back to article California’s privacy warriors are back – and this time they want to take their fight all the way to the ballot box

The small group of policy wonks that forced California’s legislature to rush through privacy legislation two years ago are back – and this time they want a ballot. Advocacy group Californians for Consumer Privacy, which started the push for a state-wide data privacy law, announced this week that it has the signatures it needs …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... will it be a secret ballot?

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Secret Ballot?

      For some definition of "Secret" that includes "but of course your spouse, boss, union shop-steward, local sheriff, and standing committees of whatever party gerrymandered and voter-suppressed their way into office last time will all have a look-in".

      The secret ballot (as opposed to, say ,sending one state's touch-screen results through a processing center owned by a major contributor to one party, in another state) is nearly dead in the U.S.

      When one state was recently forced to allow in-person voting (if they refused to postpone the election), they closed all but (IIRC) 5 polling stations out of over 100 in a city likely to vote "the wrong way".

      Remember, It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Covid19 vs Privacy false dichotomy coming

    @"As such, we confidently predict a massive campaign funded by tech companies against the ballot measure and possibly a second ballot measure aimed at muddying the waters that is promoted as a better alternative but which provides no additional protections."

    Did you see the "face masks = Burkhas = Liberal Plot to introduce Sharia law" Facebook memes going around? Trying to stop people wearing facemasks, the thing that has been so effective in ending Covid19 around the world, somehow is evil and cannot be used in the USA? Obviously trying to keep the infection ongoing to keep the deaths ongoing.

    That's what happens when the interests of Joe Public clash with the interests of monied lobbyists.

    So, I would expect some sort of Covid19 / Privacy mashup. i.e. the lobbyists would present it as a false dichotomy between privacy and death.

    "We want you to know whose got Covid19 TO SAVE YOUR CHILDRENS LIFE" picture of children in playground, some of whom are glitching red, cut to picture of your child glitching to a corpse, " but this so called privacy bill blocks us! Vote no on ...."

  3. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    I really hope this happens, and that the Usual Suspects are forced into being more open and honest about what they have on you and what they use it for. If it does happen then it'll be the thin end of the wedge, and other States/Countries will be able to say that they want what California are getting.

    It won't destroy their business model cos so many will not care, but those of us that do will be able to go to the Usual Suspects every few months and tell them to delete everything that they have on us.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quelle surprise...

    They backed down and left the door ajar for politicians and the tech lobby to screw with this last time, yet seem surprised that the tech lobby are trying their hardest to screw with it...

    Be interesting to see how this plays out.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Quelle surprise...

      I doubt they're surprised at all. Maybe the tech lobby are surprised because if they couldn't see this one coming they wouldn't have watered it down as much last time.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Quelle surprise...

      from the article: The argument made was that passing the law through the traditional process gave greater flexibility because it could be adjusted and amended later to fit in with real-world requirements.

      This means: if the ballot measure passes, the (arguably one of the most corrupt in the world) California legislature won't be able to "screw with it" easily based on the demands of the high-dollar-contributing tech companies that ABUSE our privacy, so OF COURSE the POLITICIANS will jump in to PRESERVE _THEIR_ POWER as well as that of their CONTRIBUTORS.

      Ain't it typical?

      icon, because, facepalm

  5. Mike 16 Silver badge

    One of the most corrupt?

    Seriously? Have you _met_ the world? CA has had its ups and downs, but the very existence of the voter referendum has put _something_ of a leash on the inherent tendencies of the average career politician.

    Not that it matters, because whatever CA does will be nullified by "improved" federal legislation overriding it. Written by some ALEC equivalent and passed by a legislature well ahead of CA in the race for "most corrupt".

  6. Grinning Bandicoot

    It matters not whether the initiative passes because the outcome will be the same. The indication is in the establishment of an agency not responsible to those under its aegis. The P.U.C. was established in 1914 to regulate utilities and through the years moved to protection of these utilities. When deregulation was on tap they created a job-guarranteeing set of regulations. When a complaint is filed the response is 'have you contacted them about the problem' so no functional use to the plebes and the utility pockets the money. The state insurance commission is no different. What will be done, however, will be a regulatory fee be established on all communication modes [I think I'll call it a Stamp Tax] to cover the agency costs.

    Taxifornia has gone to the mail in ballot to ensure a proper election so again the outcome will be determined behind closed doors.

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