May 122014
 May 12, 2014  Posted by  Laws, Online, U.S.

A bill to protect Californians from being stalked and harassed when their personal information is posted on commercial websites passed the California State Senate today.

SB 1348 by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) gives individuals increased rights over their personal information that is posted on commercial internet web sites, and limits how it is bought, sold, and traded to unregulated third-parties.

“It is important that we help Californians protect the privacy of their personal information,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “The idea for this bill was brought to me by a constituent who had been harassed by someone who stalked her online information. Too often unregulated data brokers are buying, selling, and trading the personal information of Californians—raising privacy and safety concerns. SB 1348 allows individuals to maintain their constitutional right to personal privacy by giving them the option to opt-out of their personal information being displayed or sold online.”

Research from the Pew Center indicates that 68% of US internet users feel that current laws are not sufficient to protect people’s privacy online, and that 86% of users have taken steps to mask their digital footprint. Additionally, 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed using information available online.  This bill would take small steps towards establishing a citizen’s fundamental right to privacy in the modern digital world.

This bill requires an online data broker who sells personal information to third parties to allow California residents to opt-out of the sale and public posting of their personal information upon request. SB 1348 requires a data broker to remove an individual’s personal information from their internet website, upon request by the individual. Additionally, the bill prohibits the data broker from re-posting the individual’s personal information or transferring the information to another business entity.

SOURCE:  California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier

Related: SB 1348

h/t, @InsidePrivacy

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