California Lawmakers Push for Internet Privacy Protections

July 17, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Last week’s Day of Action served as a necessary reminder to Americans that net neutrality regulations are at risk, but let’s not forget that Congress has already rolled back crucial FCC regulations. Banking app developers may recall that Republican lawmakers passed a bill back in March that eliminated Obama-era privacy regulations imposed on broadband providers by the FCC. Those protections would have required ISPs to get consent from the consumer before selling off personal information to a third party. Without those regulations in place, our browsing habits, purchase histories, locations, and so much more will soon belong to the highest bidder. It’s a big victory for the telecommunications industry — and a devastating loss for consumers who care about their privacy.

Fortunately, some local legislatures and state governments are attempting to take action to protect their citizens. Lawmakers in California, New York, Illinois, and other states are attempting to pass new laws or amend old ones to provide the privacy safeguards that Congress has stripped away. In California, Ed Chau, the assemblymember representing Monterey Park, introduced Assembly Bill 375, a law that would require consumers to consent before telecommunications companies are able to sell off their personal data. It would also establish further security protocols to ensure that customer’s personal information is secure. Banking app developers throughout the state are rooting for the law to pass.

Unfortunately, turning Chau’s bill into law is going to be a real challenge. Starting today, it has to pass through three committees before it makes it to the State Senate. It is rare for a bill to make it through that much deliberation without being killed. It also has powerful opponents, including AT & T, who have argued that no additional privacy regulations are needed. Still, Los Angeles banking app developers are cheering Chau’s bill on — after all, it’s the best shot we have right now. And if Chau manages to overcome the obstacles and pass the bill, other state legislatures may take a page out of California’s book and stand up for their citizens too.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,