ACLU Comes Out Against the California Privacy Rights Act Initiative
The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA) will be on the State’s November ballot. If enacted, the CPRA will significantly amend the California Consumer Privacy Act and will, among other things, permit consumers to: (1) prevent businesses from sharing (in addition to selling) personal information; (2) correct inaccurate personal information; and (3) limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information,” such as precise geolocation, race, ethnicity, religion, genetic data, union membership, private communications, and certain sexual orientation, health, and biometric information.
The proposed law will prohibit businesses from collecting and using personal information for purposes incompatible with the disclosed purposes, and from retaining personal information longer than reasonably necessary. The CPRA will also establish a new California Privacy Protection Agency which will be tasked with enforcing and implementing consumer privacy laws and imposing administrative fines.
The Californians for Consumer Privacy, the proponent of the initiative, have argued that the tech companies have sought to weaken the provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act championed by the activist group. Thus, they assert that the new law is necessary to give consumers the power to take back control of their personal information.
However, some civil rights advocacy groups see it differently. In their official Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 24, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, and Color of Change have urged Californians to vote “No” on the CPRA. They argue that the initiative would give companies new ways to collect personal information, would let companies charge more to safeguard information, and would restrict enforcement of privacy rights in court. They also question the efficacy of the Privacy Protection Agency “created during a budget crunch.”
Current polling shows that 88% of Californians support the passage of the CPRA. With just over three months before the November vote, we might see more interest groups voice their position on the measure.
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