Apr 042013
 April 4, 2013  Posted by  Business, Laws

Antone Gonsalves reports that the  California Chamber of Commerce and TechAmerica have squared off against the ACLU of Northern California and EFF over AB 1291, a bill that would give consumers the right to see all the information a company holds about them and to find out what other companies – specifically – the data are shared with.

On Monday, lawmakers amended the bill, introduced in February by Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, to increase its chances of getting through the Legislature. To opponents, the changes were not enough.

“TechAmerica has some obvious high-level concerns with the bill,” said Robert Callahan, director of state government affairs for the industry trade group. “In addition to several of its provisions being unworkable from a compliance standpoint for tech companies, the new language specifically states that any violation of the law will constitute injury to consumer, opening the door wide open for abusive lawsuits.

Read more on CSO.

Callahan’s argument could apply to any law that incorporates statutory awards.  Of course businesses hate the thought, but it would go far towards addressing the issue that consumers have typically not been able to collect anything despite being harmed by breaches or nonconsensual data-sharing. At least now, they’d get something if a company did not respond in a timely fashion with disclosure of what information the company holds about them and whom they share it with.

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