California lawmakers defeat bill on Internet privacy


Author: Judy Lin
Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
Sacramento, CA, United States

California lawmakers on June 2 rejected an Internet privacy bill for a second time after heavy lobbying from Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites that objected to more state regulation.

The state Senate rejected SB242, which fell two votes short of the majority needed. The bill, which would have required websites to automatically set personal information to private, also failed a week earlier. Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) had pitched the bill as necessary protection against identity theft and to give parents better control over their children's information online. Companies had argued that Corbett's bill would have forced consumers to make blanket privacy decisions before they even use a service. Most online sites now let users decide to reveal or conceal personal information about what they are doing at any particular time. Technology firms opposed to the bill reported spending $148,218 on lobbyists this year, though not all their reports with the secretary of state's office specifically listed Corbett's bill as a target. That does not include the $682,834 spent by the California Chamber of Commerce, which lobbies on many bills.

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