IVN News

California Leads Country in Online Privacy with Right to Know Act of 2013

Paid Advertisement
Right to Know Act of 2013
iQoncept / Shutterstock.com


In an unprecedented push for citizen protections, specifically online privacy rights, California Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal introduced the “Right to Know Act of 2013” (AB 1291) earlier this year. While it was introduced in February, it has received national coverage recently as it advances to California’s Judiciary Committee with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

With Internet giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google exponentially expanding their database of knowledge, it has become increasingly important to know what rights we have, and don’t have, in the digital age. Facebook, for example, has collected the most extensive set of data online, selling it to marketing companies like Datalogix unbeknownst to users.

Surprisingly, however, the United States trails most European countries when it comes to securing rights to online privacy. As summarized by the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, AB 1291 would require:

“Any business that retains a customer’s personal information, as defined, or discloses that information to a third party, to provide at no charge, within 30 days of the customer’s specified request, a copy of that information to the customer as well as the names and contact information for all third parties with which the business has shared the information during the previous 12 months, regardless of any business relationship with the customer.”

Simply put, the law would allow users to see all the information a company has about them, allowing them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to continue using the company.

This is not the first time California has spearheaded efforts for online privacy. California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, effective July 2004, requires operators of websites collecting password information to post a distinct online privacy policy based on a set of requirements. Applicable to both California and non-California based websites, this law paved the way for increased privacy protections.

Speaking to the importance of the California Right to Know Act, the EFF explains that the Right to Know Act would bring California law up to speed with the digital age, allowing users to track the spread of information from their online interactions:

“It’s not just about knowing what a company is sharing, it’s about knowing what a company is storing. The new proposal would require companies to make available, free of charge, access to or a copy of the customer’s personal information.”

While it seems like a simple concept, the idea that online users have a right to know what information companies store, the Right to Know Act of 2013 would be the first of its kind in the United States. The law would give companies 30 days to comply with any requests; failure to do so would constitute an injury to the person(s) requesting the information.

In a February press release, Lowenthal echoes the need for modernized laws in California, explaining, “As technology advances, so should our consumer protections.”

Would you support a Right to Know Act of 2013 in your state? 

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.

Learn More About IVN

Dennis Mesecher
Dennis Mesecher

Yes, if there is to be free enterprise and business then there also needs to be the opportunity for consumers to choose the best and trusted merchants.

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

All the bills look reasonable. And none are inconsistent with a "well regulated militia". They should be passed.

Michael Higham
Michael Higham

I'm surprised that there isn't already a 'right to know' type law. This seems very much like a common sense law, not sure if compliance with the law would a cost to business. If there is a cost, I imagine it would be negligible.

Mary Raz
Mary Raz

It's necessary. The time has come.

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier

even if the right to know is passed, i hope there are provisions in it that help to promote awareness of consumer rights. if people don't know about their rights, companies are sure to take advantage

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Anti-Gun Legislators Vote to Destroy Hunting and the Second Amendment in California

Earlier this week, several anti-gun bills and one extreme anti-hunting bill passed in their respective committees and will be next referred to their respective Committee on Appropriations. Hearing dates have not been set in those committees and your NRA will inform you of those dates when they become available.

red x Assembly Bill 711 (Rendon) BANS the use of all lead ammunition for hunting. AB 711 passed in the state Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife by a 9 to 5 vote.

red x Assembly Bill 231 (Ting) expands the law for Criminal Storage of Firearms and child access. AB 231 passed in the state Assembly Committee on Public Safety by a 5 to 2 vote.

The following bills all passed in the state Senate Committee on Public Safety by a 5 to 2 vote.

The following Senators opposed the below anti-gun bills: Senators: Joel Anderson and Steve Knight. The following Senators supported the below anti-gun bills: Senator Loni Hancock, Marty Block, Kevin de Leon, Carol Liu and Darrell Steinberg.

red x Senate Bill 47 (Yee) expands the definition of “assault weapons” to BAN the future sale of rifles that have been designed/sold and are equipped to use the “bullet button” or similar device, requires NEW “assault weapon” registration of ALL those semi-auto rifles that are currently possessed to retain legal possession in the future, and subjects these firearms to all other “assault weapons” restrictions.

red x Senate Bill 53 (DeLeon) requires persons to buy an annual ammunition purchase permit, requires the registration and thumbprint of the purchaser for each ammunition purchase, and bans online and mail order sales of ammunition to Californians.

Senate Bill 108 (Yee) requires mandatory locked storage of firearms within a locked house regardless of whether anyone is present.

red x Senate Bill 293 (DeSaulnier) BANS the sale of conventional handguns, if the state Department of Justice approves the sale of “Owner Authorized – Smart” handgun technology.

red x Senate Bill 299 (DeSaulnier) turns victims of firearm theft into criminals for failing to report the loss of their firearm within 48 hours.

red x Senate Bill 374 (Steinberg) expands the definition of "assault weapons" to BAN the future transfer of all semi-auto rifles that accept detachable magazines (including those chambered for rimfire cartridges) and virtually all semi-auto rifles with fixed magazines (primarily those chambered for rimfire cartridges), requires NEW "assault weapon" registration, requires registration of ALL those semi-auto rifles that are currently possessed to retain legal possession in the future, and subjects these firearms to all other "assault weapon" restrictions.

red x Senate Bill 396 (Hancock) BANS the POSSESSION of any magazine with a capacity to accept more than ten cartridges, including currently legally possessed "grandfathered large capacity” magazines.

red x Senate Bill 567 (Jackson) expands the definition of shotgun for “short-barreled shotguns” that are illegal to own.

red x Senate Bill 755 (Wolk) expands the list of persons prohibited from owning a firearm.

Yesterday, anti-gun Assembly Bill 169 (Dickinson), which BANS the sale of handguns not on the state-approved roster, passed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 12 to 5 vote. AB 169 will now be sent to the full Assembly for consideration.

This fight is not over. Continue to call AND e-mail your state Senator and Assemblyman. They MUST hear from you TODAY urging them to OPPOSE these anti-gun bills listed above. Don't forget to forward this alert to your family, friends and fellow gun owners throughout California and urge them to do the same. We need all of California gun owners and Second Amendment supporters to continually call AND e-mail their state legislators. The California Legislature needs to know that this egregious attack against law-abiding citizens needs to stop.

You can write your representative here urging them to OPPOSE the anti-gun bills listed above. Please feel free to also copy and paste all the bill information to ensure your state legislators know which bills to OPPOSE.

You can also send a letter to all elected officials in California here. Please feel free to copy and paste all the bill information above to ensure the elected officials of California know which bills to OPPOSE.

You can also find information about anti-gun and pro-gun legislation in California at www.calnra.com.

Help NRA Get Californians Connected With NRA’s California Resources

Help the NRA expand its California network to keep all pro-Second Amendment Californians better informed about legislation in Congress, Sacramento, and locally that threatens your right to keep and bear arms, as well as developments in Second Amendment litigation and regulatory enforcement actions. Please forward this email to your family, friends and fellow gun owners, whether they belong to the NRA or not! Encourage them to sign up for California NRA’s Stayed Informed e-mails here. And follow NRA through these additional connections:


NRA-ILA, NRA-ILA California, NRA – ILA Legal Update, CalNRA.com, CRPA.org, CalGunLaws.com, HuntforTruth.org

Facebook Pages: NRA’s Facebook page, CalGunLaws.com Facebook page, NRA Members' Councils' Facebook page, Hunt for Truth Facebook page

LinkedIn: NRA’s LinkedIn page, YouTube: NRA YouTube, Twitter: NRA Twitter, NRA-ILA Twitter, CalNRATwitter, CalGunLaws Twitter

The NRA recognizes that California is one of the most active Second Amendment "battleground states," so for decades NRA has devoted substantial resources to fighting for the right to keep and bear arms for Californians. The NRA has full-time legislative advocates in its Sacramento office fighting ill-conceived gun ban proposals. NRA coordinates a statewide campaign to fight ill-conceived local gun bans and regulations. And NRA has been litigating cases in California courts to promote the right to self-defense and the Second Amendment for many years. NRA’s California legal team continues to work pro-actively to strike down ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, and to protect the Second Amendment rights of California firearms owners. For information about NRA’s litigation efforts, see www.nraila.org/legal/litigation.aspx

To donate to help support the NRA’s California efforts, please click here.

Chad Peace
Chad Peace

This is going to be the next big civil rights issue. All of us put so much information online, a lot of these companies probably know more information about us than we know about ourselves, lol.