California just passed the toughest data privacy bill in the US

Tokyo shows the privacy setting of the social networking app Facebook

A bill to provide sweeping Internet privacy protections for consumers is being rushed through the Legislature, with a vote scheduled for today despite supporters' "grave concerns" about the measure.

The new law gives consumers the right to know what information these big tech companies are collecting, as well as why they're collecting it and where it's being shared.

The California bill signed by Gov. The bill's co-author said lawmakers may need to fine-tune the law down the line, but they had been forced to pass something now because of the prospect that voters would approve an initiative that couldn't easily be changed.

The California Consumer Privacy Act has gotten the support of most privacy advocates, but some have pointed out that there are a few loopholes in the law that could cause problems.

The law also broadens the definition of what is considered personal, adding extra protections to consumers who are concerned about their privacy rights.

Under the bill, consumers could ask companies what personal data they've collected, why it was collected and what categories of third parties have received it. Consumers could ask companies to delete their information or that they refrain from selling it. He said he would pull the measure from the ballot if the bill is signed into law by the Thursday deadline to withdraw initiatives.

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The California Chamber of Commerce and other opponents, however, said they preferred AB375 to the ballot measure because of the possibility the Legislature could refine it before it takes effect in 2020. Facebook found itself in hot water when it was revealed that personal information of up to 87 million people worldwide was exposed.

The bill passing into law will concern off numerous California-based tech firms who objected to elements of the bill. Chau said he had not heard of the list but was willing to consider limited changes, particularly bill language authorizing litigation.

The state Senate passed the bill 36-0 on Thursday and it now heads to the state Assembly.

"Data regulation policy is complex and impacts every sector of the economy, including the internet industry", Internet Association Vice President of State Government Affairs Robert Callahan said in a statement. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) to complain during a committee hearing earlier in the week that the ballot process had been "abused by one special interest" that had now insulated itself from future taxes.

"This is a huge step forward for California", State Senator Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat, said during a livestreamed press conference Thursday. Legislators have suggested they could make changes with future bills, something that would be far more hard if a ballot initiative passed. Dubbed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375), it was brought forward to defeat a tougher privacy-focused ballot that had gained more than 600,000 signatures from California residents.

Executives at Google had warned that the measure could have unintended consequences but have not said what those might be. "On the other hand, it will go a long way toward putting control in the hands of consumers. Their finances would be more constrained if the measure were to pass", Ryan Miller, a fiscal and policy analyst at the LAO, said before the vote.

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