Senator Gaines & Assemblyman Gatto Announce Privacy & Consumer Protection Act

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Less than twenty-four hours after the first hearing of the new Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) and Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), Chairman of the committee, announced their California Privacy & Consumer Protection Act – a bi-partisan package of legislation that will begin to address protecting individual liberties, consumers and personal privacy while promoting technological advancement that can benefit society for generations to come.

The bill package includes the following:

Driver Data Privacy (Senate Bill 206)
Prohibits the California Air Resources Board or any other public agency from gathering any data from a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system, such as location or driving speed, other than what is currently required for California’s smog program.

No Drones Over Schools (Senate Bill 271)
To safeguard our children from kidnapping, harassment, stalking or a host of other potential injuries, this bill will prohibit the use of drones over school grounds, except in public safety emergencies.

Cyber Carjacking (To Be Introduced)
Cars are rolling computers.  Data breaches are becoming more common and hacks becoming more sophisticated, and it’s only a matter of time before cyber criminals are infiltrating cars’ operating systems or actually remotely commandeering the vehicles themselves.  This bill will make “Cyber Carjacking” a felony and create a special misdemeanor for unauthorized access of a vehicle’s computer system or data.

Body Camera Policy (To Be Introduced)
Law enforcement use of body cameras is a new and important tool for ensuring accuracy, fairness, transparency and accountability in our criminal justice system.  This bill will mandate that any law enforcement agency that uses body cameras is required to develop a written policy and to make that policy easily and readily available to the public.

Residential Privacy Protection (To Be Introduced)
Mandates that body camera footage taken inside of private homes where there is no arrest is not public data and is not subject to the California Public Records Act.  This policy will prevent people from using body camera data to snoop in law-abiding citizens’ homes and will be a bulwark against illegal searches.

Newborn Blood Screening (Assembly Bill 170)
Requires the California Department of Public Health to strengthen the notice requirements when dried blood spot (DBS) samples are taken from newborns to screen for diseases.  It would require that parents be provided information regarding the retention of DBS samples in California’s Biobank Program, including the parents’ right to request the destruction of their child’s DBS.  The bill would further permit children to request the destruction of their DBS when they reach adulthood.

Wiki Privacy Legislation (Assembly Bill 83)
This is a vehicle for the product of Assemblyman Gatto’s wiki page to crowd source a piece of legislation. This is the second year he has opened up the bill drafting process to the public via the internet in an effort to foster transparence in the bill drafting process. Last year’s wiki bill was limited to the topic of probate. With Assemblyman Gatto’s new chairmanship of the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, he thought it would be appropriate to use the internet to solicit ideas on legislation on privacy.

Televisions Recording Private Conversations (Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection) (To Be Introduced)
In the wake of news that some televisions are being sold in California with the capability of recording people’s conversations in their homes and transmitting them to a third-party, this legislation would prohibit the sale of televisions that record conversations when voice recognition features are not in use in California.

Reasonably Prudent Encryption (To Be Introduced)
Establishing a minimum standard for the encryption of truly personal information (clarified from the existing broad existing statutory definition).

Cyber Exploitation (To Be Introduced)
This measure builds on legislation that made it a misdemeanor to intentionally and without consent distribute an image of another identifiable person’s intimate body parts or depicting the person engaged in one of several specified sexual acts, without consent. The measure does two things:
·       Amends the Penal Code to allow a search warrant to be issued for this crime
·       Amends the Penal Code to allow for prosecutorial jurisdiction. This follows the jurisdiction pattern on identity theft, allowing the district attorney’s office to bring an action against an individual in the jurisdiction in which the individual whose image was published resides.  If passed, jurisdiction will include:

*   The county in which the offense occurred
*   The county in which the victim resided at the time the offense was committed
*   the county in which the intimate image was used for an illegal purpose

“Our lives are 100-percent online now, from baby pictures to social security numbers, PIN numbers and medical records – all targets for potential abuse,” said Senator Gaines. “Our privacy is under assault from a million directions and we need to build a fortress to protect that data. This package of bills is a framework to begin protecting our citizens from the unique challenges of the data economy.”

“Privacy is not a partisan issue. Californians on all sides of the spectrum want to see greater protections from both government excesses and corporate carelessness. This sensible legislation will hopefully be the beginning of more consumer friendly laws,” said Assemblyman Gatto.