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California Becomes First State to Strengthen Consumer Data Privacy Protections

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was signed into law on June 28, 2018, guaranteeing new data privacy rights for the state’s 40 million consumers, with kids under 16 winning extra protections.

The legislation, AB 375, was authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), and Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), and was sponsored by Common Sense.

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Common Sense sponsors the bill as part of broader effort to improve digital well-being for kids and families.

Although several states are expected to consider privacy reforms in 2019, California becomes the first state to respond to a widespread series of scandals involving data breaches of millions of adults and kids alike.

“The state that pioneered the tech revolution is now, rightly, a pioneer in consumer privacy safeguards, and we expect many additional states to follow suit,” said James P. Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense. “Today was a huge win and gives consumer privacy advocates a blueprint for success. We look forward to working together with lawmakers across the nation to ensure robust data privacy protections for all Americans.”

The introduced bill, called the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, includes:

  • Notice: Guarantees consumers the right to know what data is being collected
  • Consent: Guarantees consumers the right to opt out of that data collection
  • Deletion: Guarantees consumers the right to delete all their private data
  • Access: Guarantees consumers the rights to access, download or transfer their data
  • Kids’ Rights: Kids under 16 must opt-in to consent to the sale of their data
  • Enforcement: The Attorney General can levy fines, consumers can sue for breaches

Common Sense sponsored the bill as part of its advocacy for tech reforms that will lead to improved digital well-being of kids and families. Advocates in California have vowed to further strengthen the bill next year, and to work with other legislatures to guarantee similar privacy rights for kids and families in every state.

Steyer added, “The personal information and private data of Americans are routinely collected and used without our knowledge and our well-being, as well as the health of our democracy, have suffered as a result. This is the right first step toward ensuring that Americans have strong data privacy protections.”


For more information contact: Lisa Cohen – – 310-395-2544

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