California bill forces companies to inform consumers what they know about them
A new bill recently proposed in California may soon help customers with their privacy and demand that companies reveal what sensitive information they have on them.
The bill was submitted in late February of this year by California Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal and is called the ‘Right to Know Act of 2013'. It only began to gather more attention after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) brought more attention to it via the Internet.
This new bill also known as, 'AB1291' would require companies who keep data on a person, such as their shopping habits, where they surf on the Internet, and other such details on them be made available to that person upon written request. The bill is very similar to a current California law that requires companies that sell user information to other companies to also make that information available to the user.
The current California privacy protection law was passed mostly for junk mail advertisers and such, but the new bill goes after any company that stores information on consumers and particularly with Internet-based companies. If the bill passes the law would require a company to cough up all of the cookie tracking data, personal information like dates of birth and household income and even user-generated images and text records.
The EFF has given the bill a big promotion at their main website directing readers to learn more and encouraging California residents to support the legislation. The EFF says this bill will ensure that more people know how companies gather information on them and share that information.