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California Internet Privacy Bill Defeated Again

June 3, 2011

California SB242 Fails for Second TimeBy Gilbert Falso :: 11:39 AM

Lawmakers in California again rejected an Internet privacy bill after heavy lobbying from Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites that objected to more government regulations.

SB242 fell two votes short of the majority needed on Thursday. The bill, which would have required websites to set personal information to private by default, also failed a week earlier.

Senate Democrat Ellen Corbett had argued the bill was needed as protection against identity theft and to give parents better control over their children’s information online.

In a statement released yesterday, Corbett said, “I feel terrible for children, their parents and the many others who are at risk of being victims of identity theft or other criminal activity because their private information falls into the wrong hands. It is clear to me that everyone, and especially children, who use social networking sites needs their personal information better protected.”

Under the terms of the bill, sites who failed to respond to a user’s information removal request within 96 hours would have faced a $10,000 fine. Corbett said Thursday that she would be open to dropping that fine to $1,000.

The bill was rejected 19-17.

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