When it comes to data policy, “as California goes, so goes the nation” is a common refrain in the Nation’s Capital. This is not to say that all of America generally agrees with what the California Legislature has to say. Rather, it’s a simple fact that the Internet doesn’t stop at state lines. So, if a state as big and as central to the Internet economy as California passes a law regulating what companies can do with data “in California,” every American business is immediately affected.
The good news: DMA and its partners today stopped a California bill that would have cut off the entire Data-Driven Marketing Economy at the knees.
Introduced in February 2014, California S.B. 1348 – also known as the “data broker bill” – would have unduly burdened the responsible exchange of consumer data and severely damaged the Data-Driven Marketing Economy by requiring on-demand review and permanent deletion of personal information acquired from third parties.
In other words, if this bill had become law, companies conducting business in California that sell and offer for sale to a third party the personal information of any Californian resident would have been required to allow an individual to review and correct his or her personal information. As stated in several of DMA’s letters of opposition to this bill, this provision would have exposed an individual’s personal information to fraudsters and imposters posing as the subject individual.
Even without this new risk to consumers, the bill’s expansive definition of “data broker” would have negatively impacted virtually every business and nonprofit that retains any consumer information for responsible marketing or fundraising purposes by imposing costly and unnecessary compliance burdens. This incredibly broad definition was also problematic because it would have impeded the responsible collection and sharing of marketing data so essential to California’s own Information economy and the small businesses that drive it.
For months, DMA has worked non-stop with its member organizations, interested stakeholders and partners including in coalition with the California Chamber of Commerce, to oppose S.B. 1348, citing unworkable provisions for companies and requirements that would harm consumers by unnecessarily exposing their personal information to fraudsters. DMA’s Vice President of State Affairs Chris Oswald has been on the ground in Sacramento over the past two weeks fighting to keep this ill-conceived bill from becoming a devastating law.
Today, thanks to DMA’s tireless efforts, California’s “data broker” bill is dead this legislative session, and data-driven marketers can breathe a sigh of relief…for now.