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California AG Gives App Developers 30 Days To Post Privacy Notice

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the not-gpl-compatible dept.

Privacy 108

Trailrunner7 writes "California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a crackdown on mobile application developers and companies that haven't posted privacy policies, at least where users can easily find them. The attorney general is giving recipients 30 days 'to conspicuously post a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information,' according to a prepared statement. A sample letter defines the issue at hand. 'An operator of a mobile application ("app") that uses the Internet to collect PII is an "online service" within the meaning of CalOPPA. An app's commercial operator must therefore conspicuously post its privacy policy in a means that is reasonably accessible to the consumer. Having a Web site with the applicable privacy policy conspicuously posted may be adequate, but only if a link to that Web site is "reasonably accessible" to the user within the app.'"

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Mobile (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41829109)

Why treat mobile apps as a special case? All software applications, client-side or web based should be treated the same way.

Re:Mobile (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#41829239)

Not sure, but I guess that the reason is that you have a special chapter in your lawbooks regarding mobile phones, and a separate one regarding the internet?
Even though the mobile apps are essentially just a piece of software, it needs to be put into the right lawbook to have an effect in the right way. Bureaucracy, you know.

There was a time when it was easy to distinguish between a phone and a computer, and completely different laws applied. That has changed now, but the lawbooks may still lag behind a little.

Just guessing. I'm not from California.

Re:Mobile (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831101)

Not sure, but I guess that the reason is that you have a special chapter in your lawbooks regarding mobile phones, and a separate one regarding the internet?

You could guess that, or you could RTFA -- or even RTFS -- and see that the law applies to all "online services", and the mobile apps that have been the subject of the recent round of notifications were singled out not because they were "mobile apps", but because they were online services within the meaning of the law and weren't following the rules applicable to online services.

Re:Mobile (3, Informative)

demonbug (309515) | about 2 years ago | (#41830719)

Why treat mobile apps as a special case? All software applications, client-side or web based should be treated the same way.

They aren't treated as special cases. The rules apply to any online applications, which includes pretty much all mobile apps. It's just that mobile app makers have been very poor at following the rules, likely because so many of them are small fly-by-night companies that don't have a legal department telling them what they are supposed to be doing. So 100 companies get notices that they need to have privacy policies posted, it gets splashed all over the news, and hopefully this will wake the others up to the fact that they need to be doing this just like the big boys.

Re:Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41834183)

Many are individuals that just need a Cal approved piece of diatribe. The major players need to play by the rules....like Japanese studios rehashing old "hack 'n slash" game styles and asking for money to buy weapons from newbies to the tedious game play style.

Re:Mobile (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about 2 years ago | (#41830857)

Why treat mobile apps as a special case? All software applications, client-side or web based should be treated the same way.

Because everybody* has a smartphone.

* "that matters"

RTFS:Mobile apps are not treated as a special case (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831073)

Why treat mobile apps as a special case?

They aren't. The law, as explained in TFS, applies to all "online services".

Open source privacy policy (5, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41829127)

Instead of attaching a sample compliance letter, why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source it so that developers can use it?

Pasting in a generic document is much more likely to happen than all those app developers running out and hiring lawyers, so she will either get lower compliance or shoddier privacy policies.

Is it too much to ask that government take the lead in this case? I can't imagine it costs the AG anything, since that office hires a staff of lawyers.

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

emj (15659) | about 2 years ago | (#41829241)

What's needed is something like that Terms of Service did not read [tos-dr.info] , with easy bullet points telling you just how evil this app is, sure ToS and privacy policies aren't exactly the same thing. This was discussed on slashdot [slashdot.org] last week.

The PowerPoint Effect may be lies (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41829451)

There's a lot of pushback against bullet points, with people talking about "The Power Point effect," where somehow reading a lot of bullet points turn ordinary people into morons. I'm with you -- I think whatever works to make the simplest and clearest communication is best. Going to the level of memes might be taking it too far, but no one's suggest that yet thankfully.

Let's see (3, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41830295)

  • There's a lot of pushback against bullet points:
    • people talking about "The Power Point effect,"
       
    • where somehow reading a lot of bullet points turn ordinary people into morons.
  • I'm with you --
    • I think whatever works to make the simplest
    • clearest communication is best.
  • Going to the level of memes might be taking it too far, but no one's suggest that yet thankfully.

Re:The PowerPoint Effect may be lies (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41831523)

the problem is that Power Point Bullets do not have a large enough Caliber (or the person doing the Power Point was not threatened with Bullets of a large enough Caliber)

the best way to prevent the PPE is to act as if you need to travel by Air with actual Bullets (and a matching FireArm of course)

1 DO NOT JUST READ THE SLIDES
2 have roughly an index card worth of info on each slide (not counting what you are just stating)
3 don't get "cute" with your transitions/embedded media
4 limit yourself to maybe a dozen slides (not counting "Blank" slides for Videos but limit those)
5 include any "reference" documents (or tools mentioned) as part of the Notes/Take Away packet
6 Do not read Urls below top domain level (include with Notes)
7 DO NOT JUST READ THE SLIDES
8 any screen shots should be cropped for the screen being used (if you run with a 2096X screen then crop to say 800X600 if you are going to use a "normal" screen for your Presentation
9 have a 97 excel version of your Presentation and or a flashkey with Libre Office "just in case"
9 DO NOT JUST READ THE SLIDES

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 2 years ago | (#41829279)

Bureaucrats are incredibly lazy.

Re:Open source privacy policy (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41829331)

Why didn't the AG attach a sample? Because it's a silly idea.

This is a legal document, probably differing for every case, and the point in requiring it is to make developers take a hard look at what information they access and how they use it. Rubber-stamping a boilerplate lets developers say they have a privacy policy, but it doesn't actually encourage any increase in privacy until somebody's sued over it. Once that happens, there will be a few developers who think about privacy, but most won't even know the case happened.

Like most legal documents, you usually don't actually need a lawyer to write it. You may need a lawyer to make it bulletproof against other lawyers, but any statement is enough. You could drop in a note saying "This app doesn't intentionally collect any personally-identifiable information, and doesn't contact external services" and probably satisfy the needs of the law, assuming it's accurate. In the event of a lawsuit, though, that statement would cause a little trouble (and open up room for opposing lawyers to argue), because it doesn't define "personally-identifiable" or "external" adequately. Does a game ask for a name for a high-score list? Does it send usage reports or download updates from a developer's server?

A lawyer could enumerate all the things the app does and doesn't do, in absolutely clear language, so there's no question where users' data goes, but for many apps (especially for those made without the intent of profit) that's unnecessary. Developers should already know how their program works, so they should be able to define one aspect of it.

Disclaimer: IANAL, but I've had my share of dealings with them.

Encourage them to standardize (4, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41829433)

This is a legal document, probably differing for every case, and the point in requiring it is to make developers take a hard look at what information they access and how they use it.

I disagree that it's going to be that different. If they need to list different data fields that will be retained, or change a length of time, they can edit the open-source document for their specific needs. But this gives them a template to work from which has all of the lawyerese perfected.

I can't agree that the document will differ in every case. In my experience, the differences will be slight, and thus having an open source document would encourage programmers to adopt a general standard (like a community rule) for how they're going to approach privacy issues.

The result would be a raising of the overall standard to that of the proposed document, which is why it's a good idea to have professionals write it and "promulgate" it.

Re:Encourage them to standardize (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41830457)

A privacy policy shouldn't just be a checkbox on a compliance procedure. Like any policy, it should only be the result of careful consideration. Yes, eventually many developers will come to broadly the same conclusions, but the process of writing (and verifying) the policy conveys the importance it should have. The privacy policy is effectively a promise of what your app will or won't do, and if that promise is made just to save time, it likely won't mean anything to the person making it.

Sure, there could be a Creative Commons-like system, where developers pick and choose what options they include. My concern is that by having an easy-to-make policy, the policy is also easy to forget. When a later version adds a new feature or advertisements, how likely is it that the long-forgotten privacy policy will be updated to match? If a legally-bulletproof blanket-permission policy can be made cheaply and easily, why not just apply that to all apps, regardless of the actual capabilities of the program?

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

Bumbles (2573453) | about 2 years ago | (#41829461)

A lawyer could enumerate all the things the app does and doesn't do, in absolutely clear language,...

Clear language? Legalese is about as far from clear as one can get.

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41829535)

Not to mention, but how exactly do you enumerate all the things your app doesn't do?

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41829771)

"No other personal information is collected" or other similar wordings will do nicely. If there's something that you know your app will never try to do, it can be listed as a reassuring gesture to the user.

By the way, the link in your signature is broken.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

TuFur (1898944) | about 2 years ago | (#41834763)

"No other personal information is collected" or other similar wordings will do nicely. If there's something that you know your app will never try to do, it can be listed as a reassuring gesture to the user.

By the way, the link in your signature is broken.

That works for apps off the various stores....But doesn't work for pre-installed bloatware the provider is running while you use your phone. Verizon is great for these apps. They crash your phone not releasing memory while your doing memory intensive activities. No App needs access to your cellular phone except to keep it from sleeping. Asking for contacts is bad programing and presentation....I'm seeing alot of this disappear from the Google apps. But Apple doesn't present rights to the end user....is it too complicated for an iPhone user to grasp program rights? So, maybe she feels she needs to protect Apple users as her office protected the mass murder from Mexico that killed a father and son on the streets of San Francisco. In the end, all those idiots paid to spam the internet on an apple breakout day, could be used to check the battery usage of and I-device....Android user need not worry....just read the tech blogs. BTW, every Apple device calls home on $10 a gig lte line. Apple should post this each time a device connects without user wanting it.

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41830091)

The reader's lack of education is not the author's fault.

My opinion is that the problem of "legalese" stems not from obtuse writing, but rather from the lack of adequate reading comprehension skills in today's society. As printed language has become more common, literature has followed the common grammar into a more casual (but imprecise) tone. Schools, in appealing to modern culture, require less reading of older works in favor of modern literature. Where once a student would read The Canterbury Tales or Moby Dick, they now read Harry Potter or Twilight. While modern literature still explores the same questions and themes as the antique works (therefore being valid for a literature class), the language uses common connotations, so the imprecision goes unnoticed.

As a result, English (and indeed, many others) continues its transformation into a common tongue of simplicity, while documents written in a precise form with a wider vocabulary are regarded as being a different language altogether, that many now call Legalese.

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41830739)

Where once a student would read The Canterbury Tales or Moby Dick, they now read Harry Potter or Twilight.
that many now call Legalese.

Legalese is not prose or poetry. It is not Chaucer, Shakespeare, Emerson, or Auster. It is closer to math than prose. While literary English hinges on "deeper meaning," legal English hinges on the logical operators of "and" "or" "not" and "nor" and punctuation. A single "and" instead of an "or" or "not" can change the entire meaning of a contract. Well written legal documents are concise and unambiguous. Prose and poetry are "good" if the reader can read his own opinions into what is written - plain prose is devalued. Due to all this It is extremely easy write a legal document that looks like "Episode 18 - Penelope" and it is incumbent upon the author (a lawyer in this case) to break it down into sensible chunks if one is trying to be unambiguous.

Unfortunately for many people, there are a lot of lawyers who don't know how to do that last bit, and teaching people Chaucer does not prepare them for legal English or how legal English is abused by lawyers.

Literary English and legal English are two completely different languages separated by a common vocabulary.

--
BMO

P.S. Yes, I did group Paul Auster in there with Shakespeare. Deal with it.
P.P.S. You claim that the classics are no longer taught. This is clearly not the case. High school students are still subjected to the mind-numbing dessicated analysis of Shakespeare and Melville, thus turning many off to classics forever and into the welcoming arms of J.K. Rowling, if they haven't given up on reading altogether.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#41831955)

Just a few hundred years ago, it was not uncommon for a document to break off into several lines of pure Latin, and then jump back into English again without any explanation. The abstruseness of legalese is deliberate for excluding the legally untrained and to justify high fees. Legalese is characterized by long sentences, many modifying clauses, complex vocabulary, high abstraction, and insensitivity to the layman's need to understand the document's gist.

Here's one of my favorite jokes about legalese, but some real life examples are even worse:
When a layperson wants to give you an orange, he or she merely says, “I give you this orange.”

But when a lawyer does it, the words he or she uses are:–

“Know all persons by these present that I hereby give, grant, release, convey, transfer and quitclaim all my right, title, interest, benefit and use whatsoever in, or and concerning this chattel, otherwise known as an orange, or citrus aurantium, together with all the appurtenances thereto of skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds and juice to have and to hold the said orange, for his own use and behoof, to himself and his heirs, in fee simple forever, free from all liens, encumbrances, easements, limitations, restraints or conditions whatsoever, any and all prior deeds, transfer, or other documents whatsoever, now or anywhere made to the contrary notwithstanding, with full power to bite, cut, suck or otherwise eat the said orange or to give away the same, with or without its skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds or juice.”

Part of the problem is that courts have long ago set precedent that the precise wording in a contract can be used against a party even if there is clearly no rational reason for such a party to believe that the wording of the contract could be used in such a matter. An example is the "negative pregnant", such as denying that you owe $50 to a creditor. Upon such a denial it was not uncommon just 150 years ago for an opposing party to win a judgment for $49, since you only denied owing $50 (and you didn't deny owing any other amount). It is bullsh*t like this why we have to add phrases like "do not owe $50, or any other amount".

The odds are that both parties to a transaction might be better off absent contract wording, like a privacy policy, since such precisely written documents can be misconstrued to mean something very different from what the author intended or what any layperson would interpret.

For example, my privacy policy may state that I won't divulge your info to third parties, but then I might be culpable if you lose a lawsuit because of evidence provided to an attorney in compliance with a court order. If you don't mention the possibility of sharing info with law enforcement or by court order in your statement you may be liable, but not if you had no statement at all. Of course, my favorite clause to slip into any contract is

"You agree to indemnify, hold harmless and defend us, at your expense, against any and all third-party claims, actions, proceedings, and suits brought against us".

You see it everywhere and it kind of ties the hands of anyone agreeing to your contract.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41834663)

Note the differences in the statements you gave.

“I give you this orange.”

In this case, the giver is simply handing over a fruit. There is no indication of what the receiver is expected to do with it, whether it will be expected back, or whether it even is actually an edible orange. For all the receiver knows, taking the orange means he's just entered a common-law marriage with the giver's niece, mother, and cat.

“Know all persons by these present that I hereby give, grant, release, convey, transfer and quitclaim all my right, title, interest, benefit and use whatsoever in, or and concerning this chattel, otherwise known as an orange, or citrus aurantium, together with all the appurtenances thereto of skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds and juice to have and to hold the said orange, for his own use and behoof, to himself and his heirs, in fee simple forever, free from all liens, encumbrances, easements, limitations, restraints or conditions whatsoever, any and all prior deeds, transfer, or other documents whatsoever, now or anywhere made to the contrary notwithstanding, with full power to bite, cut, suck or otherwise eat the said orange or to give away the same, with or without its skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds or juice.”

Clarity at last! Let's break this down a bit...

Know all persons by these present

This is a public deal, and everybody watching is expected to know about it.

I hereby give, grant, release, convey, transfer and quitclaim all my right, title, interest, benefit and use whatsoever in, or and concerning this chattel

This is a final deal. There is no expectation (of any of several kinds) that the orange will be returned or that it's some kind of loan.

otherwise known as an orange, or citrus aurantium, together with all the appurtenances thereto of skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds and juice

Specifically, it is an orange of one particular species, and all its parts. Here we can see that the receiver is getting everything, so the giver can't later say "oh, you should have given me those seeds; they were still mine!" and accuse the receiver of theft.

to have and to hold the said orange, for his own use and behoof, to himself and his heirs,

Now we know that the receiver will get this orange for himself, and isn't expected to pass it somewhere else.

in fee simple forever, free from all liens, encumbrances, easements, limitations, restraints or conditions whatsoever, any and all prior deeds, transfer, or other documents whatsoever, now or anywhere made to the contrary notwithstanding,

We now also know who else is looking for that orange: nobody. Once the receiver gets the orange, he owns it outright (in fee simple), and nobody else has a claim to it, regardless of what they might think (though if the orange was the collateral on a loan, the giver might now be in breach of that loan's contract.

with full power to bite, cut, suck or otherwise eat the said orange or to give away the same, with or without its skin, pulp, pip, rind, seeds or juice.”

And lastly, we know what the receiver is expected to do with the orange: bite, cut, suck, or eat, or give it away. Note that the receiver is not expected to throw the fruit at an elected official or bad actor (or both, as the case may be). Doing so could be argued as a breach of contract in court, freeing the giver from any liability, because he didn't give the receiver permission to use the fruit as a projectile (though he didn't exclude it, either, so it's a good point for debate).

This is so much more precise! Look at all the legal pitfalls we've avoided by using the lawyer's nuanced text!

For the record, I go to a game night run by a lawyer. The words he uses are "Beer's in the fridge; help yourself."

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41832369)

All very true. I did not mean to imply that prose or poetry would translate directly into a career as a lawyer, but rather that I feel schools simply don't focus enough on difficult works (and I generally find older works to have more difficult material). The goal in a literature class is to explore the deeper meanings and interpretations of literature. For that purpose, many modern works are fine (though I'm partial to science fiction, myself).

What I bemoan is that there is never a class emphasizing reading comprehension as a skill, where students learn to dissect written passages into the parts relevant to the question at hand, where the logical differences between "and" and "or" are explored (with regards to their use in language), and the placement of a comma makes all the difference in the world.

I had intended to include a mention of Shakespeare in my post, complaining about the approach often used to teach it. In the opening of Romeo and Juliet, for example, one character makes a rude gesture to another, but is careful in his phrasing to stay legal (for a while). While a modern literature class would delve into the culture of dueling and family honor, the breakdown of the careful phrasing is overlooked.

Perhaps better would be to complain about the loss of Latin classes. They focused more on grammar, as I recall.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#41834329)

Our society has accepted that a fifth-grade reading level should be the defacto standard for most published works. Consumer oriented publications such as newspapers and magazines tend to be written to be easily read by someone with a fifth grade education. Such a level should be appropriate for any contract intended for a general audience. If you write for a specific audience you can use vocabulary that they will (or should) recognize, and sometimes it is more eloquent and precise to use a particular word that is not commonly known or used by the general public. In a few rare cases it is even appropriate to use a word that your audience will have to look up after your speech, to give you enough time to exit the room before your audience realizes you just insulted them all.

That said, below is an excerpt from Bacon's Of Marriage AND SINGLE LIFE:

Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, vetulam suam praetulit immortalitati. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obedience, in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do, if she find him jealous.

Most would agree that it is not that hard to read and understand this passage. However, the Latin text in bold is presumed to be understood, but most modern readers wouldn't know what this means without access to Google search. About a century ago you couldn't call yourself educated unless you could understand Latin and often Greek as well. It is one reason why lawyers used to have much more Latin terminology in statutes and contracts. There are still some who say that we are less educated than our predecessors because of our deficiencies in Latin and Greek, but I would argue that there is more knowledge to master today than in times gone by, and Bacon would likely be just as bewildered by our use of texting abbreviations, emoticons [ie, :P, ;), etc.], and casual HTML markup.

Re:Open source privacy policy (3, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41829767)

This is a legal document, probably differing for every case, and the point in requiring it is to make developers take a hard look at what information they access and how they use it. Rubber-stamping a boilerplate lets developers say they have a privacy policy, but it doesn't actually encourage any increase in privacy until somebody's sued over it.

This happens anyway. I have to fight this battle every time I build an app that collects personal information. Every single time in four years of developing apps, I have been provided with the privacy policy for their website, that specifically describes things that are only applicable to their website, that doesn't account for their mobile app at all. I've got a current project hanging at the moment where we've chased them for a real privacy policy about half a dozen times. The rest of the app is finished, we're still waiting for the privacy policy, weeks later. If it wasn't for us insisting, the app would be live with a meaningless privacy policy they don't follow, and I'm certain other app developers aren't as insistent as us.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

pmontra (738736) | about 2 years ago | (#41830727)

Like most legal documents, you usually don't actually need a lawyer to write it.

And even if you need them Iubenda [iubenda.com] is an example of a self service privacy policy generator. They have a legal team that writes the standardized pieces you put together for your site. I've been using it for a couple of web services. Iubenda is specific for the web but I bet the same could be done for mobile applications.

Re:Open source privacy policy (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41829897)

...why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source it so that developers can use it?

Because the real intention here is to put small independent developers with their 'disruptive' technology who can't afford a gaggle of lawyers out of business. The whole idea of a 'privacy policy' can be nothing more than a jobs program for the legal profession. It is impossible to enforce such nonsense.

Re:Open source privacy policy (4, Informative)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41830127)

Because the real intention here is to put small independent developers with their 'disruptive' technology who can't afford a gaggle of lawyers out of business.

Bullshit. It's not a conspiracy. This is an issue everyone in the 80s running single-line BBSes had to deal with. The ECPA became law 24 years ago. The California AG's message should not surprise you.

Copy someone else's privacy policy. It's what lawyers do anyway. You think they actually work at this stuff? It's all boilerplate.

You can say "we do not collect any user data" and make sure your program doesn't phone home or disclaim all privacy whatsoever. and hope nobody actually reads your privacy policy. Copy Facebook's privacy policy if you want to be evil. They bury the "we own everything you post" in language that you and I can understand but not 90 percent of users.

And at the end of it, say "we reserve the right to change this policy in the future." to further cover your ass.

It's not hard if you're honest and up front. It's only hard if you want to deceive users. That's where the tricky language comes in.

--
BMO

Re:Open source privacy policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41834813)

What an idiotic post. *golf clap*

Re:Open source privacy policy (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41830151)

Becasue not all apps will have the same privacy policy. The compliance letter is standard fair.

Re:Open source privacy policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830649)

Instead of attaching a sample compliance letter, why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source it so that developers can use it?

Because she/he's not authorized to do that. He can present works sufficient for communication with his office, but setting policy for external entities? Not within the scope of his office except I suppose with regards to state contracts.

Pasting in a generic document is much more likely to happen than all those app developers running out and hiring lawyers, so she will either get lower compliance or shoddier privacy policies.

Is it too much to ask that government take the lead in this case? I can't imagine it costs the AG anything, since that office hires a staff of lawyers.

If you want California to do that, I think you'll need to talk to the legislature first.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831197)

Instead of attaching a sample compliance letter, why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source it so that developers can use it? Pasting in a generic document is much more likely to happen than all those app developers running out and hiring lawyers, so she will either get lower compliance or shoddier privacy policies.

Because the privacy policy has to describe what personally identifying information (PII) the online service actually collects and what the online service operator actually does with the PII, so a "generic document" that got pasted in wouldn't provide any value. (In fact, operators of an existing service pasting in a generic document would just move the violation from not posting a privacy policy to not following the posted privacy policy, except in the extraordinarily unlikely event that the PII the app collected and the manner in which it was used exactly matched what was in the generic document.)

Is it too much to ask that government take the lead in this case?

Yes, it is unreasonable to ask the government to write up the description of what PII online services collect and what they do with that PII.

I can't imagine it costs the AG anything, since that office hires a staff of lawyers.

It wouldn't hurt to have a lawyer review the language of the privacy policy once it was written up by someone who knew the relevant facts about the service, but being a lawyer doesn't make you magically know what information services collect and how they use it. Further, the staff of lawyers that work for the California Department of Justice already have work to do, so giving them additional work would have a cost as it would either: 1) Require hiring more lawyers, or 2) Require losing the value of the existing work they are doing.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41831229)

Instead of attaching a sample compliance letter, why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source

What is this fascination with "open sourcing things?" Are you afraid someone will take the "sample privacy policy" and copyright it? Or are you afraid people will distribute copies without distributing the source?
The government can't copyright things, so there is no need to "open source" the sample privacy policy.

Re:Open source privacy policy (1)

cyberfunkr (591238) | about 2 years ago | (#41831373)

Instead of attaching a sample compliance letter, why didn't the AG attach a sample privacy policy and open source it so that developers can use it?

As someone who recently hired a lawyer to go over a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, I can assure you that what the average person THINKS should be in a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service are vastly different than what is needed to be legal, and most important, enforceable.

A good Privacy Policy should include not just what you store, but how you collect it, and how it is stored. Are you using cookies? Can I opt-out of using cookies? Can anyone else see those cookies? If I delete the app, does that delete my personal data? How can I request it be removed? What steps are you taking to protect my data? What about my financial data? All those in-app purchases, how much of my credit card information do you get? Can you see my personal data? What about employees? Partners? Advertisers?

There is no way to make a "safe" policy that will fit everyone. At best, the AG would put out a document that includes all possible verbiage and it would be up to each user to cut out what isn't needed. But odds are, people are going to screw it up and leave in contradicting clauses, thus nullify the whole thing.

Hire a lawyer. Even if it's just a one-time thing. Just like getting business tax licenses, trademarks, and dev tools, it is the cost of doing business.

Only 30 days? (5, Funny)

Manfre (631065) | about 2 years ago | (#41829195)

With only 30 days to get a policy written and added to the app, I guess that means that most iPhone apps will not be able to comply.

We ownz you (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#41829197)

Don't like it? Stop using the app you paid for!

No refunds. Sucks to be you.

It has to be within the app? (4, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41829267)

The article contradicts itself. Early in the article, it states that the policy has to be within the app, then later on, it says it has to be in the App Store. There's a huge difference between the two in what it means for app publishers.

Re:It has to be within the app? (3, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | about 2 years ago | (#41829327)

Is it a difference a politician can even appreciate? I doubt it.

Re:It has to be within the app? (3, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41829407)

She's supposedly been consulting with app developers, although not ones representative of the larger industry.

Tthis is what could happen if it had to be within the app:

  • Receive letter requiring a policy in your app within 30 days.
  • Shit, we outsourced this (common because mobile developers are few and far between).
  • Pay for changing the design to include a button to show the policy.
  • Pay for a developer to make the necessary changes.
  • Shit, the developer we used has a full schedule, we have to find somebody else (again, common).
  • Find a new developer.
  • Get them up to speed on the project and get them to make the changes.
  • Submit the update to Apple.
  • Wait an unknown amount of time for it to be reviewed.
  • Apple don't like something in your app. Maybe their policies changed, maybe a previous reviewer didn't catch something, maybe you've just got a bad reviewer.
  • Go back to the designer and developer and pay for them to do more work, if feasible.
  • Resubmit to Apple.
  • Wait an unknown amount of time for it to be reviewed.

And you've got to fit that into 30 days. And that assumes the changes Apple requires you to make aren't fundamental to your business model or operation of the app. And that assumes only one round of alterations is required. And that assumes it's feasible for you to pay for expensive mobile developers.

Meanwhile, here's what it would be like if the policy only needs to appear in the App Store:

  • Receive letter requiring a policy in your app within 30 days.
  • Stick a policy online. It can be anywhere, even if you don't have a website, you can just sign up on Wordpress.com or something and post it there.
  • Log into iTunes Connect and put the link into the privacy policy field.

Re:It has to be within the app? (3, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | about 2 years ago | (#41829581)

Actually, that isn't the biggest problem. Yeah sure, an in-app privacy policy is a problem for a developer, but I'm sure that if you've submitted your app to the appstore within the 30 day limit and it's denied by Apple because of a different reason, a judge will probably take that into account when deciding on that issue.

No, a much bigger issue in the difference between in-app or an in-store privacy policy is for the consumer. If the privacy policy is in the store, you can read it and assess it before downloading and installing the app. If you don't like the privacy policy, then don't download and install the app. If it's an in-app document or link, then you have to download, install, run, possibly even create an account an login all before you get to see the privacy policy. By that time, the app has probably already completely sucked all personal information out of your phone and submitted it to the app owner.

Same with a EULA that's presented to you when you install a piece of software on your PC. That EULA is presented to you after you've bought the software. So if you don't agree with the EULA, then I'm pretty sure the seller is forced to completely refund the software to you. It's basically the same thing as buying a bread from the baker and after paying, the baker says that you are only allowed to eat the bread at home, and only if don't put any meat on it.

Both; two diff parties will require diff things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830521)

I don't think it's a contradiction. The AG is demanding that software developers put the policy in their app; he's saying that he intends to prosecute those who don't, as though they were violating some law which regulates online services. (If we assume this is a valid argument, BTW, it brings up an amazing variety of subtle issues about the [lack of] distinction between services and software which interoperates with those services. You could mentally wank over this forever, and I'm sure here on /. we'll be doing plenty of that, as I will in my final paragraph...)

The AG also has an "agreement" with seven particular repository maintainers ("platform stores"), that those maintainer's dedicated software which is the only thing allowed to talk to repository (imagine how bizarre a concept this would have seemed from around 1994-2007, but before and after that period was/is relatively "normal"), must have the capacity to display these policies prior to downloading the software stored in the repository.

Ergo, it sounds like what'll happen to developers is that there will be two pressures: AG will require them to show the policy to users, and the repository maintainers will further require that the policy be made available separately, so that the "application-download screen in the platform store" can show it too.

The fun begins when you ask "which privacy policy?" It's all so cut-and-dried when the client software only interoperates with a single backend server which happens to be under the control of the same entity who develops the client software. But if you fast-forward beyond "AOL thinking" to mid-1990s consumer tech (the web) it's suddenly impossible to comply with. No web browser for you!

Not in California (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829301)

In UKRANE Capitalist Country!!!!! DOES Not apply.

Hahah.

$$$$$

Re:Not in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829353)

Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium! Better than shit Ukrane!

Re:Not in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829381)

Kalashnikov > POTASSIUMS!!!

Is this guy serious? (5, Interesting)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41829367)

Does this guy expect app developers from other states to comply with the laws of California? What about developers from other countries?

Re:Is this guy serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829475)

Does not apply IN UKRANE Capitalist COUNTRY.

Sorry try AGAINS.

Re:Is this guy serious? (1)

Mormz (1690440) | about 2 years ago | (#41829499)

Well he need to earn a pay check somehow. I mean seriously, this is a patent-troll lawyer wannabe. He doesn't give a shit about privacy, he just want's to have a new car and a boat.

Re:Is this guy serious? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831325)

Well he need to earn a pay check somehow. I mean seriously, this is a patent-troll lawyer wannabe. He doesn't give a shit about privacy, he just want's to have a new car and a boat.

Kamala Harris, the Attorney-General of California, is not a "he" (strike one), is not any kind of "lawyer wannabe" (strike two), and doesn't get any more money for doing this than she would get as Attorney-General not doing it (strike three).

Re:Is this guy serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829813)

He's a Californian, according to them, all laws are overruled by California's laws.

I think app authors should just add a line to their store pages stating "This application may be illegal in California." (Or the old "This product is known by the state of California to cause cancer.")

Re:Is this guy serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829953)

Of course he does, at least if they want to sell their apps to California's 40 million consumers.

Would you expect to be able to sell your app in China without following their laws?

Re:Is this guy serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41831395)

the only law i am aware of... you must relinquish your IP

Re:Is this guy serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41832033)

Of course he does, at least if they want to sell their apps to California's 40 million consumers.

Are you sure you know how the Internet works?

Re:Is this guy serious? (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41829995)

Does this guy expect app developers from other states to comply with the laws of California? What about developers from other countries?

People can be forgiven for not realizing Kamala Harris [wikipedia.org] is African American and Asian American, but she's definitely not a guy.

Re:Is this guy serious? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41830163)

If you want to sell your product in California, then yes.

Re:Is this guy serious? (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | about 2 years ago | (#41830723)

So attach a statement to your app description in the Apple Store "Not Legal for Sale in California".

Re:Is this guy serious? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#41831405)

"may not be Legal for Sale in California" FTFY

Re:Is this guy serious? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831311)

Does this guy

Kamala Harris is not a guy.

expect app developers from other states to comply with the laws of California?

All of the specific businesses I've seen mentioned as recipients of these notices are businesses that do businesses in California in a fairly substantial way besides having their relevant online service available in California (e.g., major US airlines.)

Get CrossOver for FREE now! Only for 10/31/12 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829403)

http://flock.codeweavers.com/ [codeweavers.com]

What it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossOver_(software) [wikipedia.org]

"CrossOver (a.k.a. CrossOver Office before version 6.0) is the collective name for two commercial and proprietary programs developed by CodeWeavers that allow many Windows-based applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X using a compatibility layer. The programs include CrossOver Mac and CrossOver Linux.

The programs are modified, proprietary versions of the public Wine source tree with various compatibility patches added, more user-friendly configuration tools, and commercial support. CodeWeavers employs several Wine developers and contributes code back to the free software/open-source software Wine project as per the GNU LGPL, although CrossOver is proprietary software."

On October 31, 2012, CodeWeavers will have a second software giveaway, this one entitled "Flock the Vote." CodeWeavers promised to have such a giveaway if 100,000 American voters would promise to vote on election day, in a nonpartisan bid to encourage activism. 100,000 people have pledged, so CodeWeavers will allow any person in the world to download and register a copy of CrossOver Linux or CrossOver Mac; the offer includes a year of support.

http://securityflakes.livelyblog.com/2012/10/31/get-crossover-for-free-now-today-only-oct-31st-2012-another-non-security-post-but-if-you-use-linux-or-mac-you-should-really-try-this-out-now/ [livelyblog.com]

"App" now officially defined in law (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41829427)

OK, it's official, "app" is known to the State of California to be defined as a "mobile application".

Re:"App" now officially defined in law (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829729)

I was thinking more along the lines of app as a limited snake oil piece of shit paid application that only works on the specific device regardless if it's fucking mobile or not. When you visit an appstore, when you BUY an app you know your buying a turd, so just let it go already. IF your that stupid to pay for some shit that's all regulated and nutted up, your a retard anyway.

But you see these fucking people running things are psychopaths and want definitions down on paper now, so they can HANG YOUR ASS using brainwashed sheep who don't know what thinking for your self or JURY NULLIFICATION is. But I digress, I hope when I go they splatter my fucking brains against at least three walls.

I have only one thing to say about this... (1)

RedBear (207369) | about 2 years ago | (#41829483)

CalOPPA Gangnam Style!

That settles it. FUCK APPS FOREVER! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829493)

Fuck mobiles, fuck apps fuck appstores, fuck the AG

Re:That settles it. FUCK APPS FOREVER! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829625)

FREE rootkit and virus for fucking muppet officials

WHO NEEDS APPS!? WHO NEEDS DEVELOPERS!?
LET'S JUST SHOOT THEM ALL EH? AG of CA?

alternatively

Here's my policy, I post it HERE ONE TIME BITCH.
I collect every fucking bit of every byte of every packet that even comes close to touching my app, then I sell it to blackwater psychopaths and oath breakers holding office and banksters controlling the monetary system, who then exploit every bit of every byte of every bank account, believed freedom, and add it to the classified kill list. Really if you just look at the spy policy of all the piece of shit companies like google, facebook, AT&T, comcast, etc and then roll them all into a giant fucking ball to destroy motherfuckers with, that's my privacy policy bitch.

30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole

In KALIFORNIA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829509)

App Cause CANCER!!!

Great. Now all apps: (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#41829543)

Permission: Fine GPS position (to verify that you're not in california, so as to not show it)

Re:Great. Now all apps: (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#41831421)

UID and user info to confirm records of sale from vendor that the product was billed in califaornia, then sell info... profit?

Just Exclude California (3, Insightful)

nickberry (1226494) | about 2 years ago | (#41829575)

This just sounds like a really good reason to put in a data field for state when signing up for an app, and exclude Californians from use of the app, and explain to them because over burdening regulations our App is not available in your state, please contact the California Attorney Generals office for more information regarding these regulations. While there a lot of people in California, sometimes it's best to just avoid states or places where your work is not appreciated.

Re:Just Exclude California (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41830181)

Yes, becasue no one want to tap a market that huge.

"because over burdening regulations"
Yes, telling them they have to post there privacy policy where the consumer can reasonably get to is so overburdening~

"avoid states or places where your work is not appreciated."
there is no rule people need to appreciate your work, so get over it.

Re:Just Exclude California (1)

nickberry (1226494) | about 2 years ago | (#41830641)

And there is no rule where I have to participate in a state with over burdening regulations. And California is that place.

The AG is simply right... (3, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 years ago | (#41829583)

...and doing nothing more than his or her job: to ensure that the state enforces that which by law it must enforce. Period.

Re:The AG is simply right... (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#41829823)

This is correct. It is a law which I do not see any way for them to constitutionally enforce on developers who operate out of another state (let alone another country). Although I suspect that the state legislature could have written something into the law forcing the App Store to remove any app which is in violation of the law (assuming the company that runs the App Store is based in CA).

Re:The AG is simply right... (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 years ago | (#41830147)

Unless they're selling to someone who lives in California. In which case the sale is governed by California law. Now if the developers said CA residents can't buy it (and are not themselves CA residents) then they can ignore this.

Re:The AG is simply right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830329)

The app store sells the product, not the developers. The app store is the intermediary. Therefore that law does not apply.

So sorry CA, your laws only apply to your citizens. My state wrote a law that specifically states that no California law applies to it's citizens, period.

So nyah nyah nyah!!! Now whatcha gonna do? Go to war with my state? Stupid retard CA AG.

Re:The AG is simply right... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831407)

It is a law which I do not see any way for them to constitutionally enforce on developers who operate out of another state (let alone another country).

The firms whose apps have been mentioned as recipients of non-compliance notices (e.g., United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and OpenTable) all have significant operations in California besides the mere presence of their mobile app (and OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco.) So...what's your point?

Re:The AG is simply right... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#41831829)

My point is that this is a law which will encourage businesses to locate as much of their operations outside of California as possible. It will encourage companies to create divisions outside of California that can be considered separate entities from the parts that do business in California and use those divisions to write apps.

Re:The AG is simply right... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 2 years ago | (#41830627)

I'm not so sure about that. Maybe I'm reading the wrong thing [ca.gov] (someone please correct me if you have a better reference) but I don't see anything in here which suggests a client application which interoperates with an online service is an online service, or that a client application which downloads other clients, is somehow governed by this law to display those other applications' policies in addition to its own.

You might say this is splitting hairs and ignoring the spirit of the law, but the text I'm reading is already so hair-splitting (talks about icons and color contrasts?!) and detailed that I'm not sure it's fair for AG to expect anyone to infer spirit.

That itself doesn't mean he's wrong in his interpretation (though I happen to think he is) but he sure seems to be going above-and-beyond the call of duty, in interpreting it so .. um .. progressively instead of leaving it to the legislature.

Re:The AG is simply right... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831513)

I'm not so sure about that. Maybe I'm reading the wrong thing (someone please correct me if you have a better reference) but I don't see anything in here which suggests a client application which interoperates with an online service is an online service

The app is just the mechanism by which a consumer "visits" the online service, which is the point at which the cited law requires the operator of the online service to make the privacy policy available.

or that a client application which downloads other clients, is somehow governed by this law to display those other applications' policies in addition to its own.

If you are referring to the App Store as the "client application which downloads other clients", that's not mandatory under the law, but it is the subject of an agreement between the AG and many app store operators (the original agreement is announced here [ca.gov] , and Facebook joining the agreement is announced here [ca.gov] ; its also a mechanism by which the operator of the online service accessed through the mobile act could mean the "reasonably accessible means" requirement of the law without actually including the privacy policy within the application itself.

Only applies to developers in CA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829617)

Sorry AG, you cannot enforce your laws across borders.
Have a nice day.

Re:Only applies to developers in CA. (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41830415)

And developers who want to sell their apps in California?

Re:Only applies to developers in CA. (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | about 2 years ago | (#41830779)

Developer doesn't have any stores in California. The California resident has to seek them out.

The law could require Apple or Google to delist any app that doesn't accommodate their laws, but a developer in Kazakhstan or Nevada has no presence in California.

Re:Only applies to developers in CA. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41831535)

The law could require Apple or Google to delist any app that doesn't accommodate their laws, but a developer in Kazakhstan or Nevada has no presence in California.

Unless, as is the case of many out-of-state HQ'd operations, they do. United Airlines and Delta Airlines are examples (and, unlike abstract hypotheticals, are actual recipients of non-compliance notices in this case.)

Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41829743)

Dear California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris:

Go pound sand.

Sincerely,
Someone who doesn't live in California.

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41830197)

You don't live there, why would they give a shit about you? why would you give a shit about them?
Yes, let stop consumer protection, what could go wrong?

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830609)

If the economy of every US state was comapred with a country -- California would be France. It is the *8th* largest economy in the world.

People care what happens in CA, because what happens in CA impacts you as measurably as french legislation.

So -- not a lot on a day-to-day basis, but very substantially on a month-to-month basis. And a lot more so if you're in an adjoining state engaged in direct trade.

When CA passes laws in the US, it tends to immediately impact any gas or automobile company, virtually all software companies by virtue of their presence, many PR firms, and of course... media. In addition to its actual alrgest industries -- transportation and real estate. Dollar for dollar agriculture isn't considered large, but it is huge in terms of US percent-output.

So -- when the California attorney general does something like this, it impacts the rest of the company.

I happen to agree with the concept behind this legislation. But he did basically just put an additional lawyer-tax on every small business doing app development in the state.

And let's be clear -- this isn't really consumer protection. There's a potential huge cumulative fine that will be effortlessly bypassed by nearly every large corp -- same as the fines for their other behavior. When you see a big sony rootkit type fiasco, you'll see him settle for $0.50 on the download.

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41831989)

You don't live there, why would they give a shit about you? why would you give a shit about them?

Because:
1) TFA says nothing about the AG threatening only companies located in CA, and
2) California has a long history of strong-arming their regulatory environment onto the rest of the US simply by virtue of the size of their economy.

We don't need another Andrew Cuomo wannabe destroying a major part of the online world in a pathetic attempt to make a name for themselves while forcing their morals on the rest of the world. Thanks for the nannyism, but I've outgrown the diapers. I'll decide whether or not to do business with someone online, and while a privacy policy may factor into that, I think we can all figure out the meaning of not having one at all.


Yes, let stop consumer protection, what could go wrong?

Posting a privacy policy does not equate to "consumer protection".

Every year, all my banks and credit cards and other financial institutions send me a copy of their "privacy" policy. It unwaveringly boils down to "we share this, and you can't do a goddamned thing about it, so neener-neener".

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830531)

It doesn't matter where you live, it's 2012, posting your privacy policy should be SOP.

But your thoughtful response is very helpful the conversation.

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41832247)

You don't have to live in California to be bound by their laws. If you visit there or do business there, you are bound by their laws.

You will be the one losing out, not California. Someone else has written the equivalent to your app, and they'll get the sales you would have.

And... if you have to be sneaky to get their info, I don't think much of your morality. IMO that's really assholish behavior and I wish you people would stop it.

Re:Yeahletmethinkaboutthathowaboutno? (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41833127)

if you have to be sneaky to get their info, I don't think much of your morality. IMO that's really assholish behavior and I wish you people would stop it.

FWIW, I agree with you. But as I said in my other response, this doesn't stop anyone from collecting anything. It just requires posting a privacy policy. And if you've read any privacy policies lately, you'll know that they virtually all say "we do what we want, deal with it or piss off".

I support real consumer protection laws. I don't support feelgood nuisances that punish everyone.

Crossover FOR FREES (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829907)

http://flock.codeweavers.com/ [codeweavers.com]

What it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossOver_(software) [wikipedia.org]

"CrossOver (a.k.a. CrossOver Office before version 6.0) is the collective name for two commercial and proprietary programs developed by CodeWeavers that allow many Windows-based applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X using a compatibility layer. The programs include CrossOver Mac and CrossOver Linux.

The programs are modified, proprietary versions of the public Wine source tree with various compatibility patches added, more user-friendly configuration tools, and commercial support. CodeWeavers employs several Wine developers and contributes code back to the free software/open-source software Wine project as per the GNU LGPL, although CrossOver is proprietary software."

On October 31, 2012, CodeWeavers will have a second software giveaway, this one entitled "Flock the Vote." CodeWeavers promised to have such a giveaway if 100,000 American voters would promise to vote on election day, in a nonpartisan bid to encourage activism. 100,000 people have pledged, so CodeWeavers will allow any person in the world to download and register a copy of CrossOver Linux or CrossOver Mac; the offer includes a year of support.

http://securityflakes.livelyblog.com/2012/10/31/get-crossover-for-free-now-today-only-oct-31st-2012-another-non-security-post-but-if-you-use-linux-or-mac-you-should-really-try-this-out-now/ [livelyblog.com]

Come to Mississippi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829933)

If you're a developer, Mississippi welcomes you with open arms.

Free PENiS for you people in KALIFORNIA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41829969)

http://flock.codeweavers.com/ [codeweavers.com] 63355

What it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossOver_(software) [wikipedia.org]

"CrossOver (a.k.a. CrossOver Office before version 6.0) is the collective name for two commercial and proprietary programs developed by CodeWeavers that allow many Windows-based applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X using a compatibility layer. The programs include CrossOver Mac and CrossOver Linux.

The programs are modified, proprietary versions of the public Wine source tree with various compatibility patches added, more user-friendly configuration tools, and commercial support. CodeWeavers employs several Wine developers and contributes code back to the free software/open-source software Wine project as per the GNU LGPL, although CrossOver is proprietary software."

On October 31, 2012, CodeWeavers will have a second software giveaway, this one entitled "Flock the Vote." CodeWeavers promised to have such a giveaway if 100,000 American voters would promise to vote on election day, in a nonpartisan bid to encourage activism. 100,000 people have pledged, so CodeWeavers will allow any person in the world to download and register a copy of CrossOver Linux or CrossOver Mac; the offer includes a year of support.

http://securityflakes.livelyblog.com/2012/10/31/get-crossover-for-free-now-today-only-oct-31st-2012-another-non-security-post-but-if-you-use-linux-or-mac-you-should-really-try-this-out-now/ [livelyblog.com]

What's really happening in California (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830279)

Number of Victims

In total, 20,108 people were sterilized in the state of California prior to 1964. California had by far the highest number of sterilizations in the United States (one third of all sterilizations nationwide). The numbers of men and women sterilized were about equal. Of the total sterilizations, almost 60% were considered mentally ill and more than 35% were considered mentally deficient. Men and women of Mexican origin represented between 7% and 8% of those sterilized (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 111). African Americans made up 1% of California’s population but accounted for 4% of the sterilizations (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 111). However, because of the sensitive nature of sterilization records, many are difficult to access or have been altered. This suggests that the total known number of sterilizations may be conservative compared to the actual number (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience," p. 97).

Period during which sterilizations occurred

The first sterilization law was passed in 1909. From here, sterilizations occurred at a steady increasing rate until about 1950. Prior to 1921, there were 2,558 sterilizations and this rate continued to increase until around 1950. California differed from many other states, in that, sterilizations did not significantly decrease with the Great Depression (Clayton, p. 43). After 1950, the rate slowed, and only 85 sterilizations occurred after 1960.

Temporal Pattern of sterilizations and rate of sterilization

Picture of a graph of eugenic sterilizations in California
Sterilization rates were relatively low with 12 sterilizations per year in the first 12 years after the passage of the 1909 law. However, after 1921, the rate soared to about 450 per year, or about 13 sterilizations per 100,000 residents per year. This rate held fairly constant until about 1950, when it began to level off. After this, sterilizations became fairly rare and did not happen with as much frequency. The last sterilization occurred in 1963.

Passage of Laws

Eugenicist in California saw sterilization as a tool with a broad range of applications, all of which were applied to prevent the procreation of undesirable traits, overcrowding of state institutions, and to alleviate fiscal constraints on the state (Bruinius, p. 211).

The first state sterilization law in California was enacted on April 26, 1909 and remained largely unopposed for the next 70 years (Laughlin, p. 1). This was the first of three laws passed in California and it targeted patients in state hospitals and institutions for the mentally retarded, as well as prison inmates. Of the prison inmates, those labeled sex offenders were the most commonly targeted. At the time of the passage of this law, the approval of the superintendent of the institutions, the superintendent of the state hospitals and the secretary of the State Board of Health were consulted. If two out of three of them approved, the sterilization could be carried out (Paul, pp. 256-257).

A second law was passed on June 13, 1913. This law repealed the first law and established different guidelines (Gottshall and Laughlin, p. 2). It allowed for a wider range of people to be sterilized. Anyone who was “afflicted with hereditary insanity or incurable chronic mania or dementia” (Braslow, pp. 33-34) could be sterilized. This law also established the State Lunacy Commission, which had the power to order sterilizations. However, this law did call for parental consent in the case of the sterilization of minors (Braslow, p. 34).

The third law, enacted at the end of July, 1917, created modifications to the 1913 sterilization law by expanding the scope of who could be sterilized (Kline, p. 50). Two amendments were made to the 1913 law which included specific references to the Sonoma State Home and the Pacific Colony (Laughlin, pp. 3, 7, 8). The law established the Pacific Colony and allowed the Board of Trustees of this institution to grant permission for sterilizations of those living there (Gottshall).

The sterilization laws were significant largely for their overt language, effectively applying to anyone who we deemed abnormal, as well as for the omission in terms of patient rights (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience," p. 101). There was no legal mechanism for patients to challenge the sterilization order, no written notification required to be sent to the patient of family, and no opportunity for a hearing that the institutional level (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience," p. 101).

In both 1935 and 1937, legislation was drafted that would have established a State Eugenics Board and further expanded the state's authority to perform sterilizations to include inmates and residents of behavioral and other non-mental reformatory institutions. However, the bills failed and never became law (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 83).

The California sterilization law saw further changes in the 1930’s (Currell and Cogdell, p. 34). Ann Cooper Hewitt, a rich heiress, attempted to sue her mother, Dr. Tilton E Tillman and Samuel G. Boyd for sterilization without consent. Ann’s mother had requested sterilization for her daughter because of sexual misconduct (Currell and Cogdell, p. 35). The case brought up an unexplored the constitutionality of sterilization in a private practice (rather than public institution) without consent. While the current law did not specify if those doctors that performed sterilizations at private practices were protected, Judge Tuttle dismissed the case, saying that sterilization performed at private practices without consent of the patient were perfectly legal as long as a guardian had requested the operation (Currell and Cogdell, p. 36). This was a significant specification. The scope of sterilization was widened to include those who were not in institutions, but whose parents or guardians deemed sterilization necessary for their unruly children (Currell and Cogdell, p. 36). Further, this case exemplified the growing shift from using heredity as the main reasoning for sterilization. Now, questionable sexual behavior was enough. Those who were diagnosed with this “disorder” were predicted to be unfit for parenthood (Currell and Cogdell, p. 35). Further, for some, sterilization became a private family matter where the guardian could simply sign a few papers in order to get his/her child sterilized-alleviating the burden on eugenicists and expanding sterilization to the middle and upper classes of society (Currell and Cogdell, p. 36). Butler saw this decision could have a large impact of nationwide sterilization rates and as a step toward preventing race degeneration. Consequently, he sent hundreds of copies of the decisions to private physicians all over the country (Currell and Cogdell, p. 37).

In part as a result of the Garcia v. State Department trial, in 1951, the laws were amended to require full authorization from the patient in order to perform sterilizations (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 102). This effectively made the process of sterilization much more burdensome for the physician-causing a decrease in sterilization rates. In 1950, Sonoma sterilized 5, 550 patients, two years later, they would sterilize just 4. These transitions along with statements made by the Department of Mental Hygiene, and others, throughout the 1950s further affirmed the psychiatric movement away from sterilization (Paul, p. 267). These laws, combined, allowed eugenic sterilizations to occur in the state of California through 1964 (Gottshall).

In 1927, in an 8-to-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Virginia's—and, by extension, California's—mandatory sterilization law in the case of Buck v. Bell. However, in 2003, the California Senate issued Senate Resolution No. 20 to apologize for California's eugenics laws (see Center for Science, History, Policy, and Ethics).

Groups identified in the Law

The 1909 law was aimed specifically at those in prisons and with mental disabilities that caused them to be institutionalized. Of those with mental disabilities, the law targeted patients in state hospitals and institutions of the feeble-minded. In terms of the prisoners, the law targeted those who were inmates for life, showing “sex or moral perversions”, or were certain repeat offenders (Gottshall and Laughlin, p. 7). The 1913 law expanded to target all inmates in state hospitals or homes for the feeble-minded (except voluntary patients in state hospitals), as well as all repeat offenders in state prisons (Laughlin, p.7). The 1917 amendments greatly expanded the groups targeted even further to include those who had hereditary mental diseases, “those suffering from perversion or marked departures from normal mentality”, and those with sexually-transmitted diseases (Laughlin, pp. 7-8). These two later laws expanded to include virtually any individual deemed unfit. About 70% of all sterilization were performed on people who were labeled mentally ill (see Paul, p. 261).

Process of the Law

In 1909, in order to legally sterilize someone, the approval of any two of the three following individuals was required: the superintendent or resident physician of the institution, the superintendent of state hospitals, and the secretary of the State Board of Health (Gottshall). If these approvals were given, sterilization could occur (Gottshall). In 1913, the jurisdiction over sterilization in California expanded to include the “State Lunacy Commission” and gave it the authority to order the sterilization of an individual with certain mental illnesses. In 1917, after the establishment of the institution called the Pacific Colony, which dealt with the sterilization of epileptics and mentally delayed individuals, authorization procedures for sterilization changed. Sterilizations required the authorization by a Board of Trustees, and a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. (Gottshall). For all, although consent from the sterilized individual or their family was not required, it was usually received (Butler). However, many individuals may have given consent so that they would be allowed to leave the hospital (Braslow, p. 43). Neither records nor reports were required by any of the California sterilization laws to be kept (Laughlin, p. 137).

Precipitating Factors and Processes

Around the turn of the century, increased immigration led to changes in California’s demographics (Stern, Eugenic Nation, pp. 57-59). Between the years 1890-1910, 12 million people immigrated into the United States (Bruinius, p. 256). To curb this influx, legislation such as Theodore Roosevelt’s Gentleman’s Agreement, and the Chinese Exclusion Acts, were enacted (Bruinius, p. 256). Especially important was the influx of Mexicans looking for work. Their presence cost the state a lot of money in charity and welfare. Further, Mexicans were stereotyped to be diseased. Eugenicists such as Charles M. Goethe warned their presence in the United States would cause the spread of diseases such as Tuberculosis (Kline, p. 67). This began a process of trying to keep undesirable Mexicans out of the United States (Stern, Eugenic Nation, pp. 57-59). Between the years 1926-1928, 40% of those deported in the United States were Mexicans (mostly from Southern California) (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 213). As a result, progressives began to look for a way to easily eliminate degeneracy and disorder in the new chaos (Gottshall). European settlers sought to establish a community, based on modern science, which fulfilled the Manifest Destiny and downplayed the Spanish and Mexican past of the territory (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 85). Furthermore, African-American men were seen as being excessively virile and this needed to be controlled to protect women (Kline, p. 9). Similarly, the idea of “race suicide” emerged on a national level. This concept stated that women of good stock should be having children in order to ensure that the white middle class not be taken over by inferiors (Kline, p. 11).

The changing economy led to changing gender roles in society. As the economy became more corporate, white men were becoming perceived as less masculine due to the desk jobs they often occupied (Kline, p. 9). At the same time more and more women began to work outside of the home. These women were seen as overly sexual and challenging to the traditional roles of middle class women (Kline, pp. 10-11). Many doctors were concerned with women giving birth out of wedlock. This caused doctors to sterilize some women in order to prevent this from happening (Braslow, p. 47). Progressive Era reformers saw these changes and began to implement eugenic programs to help “better” society (Stern, “Sterilized,” p. 1123).

The driving force behind the statutes regarding sterilization in California was mainly eugenic in nature, although they were also allegedly designed to benefit inmates in a physical, mental, moral, or therapeutic manner. There was a somewhat punitive motivation behind them as well (see Laughlin, p.7). After World War I, and the change in the perception of "feeble-mindedness" from a crime to a disease, there was a noted shift across the country from “institutions” to “hospitals” and “inmates” to “patients” (Kline, p. 45). In the waning years of sterilization in California, the rationale shifted from eugenics to “fears of overpopulation, welfare dependency, and illegitimacy” (Stern, “Sterilized,” p. 1132).

Groups Targeted and Victimized

Those individuals targeted generally fell into one of three categories, dependent, delinquent, or mental deficient (Bruinius, p. 10). They were thought to threaten the strength and wellbeing of the race (Kline, p. 37).

Those who were “dependent” generally lacked formal education and received welfare payments from the government. Motivated to prevent the procreation of the poor, eugenicists attempted to eradicate this undesirable trait from the general population (Kline, p. 38). Further, because of their lack of education, these individuals were vulnerable and easy to victimize. This resulted in many sterilizations of refugees from the Dust Bowl in the later 1920s and early 1930s (Clayton, p. 44).

The definition of “delinquency” varied with men and women (Kline, pp. 37-40). Women who were seen as sexually promiscuous were often sterilized as a “cure” for their actions. (This was because sexual promiscuity was seen as a symptom of feeblemindedness (Kline, p. 36). Further, it attacked the termed “high grade moron” that Goddard threatened could have the greatest negative effect on a race because, although they seemed mentally normal and would go undetected on intelligence tests, their sexual deviance could cause the procreation of more sexually deviant women (Kline, p. 37). Men differed in that sterilization was seen as a rehabilitative treatment to prevent destructive traits such as petty crime (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 96).

Mental deficiency was a very broad term, including everything from the socially undesirable traits such as sexual promiscuity, to schizophrenia. These included alcoholics, epileptics, individuals with Down’s syndrome, the insane, and those who were manically depressed (Gottshall). The range of those targeted was expanded as the result of the laws over the years. These individuals were disproportionately female and racial minorities. Mexicans and African Americans were also disproportionately sterilized (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 111). Inmates in prisons, especially those whose crimes were sexual in nature, were targeted in the early years of the program. Later, the focus shifted primarily to target those with mental illnesses (Gottshall).

However, in practice, the law was also applied to many others, ranging from alcoholics to paupers to people infected with syphilis (Center for Science, History, Policy, and Ethics, see Senate Resolution No. 20). Of those the Sonoma State Home sterilized through June 30, 1916, about half were characterized as “manic depressive”, with another third characterized as either having “dementia praecox” or being epileptic (Laughlin, p. 53). In addition, rather than sterilize them, the Sonoma State Home participated in a program to deport “mentally defective” immigrants—at a rate of about 37 immigrants per year, with about half being Mexican or Filipino (Kline, p. 59).

Other Restrictions placed on those identified in the law or with disabilities in general

Many of those who were released went on to live relatively normal lives. They were married, and although without children, were able to support themselves (Butler). Although they were not in fact disabled, Mexicans were disproportionately targeted. Many were targeted because of the traditionally large families of Mexican Americans. In order to prevent an increase in their numbers, sterilization was often utilized (Stern, “Sterilized,” p. 1132).

Major Proponents

  Picture of Paul Popenoe (Photo origin: Wikipedia.com; available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Popenoe)

Paul Popenoe was raised in California and studied Biology. As a journalist, he wrote columns promoting eugenics. He believed that charity was the reason society had so many degenerates that had survived for so long. He conducted extensive research about IQs and the individuals who had been sterilized in order to promote the cause (Stern, Eugenic Nation, pp. 105-107). Working with E.S. Gosney, he researched California’s eugenic institutions and helped promote the program (Braslow, p. 41). Although he continued to work on Eugenics for the rest of his life, he eventually had to denounce negative eugenics as it fell out of favor in the 1940s (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 106).

Picture of E.S. Gosney (Phote origin: Wikipedia.com; available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.S._Gosney)

E.S. Gosney was a philanthropist who helped to finance and promote the eugenics program (Popenoe). He worked along with Popenoe to collect data about sterilizations by researching California’s state institutions. He helped fund and create the Human Betterment Foundation for well-known wealthy individuals who supported eugenics. The HBF funded surveys to study the effects of sterilizations and promote its benefits (Bruinius, p. 272). Unlike many eugenic supporters of the day, his focus was primarily on the benefits for society, not the benefits for the individual (Braslow, p. 41).

F.O. Butler was the superintendent of Sonoma State home starting in 1918. He believed that sterilization benefited both the individuals and society as a whole (Butler) Both through public promotion and actual operations, he was largely responsible for thousands of sterilizations. He himself is estimated to have performed at least 1000 sterilizations throughout his career (Kline, p. 52). Preventative public health measure (Kline, p. 52).

Charles M. Goethe was a businessman from Sacramento who promoted eugenics in the San Francisco area (Stern, “Sterilized”, p. 1129). He advocated for eugenic policy including immigration restriction, “better breeding”, and sterilization. With a background in plants and animals, he viewed eugenics as a way of improving the human race (Center for Science, History, Policy, and Ethics).

Frederick W. Hatch, Jr. was the secretary of the State Lunacy Commission in California. After the sterilization law was passed in 1909, he became the General Superintendent of State Hospitals. He held this position for the rest of his life, using it to implement policy and hire hospital administrators in favor of eugenics. While he held this position, about 3,000 people were sterilized in California (Gottshall). Even after his death in 1924, his legacy of an active program for sterilization lived on through the next hospital superintendents.

Ulysses S. Webb was the attorney general of California during much of the Progressive Era, holding that position for 37 years. He was confident that eugenic sterilization laws, especially those requiring some form of consent, would survive a challenge by the courts. He preferred that sterilizations be used as a medical treatment, rather than as a punishment by the courts (Gottshall).

Public Support
The Race Betterment Exhibit 1915 in San Francisco promoted “positive eugenics” as a way to counter race degeneracy. Also warned against the “moron girl”, those who were abnormal as a biological threat (Kline, p. 30). Questionable sexual behavior indicated a primitive savagery and qualified the afflicted individual and unfit to reproduce (Kline, p. 31).

A 1935-1941 Los Angeles Times “Social Eugenics” column, written by Fred Hogue, summarized the American Eugenics Society meetings and cited publications of the HBF to promote the social and economic benefits of sterilization (Currell and Cogdell, p. 38). Sacrifice of individual for public good. 66% approved compulsory sterilization according to 1937 Fortune Magazine survey (Currell and Cogdell, p. 37).

Eugenics was integrated into the curriculum of California’s public schools. Biology, sociology, and home management textbooks all contained the “evidence” supporting the cause. This, in addition to the propaganda from eugenics societies resulted in overall public support for the movement in California (La Chappelle, p. 34).

“Feeder Institutions” and institutions where sterilizations were performed

Picture of the Sonoma State Home (Photo origin: Alex Wellerstein; available at http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~wellerst/collection/)

The Sonoma State Home was a state hospital founded in 1884 and was initially designed to help educate mentally disabled children (Kline, p. 30). However, Sonoma would eventually become the institution that set the stage for sterilization, providing an example for institutions all over the world (Kline, p. 30). This transition came with the emergence of eugenics. Since abnormal traits that were thought to be inherited, sterilization was seen as a way to prevent the degeneration of the race through the procreation of those with undesirable traits (Kline, p. 30). Rather than protecting patients from society, institutions were instead used to protect society from the very same patients. It was especially focused on sterilizing women who were considered sexually deviant (Kline, p. 32). Many of these women were considered such because they had sex outside of marriage. Such an act was considered an implication the mental deficiency of the individual and qualified them for institutionalization and sterilization (Kline, p. 30). Under the direction of Butler, Sonoma acted as a kind of “revolving operating room” in an attempt to expand beyond the institution, Sonoma admitted patients solely for the purpose to be sterilized and then released. According to a study conducted by Paul Popenoe, between the years 1922-1925, 25% of those females sterilized fell into this category (Kline, p. 53). This aggressive approach is likely the reason for Sonoma’s comparatively high number of sterilizations. Sonoma was said to have sterilized more “mental defectives” than any other institution in the world up to 1942 (Kline, p. 33). Often overlooked, Sonoma conducted dangerous tests and trials on patients into the 1960s. Testing in mental institution alleviated the compensation and consent required for researches. Such treatments, including radiation dosing experiments, resulted in countless injuries and deaths that are still being investigated (60 Minutes). Still open today, renamed the Sonoma Development Center, there is no mention of the past on the website (State of California).

Picture of Pacific Colony (Source: http://www.cdcan.info/node/212)

The Pacific Colony in Pomona was an institution that was created under the 1917 sterilization law and it dealt with the sterilization of epileptics and mentally delayed individuals. This was created as a result of the apparent growing number of “feeble-minded” individuals. On March 20, 1921, the first patients were admitted to Pacific Colony with an expected capacity of 50 patients. However, due to a lack of water and limited access to the colony, it soon became inappropriate for their needs and the facility closed on January 23, 1923. Pacific Colony reopened and would act as the only feebleminded institution in California, apart from Sonoma, sterilizing patients. However, after the Garcia v State Department of Institutions trial, the judge contributed to the change in the current law. The new provision allowed patients the opportunity to fight sterilizations. This dramatically decreased the rate of sterilizations in all institutions in California. In 1952, 225 sterilizations were conducted. This number dropped dramatically after the passing of the new law to just 51 in 1952 (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 96). Later renamed to "Pacific State Hospital," its most recent name is "Frank D. Lanterman State Hospital and Developmental Center" (see "History of Lanterman").

By 1921, in addition to the Sonoma State home and the Pacific Colony, several state mental hospitals performed sterilizations of some kind. On average, mental hospitals averaged five times as many inmates as the feebleminded homes in California. In 1940, California mental hospitals held 22,953 patients as compared to 4,076 patients in Sonoma and the Pacific Colony combined (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 100).

This resulted in their performing more total sterilizations (12,000) than did the feebleminded homes (8,000) ( Stern, “From Legislation to Lived Experience”, p. 100). These hospitals included Patton, Agnews, Norwalk, Stockton, Camarillo, Mendocino, and Napa. Many of these were overcrowded. Between 1910 to 1955, the total population of residents increased fivefold (6,864-36,403). This was used as reasoning to sterilize more patients to increase eugenic efficiency (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 104).

Picture of Agnews State Hospital (Source: http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=File:Agnews5.png)

Also known as, the “Great Asylum for the Insane,” Agnews opened in 1885 in Santa, Clara California. It was the third institution opened for treatment of the mentally ill. The 1906 earthquake severely damaged the facility and more than 100 patients died (Santa Clara County). It reopened after the earthquake in 1911 as Agnews State Mental Hospital. The facility was a “small, self-contained town. “ It included shops, livestock and crops for food, as well as a fire department. Individuals who possessed developmental disabilities were still admitted and treated until the facility closed in 1998, while those who are mentally ill were not longer admitted by the year 1972. Currently, the land has been repurposed to be the R&D campus of Sun Microsystems. In 1997, the Agnews site was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Agnews Development Center).

Picture of Camarillo State Hospital (Source: http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/map/view.php?l=243)

Camarillo State Hospital, located in Ventura County California, had just 406 patients when it opened in 1936. The population grew to 1,082 in 1937; 2,501 in 1940, 4,123 in 1945, 4,960 in 1950, 6,748 on April 8, 1953, 6,865 on June 30, 1955, and in excess of 7,000 patients in 1957. This growth was similar to the trends seen in other state institutions. During the 1950s-1960s Camarillo was thought to be at the forefront of schizophrenia treatments. Camarillo was likely a place of numerous acts of patient abuses and negligent deaths despite claims of ground-breaking cures for insanity. Electroshock therapy ended at Camarillo in the 1970s. Further, it was criticized for releasing patients who likely needed more supervision. It closed as a hospital in 1997 because of low patient numbers and rising costs per patient (California State Mental Hospital). The land is now used for a California State University (Camarillo State Mental Hospital).

Mendocino State Hospital (Source: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~wellerst/collection/images/mendocino_state_hospital3.jpg)

Mendocino State Hospital, located in Ukiah, California, opened in the 1890s and closed in the 1970s. It was located in an isolated part of Northern California so as to keep the activities somewhat covert. However, as compared to institutions such as Sonoma, Mendocino sterilized comparatively few people (Wellerstein).

Picuure of Napa State Hospital (Source: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~wellerst/collection/image.cgi?hospital_napa)

Napa State Hospital was opened on November 15, 1875. Again, similar self sustaining farm and self sustaining facilities were incorporated onto the site so that that hospital could keep patient costs low. The facility is still in use, and little can be found about the its likely controversial history. Currently, the facility’s website states that its mission is to "provide hope to adults with serious mental illness and support each individual to achieve personal recovery" (Napa State Hospital).

Picture of Norwalk State Hospital (Source: http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=File:Norwalk.jpg)

Norwalk State Hospital was opened in 1915 through legislation signed by California Governor H. W. Johnson (1866-1945) (California Department of Mental Health). Similar to Agnews, the facility was self-sufficient in its early days, having livestock, and crops. This system was put in place to keep costs down. It is now known as Metropolitan Sate Hospital, and it located in Los Angeles, California. It is currently still in use, and in July 2002 had about 825 patients. Unlike many other current mental facilities, it admits acutely ill psychiatric patients, resulting in short says and a high turnover rate ("Metropolitan State Hospital")

Picture of Patton State (Source: http://www.asylumprojects.org/images/7/76/Patton.jpg)

Patton, located in San Bernadino, was opened in 1893 and acted and the main mental hospital for Southern California. In its peak year, there were 180 sterilizations performed (98 men, and 82 women) (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 104). Since the passage of the 1909 sterilization law, the superintendents at Patton were very pro sterilization for both eugenic and therapeutic purposes (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 105). According to Superintendent Dr. John A Riely, the denial of parenthood was far outweighed by the benefits on society. His successor, Dr. G.M Webster, echoed Butler’s strategy of sterilizing every patient that entered the hospital to prevent further procreation. Further, sterilizations were motivated because of the extreme overcrowding at the institution. Regularly reporting an excess of 50%, Patton grew at an even greater rate as compared to the average for state mental hospitals (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 105).

  Picture of the California State Hospital (Photo origin: Alex Wellerstein; available at http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~wellerst/collection/)

While Stockton State Hospital had a higher population than Patton, sterilization rates were lower because there was not as much overcrowding (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 107). The California State Hospital at Stockton performed the largest amount of sterilizations out of the six state hospitals. Prior to June 1926, physicians at Stockton had performed over ten times as many sterilizations as at Agnews State Hospital, accounting for almost 40% of the total amount performed up to this date (Barslow, p. 36). The large-scale sterilization at Stockton was made possible because the physicians at Stockton believed in the medical value of sterilization and demonstrated this conviction in their work. Even though these doctors did have hereditarian beliefs, these were not the ones that guided their decision to operate. They genuinely believed that patients that had undergone sterilization showed “marked improvement” (Barslow, p. 38). Rather than seeing sterilization as a way to prevent the degeneration of the human stock, these physicians saw the surgery as an intervention aimed at improving the individual’s life. The belief in therapeutic benefits allowed for male sterilization prior to the 1930s to escalate. Doctors believed that the patients felt mentally and physically stronger after the surgery. Although this belief waned by the mid-1930s, it made it possible for more sterilizations to occur. In addition, patients shared the belief that sterilization was therapeutic, making it easier to perform the operation (Barslow, p. 44). This belief was also demonstrated in the sterilization of women. Sterilization of women was guided by the belief that they were protected from psychological and social strains of childbirth and motherhood (Barslow, p. 46). This is what made Stockton unique. At Stockton, sterilization functioned as an alleged solution to a patient’s individual problems on a large scale (Barslow, p. 51). The Stockton State Hospital closed in 1996 and its ground is now part of the Stockton campus of California State University, Stanislaus.

Not all superintendents were as aggressive in their approach of eugenics as was the case for Sonoma. Dr. Leonard Stocking of Agnews mental hospital exemplified this in his conservative approach. Between 1903-1931, Stocking reported very few sterilizations. This cautious approach resulted from his belief that sterilization did not directly benefit the patient and therefore should not be practiced ( Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", 108)

The provision of the sterilization law, in congruence with a changing view of the ethical treatment of the mental ill, resulted in the phasing out of mass sterilizations. The National Institute of Mental Health, and the Foundation of National Association of Retarded Children was founded helped to change these interventions (Stern, "From Legislation to Lived Experience", p. 110).

Finally, state prisons in California also participated in the sterilization of individuals, although on a much smaller scale. San Quinton and Folsom Prisons conducted some sterilization on inmates who were convicted of crimes of a sexual nature (Gottshall). The Folsom State Prison and the Preston School of Industry in Waterman began performing sterilizations as of January 1, 1921 (Laughlin, p. 52).

Opposition

Proponents of sterilizations met very little opposition to their ideas. They marketed it as good for society and the individuals sterilized. Towards the later part of the eugenics movement, activist groups began protesting the injustices committed against their members. These included both African Americans and Mexicans in the 1950s and 1960s (Stern, “Sterilized,” p. 1134). There were also two court cases that challenged the sterilization law. The first of these was the Hewitt case in which a young woman was sterilized against her will but with the consent of her mother. However the case was not brought to trial (Paul, p. 262). The second case, known as the Garcia case, involved a petition to end the enforcement of the sterilization law. This case was also not heard because it supposedly lacked any facts justifying a hearing (Paul, pp. 265-266).

Commemoration

March 2003, Governor Gray Davis apologized in Sacramento to all those affected by the eugenics movement in California. However, very few people have come forward publically to be at the receiving end of this apology (Stern, Eugenic Nation, p. 211). Consequently, there is a lack of dialogue between the state and those sterilized. Without commemoration sponsored by the government, the eugenics movement has the potential to a forgotten part of history.

In the fall of 2005, California’s first ever exhibition of the state’s eugenic history was run for four weeks at the Library Gallery at California State University Sacramento. The exhibit was called “Human Plants, Human Harvest: The Hidden History of California Eugenics.” The public is unaware of this history and there was no common background or knowledge on the subject upon which to build an exhibition. Therefore, the exhibit took the visitors through a series of seven sections of visual chapters of flat wall-pieces that were mounted in between two huge sheets of Plexiglas. The exhibit utilized high-quality reproductions of historical photographs and documents (Brave and Sylva, p. 38). These images, although they spark interest, had to be used carefully because they range from “ludicrous to loathsome” and therefore had the potential to be viewed as illegitimate pieces of information (Brave and Sylva, p. 39). Since the images served as the major carriers of information to the visitors, it was necessary to secure the visitors’ trust that this history did actually happen.

This exhibit was created for several reasons. One is that the eugenics movement has been underrepresented in visual media, while there has been many books published and read on the issue. As a visual culture, a visual representation is necessary in order to reach the public. It was also created because people were concerned that California’s history of eugenics would remain unknown. However, some resisted the uncovering of this information because they saw the exhibit as being perceived as more “feel-bad” than “feel-good” (Brave and Sylva, p. 42). Overall, however, many visitors viewed the exhibit as both eye-opening and shocking, as “powerful and beautiful in its truth telling” (Brave and Sylva, p. 43). There is no memorial for the 20,108 people sterilized in California, and other than a governor’s apologies for the past, this is the first public commemoration of California’s eugenic past.

Bibliography

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Braslow, Joel T. 1996. "In the Name of Therapeutics: The Practice of Sterilization in a California State Hospital." Journal of the History of Medicine & Allied Sciences 51, 1: 29–51.

Brave, Ralph, and Kathryn Sylva. 2007. “Exhibiting Eugenics: Response and Resistance to a Hidden History.” The Public Historian 29, 3: 33–51.

Bruinius, Harry. 2006. Better for All the World. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Butler, F.O. 1945. “A Quarter of a Century's Experience in Sterilization of Mental Defectives in California.” American Journal of Mental Deficiency 49, 4. Available at

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Center for Science, History, Policy, and Ethics. 2005. "Eugenics in California." California State University. Available at .

Clayton, Stephanie E. 2003. Propagation of the Fittest: The Endurance and Influence of The Human Betterment Foundation. Master’s Thesis. Department of Sociology. Claremont Graduate University, 2003.

Currell, Susan, and Christina Cogdell. 2006. Popular Eugenics. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Gottshall, Jon. 1995. "The Cutting Edge: Sterilization and Eugenics in California, 1909–1945." The Welebaethan. Available at .

"History of Lanterman Developmental Center." State of California Developmental Services. Available at

Kline, Wendy. 2001. Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom. Berkeley: University of California Press.

La Chappelle, Peter. 2007. Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California. Berkeley: University of California.

Laughlin, Harry H. 1922. Eugenical Sterilization in the United States. Chicago: Municipal Court of Chicago.

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Paul, Julius. 1965. "Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough: State Eugenic Sterilization Laws in American Thought and Practice.” Unpublished manuscript. Washington, D.C.: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

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Stern, Alexandra Minna. 2005a. Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stern, Alexandra Minna. 2005b. “Sterilized in the Name of Public Health: Race, Immigration, and Reproductive Control in Modern California.” American Journal of Public Health 95, 7: 1128–38. Available at

Stern, Alexandra Minna. 2011. "From Legislation to Lived Experience: Eugenic Sterilization in California and Indiana, 1907-79." Pp. 95-116 in A Century of Eugenics in America, ed. Paul A. Lombardo. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

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In Sweeden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830355)

This is happens too,

CA AG has a lot of free time (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 2 years ago | (#41830559)

who's going to do all the policing? Kamala D. Harris?

Socialists can't even defend their own policies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41830915)

The sad thing is that everybody who will comment negatively about this socialist policy will simply ignore or even champion the hundred or even thousands of other socialist policies that do far more damage to society. Sad indeed!

My apps policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41831109)

This app may collect and distribute any personal information it has access to.
It may be used in the most nefarious of ways to defraud you and enrich others.

Re:My apps policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41833239)

And if you said this, you would be keeping within the regulation AND give me the opportunity to never, ever, install any application that you develop on any device within my area of responsibility (roughly 10,000), regardless of its utility.

To bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41832569)

The Laws are created by the legislature and enforced by the executive.

The AG has no say in the matter.

Kiss our asses.

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