Internet privacy laws in California

Glenn W. Peterson

The internet has been tricky for lawmakers because of its inherent nature. It is difficult to police something so large and versatile. The technological aspects only make this more difficult. However, the federal government and some local governments have worked to put laws in place to protect U.S. internet users, including those in California.

Recently, though, some moves by the federal government have led to questions about internet privacy. According to The Washington Post, Congress recently stopped legislation left over from the Obama administration that would have protected user privacy. These regulations prevented internet service providers from selling and storing user browser data. It was rolled back due to concerns from ISPs that the law was too broad and restricted marketing abilities and data. After the regulations were repealed, many states and localities began drafting their own regulations to help protect internet users who felt their privacy was being violated.

The Verge reported California lawmakers are pushing a state law that is similar to the one that used to be in place in the federal government offering internet privacy protection to users. The bill still must go through several committees, be voted on and then signed into law by the governor. It is an uphill battle that may not be won. However, those who feel their rights were violated by the repealing of the federal law are strongly backing this new bill. On the other side, large companies, such as AT&T, are mounting a defensive attack, using the same logic used to kill the federal law, by saying the regulations are too restrictive.