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Silicon Valley Firms Want To Nix Calif. Internet Privacy Bill

timothy posted about a year ago | from the what-would-the-consequences-be dept.

Businesses 110

An anonymous reader writes "Silicon Valley tech firms, banks and other powerful industries are mounting a quiet but forceful campaign to kill an Internet privacy bill that would give California consumers the right to know how their personal information is being used. A recent letter signed by 15 companies and trade groups — including TechAmerica, which represents Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other technology companies — demanded that the measure's author, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, drop her bill. They complain it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."

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So... (5, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43514399)

"it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."

Good!

Re:So... (4, Interesting)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43514507)

Indeed. If they're afraid of costly lawsuits then they have no business in the tech industry. Nor any other industry.

The avalanche will be a problem at the start. Once business practices become transparent enough, people will have no need to request the information that is already available (automatically).
Or they could of course bicker and whine like little kids, finally get the bill nixed and go on their merry way screwing costumers/users over in a business as usual model.

Re:So... (0)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43516419)

Yes, it costs the businesses money to implement and support, while giving them no benefit, so it's not profitable for them to do so, similar to paying taxes.

And they don't want to do it.

Therefore, they should not be required to do so.

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43516487)

Yeah sure, because businesses are the only thing that counts.

Maybe it's time to rewrite the constitution. It still speaks so much about the rights of people. That's so outdated. Scrap that. Only give rights to the businesses.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517563)

damnit they just got the corp are people took care of, we just need people are corp and good to go

Re:So... (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43517075)

The avalanche will be a problem at the start. Once business practices become transparent enough, people will have no need to request the information that is already available (automatically).

Not quite. If the cost to request the information is less than the cost to provide it, then ad agency1 could conceivably bankrupt ad agency2 by submitting lots of bogus info requests. The avalanche would then continue until there was only one company remaining, which would then a monopoly on the entire info collecting business. Having the law allow a modest processing fee takes care of this problem (dunno if the bill has this provision), as well as takes away the expense argument.

The fear of lawsuits part I'm guessing is because some of the info is inaccurate. This isn't an exact science. A lot of info is inferred, with some ads being switched on at rather low thresholds of certainty. If you browse a lot of sites about prenatal care, they may guess that you're expecting and start showing you ads for baby stuff. If you happen to be a teenage girl (who is not pregnant) and your parents guess this means you're pregnant and trying to hide it from them, that may be rather inconvenient for you. It's going to be interesting watching how this part unfolds because to a limited extent it's something everyone does to everything they encounter in real life - infer qualities based on other hints or clues. But take it too far with a specific individual and it is considered creepy and stalker-ish.

Re:So... (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43517731)

Not quite. If the cost to request the information is less than the cost to provide it, then ad agency1 could conceivably bankrupt ad agency2 by submitting lots of bogus info requests. The avalanche would then continue until there was only one company remaining, which would then a monopoly on the entire info collecting business. Having the law allow a modest processing fee takes care of this problem (dunno if the bill has this provision), as well as takes away the expense argument.

True but that stems from the problem of not distinguishing between "a person" and "a business", not this bill directly. There is no cost to provide the information if it is an automated solution, maintenance yes but keeping the data on hand also incurs a cost, so neglible I would imagine. They might be able to make your server take a dive for a bit, but that is called a DDoS and is in itself illegal in most places.

The fear of lawsuits part I'm guessing is because some of the info is inaccurate. This isn't an exact science. A lot of info is inferred, with some ads being switched on at rather low thresholds of certainty. If you browse a lot of sites about prenatal care, they may guess that you're expecting and start showing you ads for baby stuff. If you happen to be a teenage girl (who is not pregnant) and your parents guess this means you're pregnant and trying to hide it from them, that may be rather inconvenient for you. It's going to be interesting watching how this part unfolds because to a limited extent it's something everyone does to everything they encounter in real life - infer qualities based on other hints or clues. But take it too far with a specific individual and it is considered creepy and stalker-ish.

Inaccurate data is of no concern, if you created it from an in-exact science like data mining, anonymize it so that you, the business can't tell who is who, and a user cannot demand access to it. Keeping track of which user is behind which IP, without them having an account with you falls into the "I don't care if you have extra costs from this Bill, and if you go bancrypt, good riddance" category.

In any case, if you have a need to keep user identifiable information on hand, then the user should have a right to see it too, and if a pregnant teenage girl is your best bid as to a victim of this bill, well then that's better than most. Also, where were her parents?

No business is better than high legal cost busines (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43517317)

Indeed. If they're afraid of costly lawsuits then they have no business in the tech industry. Nor any other industry.

A lot of companies have discovered this, and therefore moved their business operations elsewhere. Hence this whole deal about outsourcing - too many people here are big whiners who make the legal costs associated w/ doing anything skyrocket, w/ the result that the cost of doing business in the US is orders of magnitude higher than the cost of doing it elsewhere. So they simply move operational costs offshore, fire Americans - whiners and non-whiners alike - and then everyone is left whining that outsourcing is looting US jobs.

Re:No business is better than high legal cost busi (3, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43517599)

Indeed. If they're afraid of costly lawsuits then they have no business in the tech industry. Nor any other industry.

A lot of companies have discovered this, and therefore moved their business operations elsewhere. Hence this whole deal about outsourcing - too many people here are big whiners who make the legal costs associated w/ doing anything skyrocket, w/ the result that the cost of doing business in the US is orders of magnitude higher than the cost of doing it elsewhere. So they simply move operational costs offshore, fire Americans - whiners and non-whiners alike - and then everyone is left whining that outsourcing is looting US jobs.

That is a false assumption. It might partially apply to the US but the US is not the only western country to have experienced a boom in outsourceing, and that is regardless of fuckedup-ness of legal system. Outsourcing is a financial decision for the most part, and a decision about putting your fingers in your ears and hoping for the best, in the short term.
The bill is a problem for the kind of business who does not wan't people to know what kind of data the business keeps on them, or does not yet have an automated solution to those requests. The former: Good riddance, hopefully the latter will wisen up and implement it. In either case, you and I are better off with the bill than without.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

bdwebb (985489) | about a year ago | (#43517605)

I think the fact that one of their specific complaints is that it would "open up businesses to [...] costly lawsuits" is the exact reason to allow this piece of legislation to move forward.

If these companies are doing shit with our personal information that is so shady that it would immediately cause a flood of lawsuits once this bill brought those things to light (which everyone pretty much already knows), this seems like legislation we should have had long ago.

Re:So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514569)

Yeah! Fuck those Corporations.

Who cares if we destroy the business models of Google, Facebook and Microsoft. No one uses their services anyway!

(Of course this alone will not destroy their business model, but the ever increasing flow of 'pro-consumer' regulation; which is only 'protecting' the consumer from itself while increasing the cost of delivering non-paid services.)

Do you want to know what information Google has on you? everything-you-sent-them.pcap. Don't like it? Don't accept their cookies, and don't use their services, or significantly restrict how you use them (i.e. what information you send them).

Re:So... (3, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43514589)

Re:So... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43517177)

Why is your post modded "interesting"?

It should be -1 Didn't Actually Read The Post I Am Responding To.

He goes on to describe various aspects of their multi-pronged business model and how this kills some of it. And for what gain? Not much, and you can avoid things by curtailing your use.

Angry vectors using sophistry to enrich still more lawyers unwanted.

Re:So... (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#43514593)

They have more information than what even you think. They can get information from other people on the web as well, that you wont know they have. This type of legislation only opens you up to tons of costly lawsuits from the outliers of society which can normally be taken care of quick and easily, unless you are breaking the law.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43514767)

Ermmm... no. Not quite. If Google wants to keep all that information, fine, but they need to be open about it. No, hiding the truth in 90 pages of ToS documents written in legalese is not, by an stretch, "open". Then and only then can consumers make an informed decision about whether or not to use Google's services.

Re:So... (3, Informative)

chiguy (522222) | about a year ago | (#43515511)

If you'd like to actually make a difference, email your state assemblymember (and senator when it comes up).

Find Your Rep: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ [ca.gov]
Find Their Email: http://clerk.assembly.ca.gov//clerk/memberinformation/memberdir_1.asp [ca.gov]

AB1291: The Right to Know Act

Dear Assemblymember,

I am writing you in support of retaining strong privacy safeguards in AB 1291: The Right to Know Act.

I am concerned that large data mining companies and their lobbyists are exerting significant influence over this legislation and individual consumers need strong defenders in our desire to control our own data. For all their protests of the expense of complying with this privacy law, these multinational corporations already have to follow much stricter EU privacy laws.

From the Mercury News: "Consumers who live in 27 countries that belong to the European Union already have the right to know what data companies have on them -- laws that are being complied by Facebook, Google and others that are opposing the California legislation." - http://www.mercurynews.com/politics-government/ci_23067322/silicon-valley-companies-quietly-try-kill-internet-privacy [mercurynews.com]

As mentioned by a former employee in the area: "As a former employee of a business that tracks a huge amount of personal information, I can tell you that most of these companies are already required to keep these records because of EU privacy records. Our databases were literally divided domestic and foreign for this reason.
So while it would take some effort in moving data and changing internal procedures, the bulk of the work is already done for most of these companies."

I hope you are one of us, someone who uses a credit card or spends time online, and want to know what data is being stored about us and how it is being used. Please support strong privacy legislation. Do not be swayed by big money lobbyists.

Thank you,
Me

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517369)

They are open about it are they not? What data is missing?

https://www.google.com/dashboard/b/0/?pli=1

Yeah, just let the lawyers flood in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514579)

"it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."

Good!

Yeah, costly lawsuits by sleazy lawyers like John Edwards. That man made his money by convincing juries that hospital baby deliveries caused birth defects. Loosely worded laws will get exploited up the wazoo by lawyers like him.

Re:Yeah, just let the lawyers flood in (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514639)

Sleazy lawyers are to the world of civil law what cops are to the world of criminal law.

They work hard for their bad reputations, and they don't tend to result in much money returning to the actual injured parties; but in a well-functioning society, they exist to deter people even worse than they are...

Re:Yeah, just let the lawyers flood in (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515297)

(Just to clarify the above, and perhaps to explain why I've always found the 'right wing' and 'libertarian' hatred of tort lawyers so curious, aside from the ones who are trivially shills for corporations and people who simply wish to be tortious with impunity, whose motives are at least transparent).

With criminal law, and the criminal justice system, the idea that some sort of restitution is the objective, or the notion that money made by functionaries is being gouged right out of the mouths of victims, doesn't really enter the picture: Cops, DAs, Prosecutors, prisons, etc. are all cost centers, your tax dollars at work, that exist to (in various combinations, depending on who you ask) visit retribution on malefactors, prevent malefactors from future criminal activity, or to deter others from taking up crime. There are some, more or less ad-hoc, victim-assistance programs; but the idea that "the criminal justice system is such a scam! they tried the guy and the victim's family got like $3 worth of weregild after they'd finished paying the cops, lawyers, and jury! WTF?" simply never enters the picture.

In civil law, civil actions between (rough) equals can actually involve establishment of damages to Party A and extraction of compensation from Party B. However, in more asymmetric cases, 'civil' law really resembles nothing so much as a privatized version of criminal law, essentially a flavor of bounty hunting. Instead of having an actually-remotely-adequate regulatory apparatus(because the idea of our doing that is...unrealistic...), we leave the field open: See somebody do something tortious to a person or persons who can't fight back on their own behalf? Prove it in court and get your cut of the damages! This arrangement isn't much better than criminal proceedings at getting restitution routed to the actual injured parties; but it creates an incentive for independent private actors to hunt down and punish malefactors, analogous to the one you would see if the criminal justice system were built on bounties rather than a class of civil servants who get a salary for the purpose.

While I'd obviously prefer to see more damages make it to the damaged(and the Principle-Agent problem inherent in having a lawyer representing your interests, or worse the diffuse interests of hundreds or thousands of people is an obvious one to keep watch on), I'm always a bit surprised by, not to say a trifle suspicious of the motives of, people who seem more offended by the idea that somebody else got paid for working on the case than they are by the fact that the case had to come to court in the first place. In criminal contexts, we might disagree over exactly what a cop or DA's salary should be; but it is downright uncontroversial that such people get paid to discourage malefactors. In order to handle crime, we allocate some amount of money to the in-no-way-directly-productive task of apprehending and punishing criminals. As a long term, society wide, investment it may be a net gain; but it's a cost center in the near term. The people who handle civil lawsuits are essentially the same thing, just on contingency rather than salary.

Unsurprisingly, though, none of the 'tort reformers' ever seems to propose replacing those wicked trial lawyers with state regulators who have actual teeth, nor do they celebrate the fact that so much regulation is simply left undone on the state side, with for-profit private actors going into the business of taking up the slack... You'd think that, among people who dislike state regulatory power, 'trial lawyers' would be the private-sector heroes of justice, doing well by doing good, and discouraging malfeasance so that the dead, bureaucratic, hand of regulatory entities like the FTC, FDA, etc. don't have to. This is not, however, a position much seen in the wild...

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515435)

"it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."

Good!

What a bunch of hypocrites those businesses are. Based on everything I've seen from the tech industry in recent years, businesses LOVE costly lawsuits.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515545)

I just wonder how this fits in with Ms scroogled campaign... Hmmmm...

Re:So... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43517487)

Microsoft is a member of one of the industry associations against it along with Google. They want to take Google's lunch, not destroy it.

Re:So... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about a year ago | (#43516507)

"it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits."

Good!

Obligatory cat macro [tinypic.com]

Re:So... (1)

phdscam (2901299) | about a year ago | (#43518965)

Google etc. will just change their TOS and ask you to agree. What could be consumers' next steps?

They will shoot themselves in the foot. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514409)

'It will lead to costly lawsuits' is not an argument. On the contrary - this is an argument to put the law in place.

Re:They will shoot themselves in the foot. (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#43515699)

They will only get hit by costly law suits if they are misusing the data. This is a measure that will keep them honest.

Tell your AssemblyCritter to: +1 - vote for this.

Re:They will shoot themselves in the foot. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43515995)

They will only get hit by costly law suits if they are misusing the data. This is a measure that will keep them honest.

Which is why they are so adamantly against it.

Tell your AssemblyCritter to: +1 - vote for this.

What, put the citizens' interests ahead of big money's interests?

This is the USA; that would be an unpatriotic assault on capitalism.

News or old hat? (2)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43514413)

What's news for some is old-hat for others.

Re:News or old hat? (5, Informative)

gsslay (807818) | about a year ago | (#43514491)

Indeed. Europeans read these stories and think "Really? They don't have that right in the U.S. ??" I'm not intending to sound smug or sarcastic, but this is such a basic of EU legislation it seems bizarre that other developed countries are still struggling with this.

Re:News or old hat? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515697)

That's because Europeans and Americans have a fundamentally different way of looking at politics.

The U.S. was founded on certain principles that were ironically considered extremely liberal at the time, but now would be classified as extremely conservative according to a European mentality.

An admittedly over-simplified way of looking at is this: European politics is based on the idea that the government should promote the welfare of the citizens. American politics is based on the idea that the government should get out of the way and let the citizens promote their own welfare.

Neither is absolutely right in all cases. As an American, I tend to favor the latter, but I'll admit that it has its drawbacks.

That said, you can understand the lack of privacy protections if you think like an American. The idea is this: If two entities choose to do business with each other, that's their business, not the government's. You can choose to give whatever information you want to the other party, just like they can choose what to do with that information. If you don't want them using that information, don't give it to them. It's your choice. The government should not get involved.

In other words, a "right to privacy" is not really a right at all. It doesn't allow you to do anything that you couldn't do if it didn't exist; it just limits what others can do.

Note that I don't necessarily agree with the idea, just that I can understand it.

Re:News or old hat? (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#43515819)

If you don't want them using that information, don't give it to them. It's your choice. The government should not get involved.

These businesses can still get info about you even if you don't directly deal with them. So you're arguing froma false premise from the start.

Re:News or old hat? (2)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year ago | (#43517397)

If you don't want them using that information, don't give it to them. It's your choice. The government should not get involved.

These businesses can still get info about you even if you don't directly deal with them. So you're arguing froma false premise from the start.

Not at all. You gave your information to the business freely and made no requests that your information not be freely disclosed. That means they are free to do with your information whatever they wish (within the bounds of the law, of course, and subject to any potential consequences). If you did not want your information used by the business or sold to others by them, you should have specified that before agreeing to the business arrangement that required you to give them your information in the first place.

The fact that web services offer no room for negotiation on these terms is precisely why Americans now find it necessary to impose government regulations. What was once a business contract handled in person between two people is not now a automated process with an agreement written by several dozen lawyers on one side and absolutely no negotiations accepted. You can't negotiate with a static contract with an "I agree to these terms" checkbox.

It's precisely this kind of abuse that caused consumer protection agencies to come into existence. Once a business has a significant portion of a market, they lose any incentive to negotiate. Once every business in the market is like this, those who were once valuable clients and customers suddenly become mere consumers. So, Americans turn to government regulation because they are unable to get consumer-oriented businesses to stop being gigantic, selfish assholes.

Re:News or old hat? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43518795)

The U.S. was founded on certain principles that were ironically considered extremely liberal at the time, but now would be classified as extremely conservative according to a European mentality.

Well, we still don't have a strong right to free speech (truthful "libel" in UK, "insulting religious values" in Poland, a crapload of things in Germany, etc), and a complete lack of other basic human rights such as the right to self-defense (which has mostly gone away in the US as well, despite unambiguous wording in your constitution).

Re:News or old hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515795)

Git yer commie talk out of here!

*cocks rifle*

Re:News or old hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517079)

No, actually, this doesn't exist in the EU. Why do American liberals think that everything they want *must* be the way it's done in Europe--as if everything is the same in every European country, even within the EU?

Re:News or old hat? (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43517475)

The EU tends to take a "big brother knows best" approach. The U.S. tends to take a "let the market decide" approach. Sometimes the EU way ends up better, sometimes the U.S. way ends up better. A good counterexample to privacy is GSM. The EU mandated GSM which unfortunately was based on dead-end technology (TDMA - which allocates data bandwidth even to phones which aren't transmitting any data). The U.S. approach resulted in CDMA and TDMA competing, with CDMA coming out as the eventual winner. (Yes CDMA won. If your GSM phone uses HSDPA, it's using CDMA. That's why you can talk and browse the web at the same time on GSM phones - it has a TDMA radio for talking, and a CDMA radio for data.) If the U.S. had just played along and adopted GSM, phones worldwide would probably still be stuck at 2.5G or 2G data speeds right now. (4G is finally supplanting CDMA because low-power CPUs have become fast enough to decode OFDMA without draining your battery in 30 minutes.)

People can bicker about which method is better. But I would argue it's more useful to have both present in the world. That way if one approach arrives at a better conclusion than the other (e.g. EU on privacy, or US on GSM/CDMA), you have an empirical example which can serve as a data point showing people using the other approach why they should change for that particular topic.

Re:News or old hat? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43517883)

Clearly then, your businesses aren't getting their money's worth from the governments that they paid for.

Re:News or old hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518561)

Indeed. Europeans read these stories and think "Really? They don't have that right in the U.S. ??" I'm not intending to sound smug or sarcastic, but this is such a basic of EU legislation it seems bizarre that other developed countries are still struggling with this.

You forget, the U.S. has devolved since Eisenhower was in office.

Simple solution... (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#43514417)

... the companies stop collecting data on consumers, and going forward require opt-in to allow the data collection.

.
It is as if the companies are saying, "we stole all this data from our customers, and it would be too expensive to allow them to have it back."

Re:Simple solution... (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43515007)

That's not enough. What will happen is that every company and their brother will require carte blanch opt in in order to do any transaction with them. There needs to be some sort of restriction on the collection and dissemination of information for purposes unrelated to the reason the person gave the information in the first place.

Night clubs that check id to verify legal drinking age aren't allowed to require that customers let them scan ids and keep records because that isn't necessary for the purpose of verifying age.

Re:Simple solution... (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43517211)

There needs to be some sort of restriction on the collection and dissemination of information for purposes unrelated to the reason the person gave the information in the first place.

Paradoxically, this is the reason why I use Google Checkout from time to time. Google already knows a bunch of stuff about me. If I'm buying an item on some website which looks like it's run by some guy operating out of his garage, a lot of times I'd prefer not giving him my credit card info and just have Google handle it. Giving the site my info increases my risk exposure. Giving it to Google (who already knows it) does not.

A law putting restrictions on collection and dissemination wouldn't change this for me. I'd still opt for the zero damage of giving Google info it already knows (it probably even knows about my interest in the item I'm buying because of my searches for reviews), over the small chance the seller is a front to harvest credit card data. In fact IIRC there's already a law prohibiting companies from storing your credit card number without your permission. But lots of companies do so anyway out of sheer laziness.

Re:Simple solution... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#43515783)

Session data. Perfectly fine when used properly, can greatly enhance the usability of a site without having to know anything personal about a user, but good look collecting it if you have to wait for the user to opt-in before you can collect any data at all. I suppose it's possible to create a sort of anonymous "registration" system, where someone can agree to have cookies stored on their system by clicking an opt-in button on the site, but that's an inelegant solution at best.

And most websites already have you opt-in as part of the registration process anyway. Remember the checkbox you checked that said you read and agreed to the terms of service? That's a large part of what it's there for. Clearly the checkbox isn't sufficient, however, since our data is still being misused, so what we need not only an agreement that dictates how our data can be used, but a way to verify that it is being used in that manner.

Cry, cry. (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514419)

In other news, the great and good of the world are demanding continued immunity from a hithertoo largely alien phenomenon referred to as 'consequences', widely believed to be some sort of communicable disease popular among people who don't matter. Important People warn of vaguely defined, but catastrophic, outcomes should these 'consequences' be allowed to spread from the squalid and undeserving sectors where they currently breed and into high value portions of society.

Re:Cry, cry. (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43514451)

Oh my. That is simply beautiful. +1 Poetic

Re:Cry, cry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515723)

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

Just one question... (2)

Loki_666 (824073) | about a year ago | (#43514421)

why shouldn't customers have this right? Shouldn't all this be mentioned in the T&Cs anyway?

"We reserve the right to use your information however we want. Press Agree to acknowledge you accept this and to start using our wonderful service".

Re:Just one question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514509)

You are one of those idiots who think corporations have rights over people. People aren't supposed to exist for corporations, corporations are supposed to exist for people, just like countries.

What's the matter with you? You want to be owned by corporations?

Re:Just one question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514643)

He already is !

Re:Just one question... (1)

Loki_666 (824073) | about a year ago | (#43515447)

You misunderstood, i don't agree with them doing what they want, but however they want to use the information should be displayed clearly and in plain English (or whatever the speakers language is) as to what they will do with it.

You, the user then have a clear and informed choice as to whether to use the services.

On the one hand, corporations have no right to use your information without your express permission. On the other hand, nobody is forcing you to use such a service that will use your information in a way that you don't like.

Oh, and nice to see the traditional slashdot namecalling coming out straight off the bat.

Just one answer. (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43514777)

why shouldn't customers have this right? Shouldn't all this be mentioned in the T&Cs anyway?

"We reserve the right to use your information however we want. Press Agree to acknowledge you accept this and to start using our wonderful service".

It is not reasonable to expect the average Google user to understand what even that admittedly plain statement actually means, mostly because depth and breadth of what constitutes "...your information..." is far from plain, if not deliberately hidden.

If the truth damns you, do you deserve it? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43514427)

It sickens me to see all of these business people who somehow feel entitled to abuse the information of people to their advantage and have no sense of guilt or remorse over it. They get people to sign papers that include open-ended words like "...with our associates" without ever stipulating who those associates were, are or will be.

I always say "no" to those words when I see them because I see them for what it is -- a huge open door for them to insert changes of ALL sorts. Meanwhile, your end of whatever agreement says you have no right to change or do anything and if you have a dispute, you are to give up your right to trial or to sue much of the time.

And now, when people want to know what's what, and what they are doing behind the scenes, we get what? If business is doing something which violates the trust of their customers, why doesn't a customer have a right to know?! How else can a customer know when it's time to take their business elsewhere? These entitled business people want to maintain their rights to screw people over.

Re:If the truth damns you, do you deserve it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514909)

Easy for you to say.
But what if you end up in a situation where you can't afford a house without signing an open ended contract? Or where you cannot get employed (or claim benefits) without doing so?
The rich may always be able to avoid such, but normal people are often forced to sign things under duress. And when a rich guy signs something under duress that makes the contract invalid, but when a poor guy does the same he's shafted.

If it's a contract, you can modify it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515049)

Scrub out the clause you don't like.

Since they make 95%+ of the money from your mortgage repayments, they would be REALLY daft (and therefore not a safe option) lender. If the value of your information is a much larger proportion of that, then they're pretty incompetent and therefore still not a safe option.

lawsuits (5, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year ago | (#43514429)

" avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits"

Well, whether it would be an avalanche or not, would remain to be seen. However, no company should've gotten that broad freedom of data use as they had in the first place, so however late it is, the proper thing to do is to allow individuals to see how companies handle their data and what they do with it.

Regarding lawsuits, them being "afraid" of lawsuits means that they already think there would be reason for lawsuits, which in turn gives a lot of reasons to even more demand for proper data privacy laws. User data handling should be controlled in a way that people wouldn't have reason to sue. Yes, dream on.

Anyway, whatever privacy laws would be better than the current state of do-whatever-you-want and change your terms of service by the weather approach most companies follow.

Re:lawsuits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514539)

I would argue that if they didn't want to report on what data they hold about an individual, they shouldn't have held onto so much data.
 
Not logging in until certificate issue is resolved.
 
L4t3r4lu5

Re:lawsuits (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#43515035)

The real question is - One can always look at a oneliner summary of a law and say, "opposing this is BAD!" - but often when you start picking apart the details of a bill, you'll see that it is the WRONG way to solve a given problem and the law itself is just plain BAD.

Look at Every Child Left Behind - Hey, let's make education in our country better! If anyone opposes it... THINK OF TEH CHILDREN!!!! - That legislation is systematically destroying the education system in this country. Yeah, the oneliner summary looks GREAT - THINK OF TEH CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!! - but the law itself is just plain BAD.

And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514431)

Of course they want the bill dropped. Anything that cuts into their profits is unacceptable to them. Any loss of data they collect is unacceptable to them.

I think I speak for many when I say, screw the tech firms...

Slashdot users like anal sex with dogs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514441)

Downmod me using your linux gentoo boxen on gay butsex host files.

by design. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514453)

Well, avalanche of requests from individuals and costly lawsuits is exactly what we need. Why would the coprorations be complaining about a privacy bill? It's not like they're hiding something.

Re:by design. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43517579)

If they're doing something they don't want anyone to know, maybe they shouldn't be doing it in the first place :-)

Ballsy. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514469)

You almost have to admire the sociopathic chutzpah that it must take for AIG to comment, much less demand to get their way, on just about anything ever again ever...

Re:Ballsy. (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43514537)

The AIG executives pal around with the executives from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley. Of course they have sociopathic chutzpah - this is the group of people who committed 11-figure frauds, got a giant bailout from the US taxpayer, and then worked hard in Washington to ensure that the agencies and regulations proposed to prevent that from recurring either didn't exist, had no funding, etc.

In other words, these are criminals who are upset at the police for catching them, and their solution is to just make sure there aren't any police or that they own the judges.

Re:Ballsy. (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year ago | (#43516195)

A/G != AIG

Re:Ballsy. (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year ago | (#43516219)

Time for new reading glasses...my bad

Re:Ballsy. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43514599)

These people live in their reality bubble.

Which is a GREAT reason to listen to some other people when it comes to these bills. The problem is that these same people are the ones that can funnel hundreds of thousands to lobbyists.

not true (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514475)

As a former employee of a business that tracks a huge amount of personal information, I can tell you that most of these companies are already required to keep these records because of EU privacy records. Our databases were literally divided domestic and foreign for this reason.
So while it would take some effort in moving data and changing internal procedures, the bulk of the work is already done for most of these companies.

fuck silicon valley (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514481)

Can anyone name one good thing to come out of the valley in the last 10 years? all I see is privacy invasion and vapid bullshit with no business model...

I am dead serious, please name one positive innovation to arise from the valley/Bay area tech sector since 2003.

Re:fuck silicon valley (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514581)

The privacy invasion is the business model for the vapid bullshit.

Re:fuck silicon valley (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43517649)

+1 also interested. And no, curated computing doesn't fucking count.

What it's really about (1, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year ago | (#43514489)

Menlo Park-based Facebook and Mountain View-based Google are both in the district represented by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who said he hasn't made up his mind on the bill, but is looking for the "sweet spot" where privacy is protected "but you don't completely shut off Internet commerce. I'm trying to sort it out."

People don't want to pay for Google, Facebook, etc. Therefore, they use advertising to make a profit. What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising. This is true even on sites that use AdSense and such as their primary way of delivering content. If you are getting spied on at the WSJ's paid for site, you have a right to shout about that from the roof tops and bay for blood. If you do it on Google News, you're kidding yourself.

We do need more commerce. A lot more of it and a lot less advertising in our business models.

Re:What it's really about (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514549)

If you look at the list of companies on the letterhead, you'll see that companies you pay(often quite significantly) for, are not signed on to your distinction.

FROM: California Chamber of Commerce
      American Insurance Association
  American International Group
  Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies
  California Bankers Association
  California Cable and Telecommunications Association
  California Grocers Association
  California Land Title Association
  California Manufacturers and Technology Association
    California Retailers Association
  Direct Marketing Association
    Internet Alliance
  NetChoice
  Personal Insurance Federation of California
  State Privacy and Security Coalition, Inc.
  TechAmerica
  TechNet
  R. L. Polk & Co.
  Reed Elsevier, PLC

In fact, the conventional 'free as in adsense' crowd is remarkably absent(or, rather, hiding behind a few industry pressure groups with 'tech' somewhere in the name).

The list is heavily dominated by outfits who are either overt spammers(DMA, looking at you), data-broker creeps(Reed Elsevier), and companies with a strong actuarial interest in everything about you(the insurance and banking entities).

This has essentially nothing to do with ad-supported internet stuff.

What?!? Sarcasm?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514603)

What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising.

Is that meant to be sarcasm or satire?

"Better" advertising?

This is about collecting data - and selling it.

This is about creating profiles of people to not only sell crap - and it's all crap when it comes down to it - but it's a proxy for government's to collect information on people.

You know, just by using a scary letter and sending it to: Google, Medical Information Bureau, Credit Bureaus, credit card companies, ISPs, Cell phone providers, I CAN create a dossier that would make an East German Stazi agent of old jump for joy?!

So much information is collected on us that it creates this lop-sided power over us - the consumer.

Because shit like this HAS happened! [forbes.com] .

And it's just the beginning.

Businesses use it for predatory lending, charging us more just because their algorithms say so, and considering the data available, I can easily discriminate against people that I'm prejudiced against. Illegal? Who gives a shit! Prove it!

So, take your advertising, crap that being sold, and shove it.

I will NOT miss ANY site that has to charge for their content - because it's not worth paying for anyway.

There are no exceptions.

Re:What it's really about (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#43514985)

What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising.

Those are weasel words. Anyone has a moral right to not being tracked by private companies. Therefore, they have a moral right to not be subject to behavioural studies intended to improve advertising effectiveness. Let's not forget that advertising is a form of brainwashing, propaganda designed to induce particular behaviours. It is essentially conspiracy to psychological assault.

Where the companies go wrong is in assuming that tracking people without explicit consent is ok. Where the companies go wrong is in assuming that once given, that consent cannot be taken away again. On the contrary, people are allowed to change their minds.

By all means, companies should if they so wish track people without the ability, IN ANY WAY, to identify a specific individual. And this SHOULD BE VERIFIABLE, either through a formal audit similar to an IRS audit with serious consequences for noncompliance, or through letting any individual at any time demand a comlete list of the information gathered about them together with the option to completely eradicate said information verifiably, or be sued.

Re:What it's really about (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515731)

Then why does Charles Schwab, my paystub service, my bank, and other first-party companies I directly do business with (and pay for) have to install third-party trackers on their web sites?

Re:What it's really about (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515813)

People don't want to pay for Google, Facebook, etc. Therefore, they use advertising to make a profit. What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising.

People have been buying and selling ads for hundreds of years without the need or ability to stalk their customers. There's a weekly newspaper here called the Illinois Times that operates on advertising alone, with the paper being given away fro free, and they have no way of knowing who's reading the paper version.

If your sales rise after placing an ad, it was probably effective. If they don't do anything, it wasn't effective at all. If they drop you probably annoyed your existing customers and need to fire your ad agency.

Just because it's now possible to easily invade my privacy doesn't mean it should be legal to do so.

Bullshit argument (3, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#43516069)

People don't want to pay for Google, Facebook, etc.

I don't even want to USE Google, Facebook, etc. But the thing is that they want to track me anyway. They lurk on almost every website. These companies invade the web. So don't pretend it is my fault. I have to install a zillion firefox plugins to block them. This is not a "it's free, so shut up" situation, but an "it's evil, these corporations must be punished" situation.

Re:What it's really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43516631)

People don't want to pay for Google, Facebook, etc. Therefore, they use advertising to make a profit. What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising.

Many paper newspapers are to a large part, or sometimes even completely, ad-supported. Yet they were apparently able to do this without the ability to track every view of their ad by a reader.

TV has been ad supported for decades, and for most of that time without even the technical ability to track users (with the exception of a few who explicitly opted in). And that obviously worked quite well, too.

So why should it not work on the internet?

Re:What it's really about (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517101)

What the privacy advocates don't want to admit here is that anyone using a free, ad-supported service has no moral right to not have their use evaluated for better advertising.

Absolute horseshit. I have every right in the world (moral and otherwise) to not have any part of my life misused or abused for any reason, let alone for the profit of others. Is it realistic to expect that to actually play out in the real world? I dunno; I suppose there was a time in the American south when a black man had no expectation of being free, completely apart from what the morality of that issue was.

What I really don't understand is how you ignorant bastards ever got the idea that businesses have a right to do what they wish as long as it will make them money. If a business decides to entice people to use their services by making them free, and further decides they'll make money by advertising on said services, that fact itself creates no obligation whatsoever on the part of individuals using that service. If said business decides they cannot make enough money on said services without invading the privacy of the individuals using it, it is not those individuals who have made an improper decision, it is the business.

If you are a business who cannot make money without doing something nefarious, it does not obligate anybody to allow you to do those nefarious things. It may well mean you have screwed up your business model and either need to change it, or make way for someone who can successfully do business without engaging in such behavior.

Hypocrite (5, Interesting)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#43514559)

> A recent letter signed by 15 companies and trade groups — including TechAmerica, which represents Google,

LOL. Google with the same Eric Schmidt who wants Drones banned because he's worried about the invasion of privacy when they fly over your mansion estate?

""You're having a dispute with your neighbour," he hypothesised. "How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?"

Gee I don't know Eric. About the same way I feel when you run your fingers through my hair. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/21/drones-google-eric-schmidt [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Hypocrite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514645)

I think the difference is that adsense is different than drones flying over your head. Adsense is not monitored by anyone, it's automated and the information isn't sold to third party companies. A drone has someone monitoring you most of the time remotely, but ads don't have people monitoring anything. If you feel like it, open an adsense and adwords account to understand what exactly you see. There's virtually nothing of value for you to see but the data behind it that nobody ever sees is what determines the value of an advertisement and targets it appropriately. Personally I don't really give a damn about this because this data cannot be used (at least for now) against me in the court of law or to find / keep a job. If big brother were to do it then it would be used for different reasons and that's what Eric Schmidt is against; P2P monitoring.

Re:Hypocrite (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514663)

Hey! Be nice. Our good buddy Eric has a 100% consistent and hypocrisy-free commitment to the principle that surveillance technology should never be allowed into the hands of people who he might conceivably be vulnerable to...

Street-view cars and omnipresent online surveillance are OK; because those things are crazy expensive to operate usefully, and because if you don't want your house photographed you can just buy a larger plot of land, a higher fence, and more rentacops! Civilian drones, though, some bored kid with a couple hundred bucks could buzz his Betters for nothing more than the cost of electricity to recharge his little model airplane, and we just can't have that.

Re:Hypocrite (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#43514685)

> A recent letter signed by 15 companies and trade groups — including TechAmerica, which represents Google, LOL. Google with the same Eric Schmidt who wants Drones banned because he's worried about the invasion of privacy when they fly over your mansion estate? ""You're having a dispute with your neighbour," he hypothesised. "How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?" Gee I don't know Eric. About the same way I feel when you run your fingers through my hair. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/21/drones-google-eric-schmidt [guardian.co.uk]

That's different though. The drones issue is about _his_ privacy, not yours.

And I stand by my previous statement concerning drones. I'm happy for it to be legal for my neighbor or government to fly a drone over my property, if it's also legal for me to disable it and then take possession of it when it crashes onto my property, and for my neighbor/government to be responsible for anything it breaks when it crashes.

California based (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514575)

Would this encourage these big companies to move out of California if this bill passes? Are they using that as leverage? Probably so. Probably very effective. Probably so effective...

Re:California based (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514681)

Would this encourage these big companies to move out of California if this bill passes? Are they using that as leverage? Probably so. Probably very effective. Probably so effective...

With all the companies and people wanting out of California for its supposed "socialist" type government you'd think the State would be a non entity on the global scale. And yet California is the 9th-10th greatest economy in the world. They must be doing something right. So go California. Make progressive legislation and fuck those asshole corporations that want nothing more than to rape citizens without and risk.

Re:California based (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514723)

Many of the companies aren't even based in California.

Re:California based (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43514729)

Would this encourage these big companies to move out of California if this bill passes? Are they using that as leverage? Probably so. Probably very effective. Probably so effective...

Unless the legislators are total morons who know nothing about history, the law will be written to target people who do business in California, or do business with Californians, rather than businesses in California.

Jurisidiction-shopping is trival(which is why small British protectorates with sunny climates and...sparse... tax codes tend to have some extremely profitable PO boxes that somehow end up booking all the revenues that are definitely not generated by actual operations elsewhere); but that doesn't change the fact that you have to go where the customers are.

For the most part, all the multinationals have already jurisdiction-shopped everything that they can(just as Washington about how Microsoft mysteriously makes all its money in Nevada, despite having almost nobody there...); but they tend to do little more than bluster against laws of the form 'if you do business here, here's how you'll have to play'; because you have to do business where the customers are(and because the laws, no matter how apocalyptic the bluster, tend to be pretty toothless). California, in particular, is Not Exactly Small as a market, and has pretty good luck getting its way.

What ingenuous bullshit - these are tech companies (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43514629)

They complain it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals

How hard would it be to set up a website where, on submitting details only you (should) know, you get back on email with the details of who has what information on you, and how it is being used. Would take someone like Google about a day and peanuts for a budget? Since these guys have already banded together to form 'TechAmerica', I'm sure this excellent umbrella organisation would be just the place to host the service :)

as well as costly lawsuits

Why? Because they are doing something illegal with our data?

Re:What ingenuous bullshit - these are tech compan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514739)

Why? Because they are doing something illegal with our data?

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

Good advice Eric. Maybe you guys at Google should take that advice?

There is a coming backlash (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515043)

There is a coming backlash to the ubiquitous collection of personal data. There has to be. The sharing of information for monetization purposes is alarming. Some of this data is harmless, some of it would ruin lives. What with technology leaps quietly occurring in the background, it is simply a matter of time before websites are able to track you from your desktop to your mobile, even if you are not logged into any services. There is going to be a big breach of data. It has to happen because companies are careless with data. The want the money associated with your data, but not the security processes that naturally have to protect it.

It's 2013. I don't have a Facebook account, a Google account, a LinkedIn account. I think companies that track and score people based on their supposed "clout" are stupid, polarizing, and serve to create a digital apartheid. Personal data should be personal. Cookie and other data should be first party only. If a company needs metrics, let them do it for themselves. If they cannot, they have a bad business model.

Point: personal data should be expensive for the companies to have. Breaches should cost millions and should be a federal offense, especially if SSNs are involved. There should be no appeals. You lose data, have a breach, you bought the farm.

Color me cynical (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43515599)

The trend in the last 15 years or so has been "if it's good for a corporation's profits, it's good for America." Rep. Lowenthal is either going to see her political adversaries get a fat campaign check or the anti-privacy coalition will make her an offer she can't refuse. I've seen too many of the staunches defenders of the public go 180 when the cash starts moving.

Re:Color me cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43515857)

I would, in my lifetime, dearly love to see elected officials proscribed by law from receiving any contributions from anyone other than a private individual, and that donation must not be more than 2000 per campaign. Make it a federal offense to tamper with the law. If you want to run for office and stay there, do so on your own dime.

Re:Color me cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43516521)

Say buddy, pass a law that benefits my business and, gee, there might be an opening on the board of directors, coincidentally, when you retire from office.

Contribution limits might be a first step, but it doesn't get bribes, er, money out of the equation.

Re:Color me cynical (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43516749)

$2000 per election, not campaign. After all there are 535 people in Congress.

I don't have a problem with a company or union being able to spend $2000 either. It's when the money gets big that the problems start.

Lest we forget it isn't only companies that try to buy congress. After all unions invented the PAC in response to the Taft-Hartley Act.

Re:Color me cynical (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43516061)

The trend in the last 15 years or so has been "if it's good for a corporation's profits, it's good for America."

Just fifteen years?

Re:Color me cynical (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43516579)

Charles E. Wilson was the head of General Motors when it was America's largest corporation. In 1952 Wilson told a Senate subcommittee, "What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice-versa." Wilson later served as United States Secretary of Defense under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

So it's 60 years, MINIMUM.

This is why I refuse to tie in social services (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#43516019)

with my business and website. I have dropped my Google+ page which showed in the search results and will not be using Facebook/Twitter and etc... Also deicde to either go with Vimeo $200 per year or pay OVH $59 for a server to host my product/how to videos instead of Youtube.

I have the products that my constomers want and I don't want ME my BUSINESS and my CUSTOMERS to be someone elses PRODUCT.

When citizens do it,... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43516111)

...it is called stalking, and is a crime. When corporations do it, it is called a business model. If corporations are people, they are committing the crime of stalking and should be held accountable for it.

Where's an army of lawyers when you need one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43516941)

They complain it would open up businesses to an avalanche of requests from individuals as well as costly lawsuits

And, rightly so.. Of course all the f>cknut spy corporations are lining up for this one.

You go girl, ahem, Ms Assemblywoman!

2005 California privacy law? (1)

rlh100 (695725) | about a year ago | (#43517199)

The article quotes TechAmerica's director of California government affairs Robert Callahan stated that a 2005 California privacy law already enables consumers to ask what personal information companies are using.

Does anyone know what this law is and how to use it?

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