Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Privacy Bills to Watch in California

Now that the California Legislative session is in full swing, I'd like to report on the multitude of privacy bills (including one that we are sponsoring) making there way through the legislature. As usual, California is setting the standard for tough privacy protections, the question is whether the Governor will sign those that make it to his desk:

AB 1779 (Jones) Personal Information: Security Breaches

This bill would require substitute notice of security breach notifications to be submitted to the Office of Privacy Protection. California lacks any centralized reporting process for security breaches. It is therefore difficult for state policy makers to assess or improve upon our state security breach laws. The state may be missing important criminal activity patterns or consumer practices, the analysis of which could help establish better protections for Californians. AB 1779 addresses this need by making the Office of Privacy Protection a repository for security breach notifications.

Status: AB 1779 was read for the first time on the Senate floor on April 22, and was sent on to Committee on RLS. for assignment.

AB 3011 (Huffman) Telephone Records: Subscriber Information

AB 3011 (a CFC sponsored bill) would clarify existing law which prohibits the disclosure of a person's residential landline calling records to apply to cell phone consumers as well. Existing law, Public Utilities Code §2891, prohibits the disclosure of a residential phone subscriber's calling information without the person's consent. However, this law only applies to residential subscribers. It does not currently cover cell phone consumers. Section 2891 was added to the Public Utilities Code in 1986, before the proliferation of cell phones. AB 3011 simply amends Public Utilities Code §2891 to delete the word "residential." In so doing, AB 3011 would clearly establish that the calling records and privacy of cell phone customers have the same protections as residential landline customers.

Status: AB 3011 will be in the Utilities and Commerce Commerce Committee on April 28.

Other Bills to keep an eye on include:

SB 1096 (Calderon) Medical Information - We oppose this bill because it would allow the sharing of confidential patient drug prescription information without the patient's consent.

Status: SB 1096 will be in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 29.

AB 2059 (Nunez) Mailed Solicitations: Disclosures - a bill that deals with "lead cards" and is supported by the CFC.

Status: AB 2059 will be heard on the Assembly Floor on April 24.

AB 2606 (Emmerson) Bad Check Diversion Program - CFC opposes this bill because the proposed program encourages unscrupulous collection practices, increases harassment of innocent consumers and dilutes oversight and accountability.

Status: AB 2606 will be heard on the Assembly Floor on April 24.

No comments: