Andrew Yang, former 2020 US presidential candidate, will be taking on a new role as chair of the advisory board for the Californians for Consumer Privacy, the organisation which is pushing for the passage of Proposition 24. Prop. 24 aims to rewrite the current California Consumer Privacy Act to add more protections for sensitive data and create a regulatory agency to manage the new privacy regime. It would also eliminate the 30-day window that companies have to correct problems before incurring legal repercussions, and make it difficult for the Legislature to roll back its protections in the future. The involvement of a high-profile person such as Yang could help to raise awareness for the campaign and generate more political support.
However, consumer and civil rights groups are split over the measure. Common Sense Media and Consumer Watchdog support the initiative, arguing that it will strengthen the law and shield it from future industry attempts to weaken it.
But other organizations such as the ACLU say that it would erode existing privacy rights. They point out that the new law actually benefits big tech and corporate interests with legal loopholes, and would disproportionately affect marginalized communities. The ACLU also emphasizes how the law would put the burden of privacy on consumers, as they would be responsible for filling out forms to request said privacy measures.
Yang says: “The California Consumer Privacy Act was a major win for the state of California and the country, but we have to do more. Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, and tech corporations are already lining up to undermine the CCPA. It’s up to us to protect consumers and strengthen our privacy rights to global standards. Our data should be ours no matter what platforms and apps we use. That’s why I hope California voters will join me in supporting Prop 24 by voting YES in November.”