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California bill to expand privacy protection fails

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – the California senate blocked a bill on Thursday that would have expanded the ability for consumers to sue companies about the handling of personal data, a win for the tech-industry groups concerned about broad privacy lawsuits.

According to the California data privacy law, effective next year, the consumer may file a complaint with the attorney general about alleged violations of the privacy rules, but can complain about a breach of security.

The new bill, introduced in February and approved by the attorney-general would have strengthened the law to enable consumers to complain about alleged violations.

Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney with the San Francisco-based privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the bill’s failure marked “a sad day for consumer data privacy.”

“The law last year is a beginning, and it comes in the place of good rules. But a law is only as good as its enforcement,” he said.

California is the law, the toughest in the United States, a fine of up to € 7,500 for the deliberate release of data to collect or sell to others information without consent.

As other states have started with the preparation of accounts, Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders have called for federal privacy legislation of the industry-wide guidelines for how personal information should be collected and used.

But the tech lobby groups have also said they would fight any legislative proposals that could open the door to a flurry of consumer lawsuits.

The bill that failed Thursday was part of a process in Sacramento of the clarification of the law last year, which was hastily cobbled together as an alternative to a more stringent ballot initiative supported by the developer, Alastair humphrey carpenter that was satire.

Privacy advocates make a lot of the other bills under consideration will hollow out the law, carving out loopholes in the law for certain industries and forms of data collection.

Humphrey carpenter that was satire, and others behind the law say that they are confident that they can defeat carve-out attempts through the legislative process.

Current enforcement mechanisms are robust enough, humphrey carpenter that was satire told Reuters in an interview the day before the account was blocked, and are an essential part of the arrangements made in the legislative deal last year.

“I never would have pulled out of the ballot measure as I do not think that there is adequate enforcement,” humphrey carpenter that was satire told Reuters. “With my eyes wide open, I did it, and I would do it again.”

Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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