Friday, October 19, 2007

The Ultimate Cyberthief Gift: CA's Veto

As I mentioned here a few days back when discussing the fate of the four privacy protection bills that made it to the Governor's desk, AB 779 was the most important from a consumer perspective. Unfortunately, due to heavy lobbying by the retail industry, the Governor vetoed what was an overwhelmigly popular bill.

To better understand the possible ramifications of this veto, and the gift that the Governor has given identity thieves, check out this article by Evan Schuman,'s retail technology editor.

Evan writes:

Wondering what to get that cyberthief on your list who seems to have already taken everything? California's data breach bill veto is just the thing and it's in time for the holidays.


The nation's most populated state—which had already been the leader of data breach notification laws—was the best shot of keeping the movement alive. In other words, if this could be made into law anywhere, it would be California. But a lot more was at stake than merely getting a second state to fall in. California's proposed law specified that California residents would be covered.

This is as opposed to merely saying that it only impacted stores in California.By making the law cover the 37 million residents of California (remember that the total U.S. population is barely 300 million), it posed a legal challenge for retailers.


Is the bill necessarily dead? Not quite. The bill had sailed through both the California legislature and the senate with overwhelming percentages, more than enough to over-ride the governor's veto. But political realities in California make that unlikely but not impossible.


...the bill couldn't re-emerge in any form until Jan. 7, which likely means a decision no sooner than November.In the meantime, though, data thieves can rest easy and celebrate. They might even buy a round or two for the celebrating retail lobbyists at the other end of the bar. They finally have something they can agree on: mandatory security rules are a bad thing.

Click here to read the article in its entirety...

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