The bill, quickly signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, gives consumers the right to ban companies from selling their personal data or being charged with a high price. Consumers are empowered by the law to sue for up to $750 for each violation. Meanwhile, the state general attorneys may be able to sue for intentional violations of privacy at up to $7,500 each.
The so-called California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375) aims to dramatically change how businesses handle data in the most populous state. It was introduced late last week by state assembly member Ed Chau and state senator Robert Hertzberg in a rush to defeat a stricter privacy-focused ballot initiative that had garnered more than 600,000 signatures from Californians. The ballot initiative would have prevented businesses from denying service to consumers if they opt out of having their data tracked and stored.