CAPITOL WATCH: Privacy, Data Security Movement and E-Personation in California


Privacy, Data Security Movement and E-Personation in California

WSJ Report Triggers Congressional Privacy Inquiry

After  a Wall Street Journal investigation into the use of tracking technology at the top 50 websites revealed that the sites placed “an average of 64 pieces of tracking technology – like cookies – onto users’ computers” which may not have been fully disclosed in their privacy policies;  Rep. Ed Markey(D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) who are the co-chairs of the House Privacy Caucus sent letters to fifteen of the companies listed expressing deep concern over the report.  Market and Barton also asked the companies to respond to a detailed list of questions before the House moves forward on comprehensive privacy legislation.

Senate Commerce Committee Joins Data Security Sweepstakes
Senators Commerce Committee Chairman Rockefeller (D-WV) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Pryor (D-AR) have introduced the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010 (S. 3752) making it the 5th data security bill currently pending in the Senate (including H.R. 2221 which passed the House in 2009).  The bills with links to their text and summary are listed below.

Passed by House

  • HR 2221  Data Accountability and Trust Act Text/Summary

Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

  • S. 139  Data Breach Notification Act Text/Summary
  • S. 1490 Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2009Text/Summary

Pending in Senate Banking Committee

Pending in Senate Commerce Committee

  • S 3752 Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010 Text/Summary

California Legislation Criminalizing “E-Personation” Raises First Amendment Concerns

SB 1411,which currently awaiting signature by Governor Schwarzenegger, would update existing criminal laws to address impersonating a third party on the internet without their consent and with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person.  First Amendment advocates, however, have raised concerns that it would criminalize parodies and other political speech.