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Brown signs Internet security bills

The governor approves laws on notification of security breaches and Web tracking, and limits on collection of data from public transit fare cards.

September 27, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
  • California Gov. Jerry Brown signed 26 bills Friday.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed 26 bills Friday. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO — Californians who use the Internet will get new protection against identity theft and tracking of their personal data under a cluster of bills signed into law Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

One measure requires state agencies and businesses that operate websites to notify people when security information, including their user names and passwords, has been breached.

"Many consumers now conduct their day-to-day personal business online, including banking and paying bills, which creates more opportunities for sophisticated cybercriminals to access and steal their personal information," said Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro), who introduced the measure, SB 46.

Separate legislation by Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose) requires local government agencies to notify residents if a data breach has occurred that could compromise their personal data. That bill is AB 1149.

The governor also signed a measure mandating that websites tell users if tracking technology is being employed to collect information about their online activities.

Some Web browsers offer "do not track" setting, but sites aren't legally required to comply with such a request.

The new law, by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) will let Internet users know if a particular site or mobile app is honoring the "do not track" request. The California attorney general's office supported the bill, AB 370.

Brown also approved a measure aimed at guarding the privacy of public transit riders who pay with electronic fare cards, such as the Transit Access Pass (TAP) card in Los Angeles County.

The measure limits the use of personal information, including travel data that is collected each time a card is swiped. The personal data cannot be sold under the terms of AB 179 by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima).

In all, the governor signed 26 bills Friday, including one that makes California the first state to require recycling of old mattresses.

"I applaud the efforts of the authors in creating a program to lessen impacts to California landfills, reduce costs to local governments and remove blight in rural and inner-city neighborhoods," Brown said in a statement.

He said more details need to be worked out with the bill's author, Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). The recycling program will be operated by an industry group funded by a still-to-be-determined consumer fee on the purchase of new mattresses, for example. The bill is SB 254.

The governor also gave a boost to proposals by the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors basketball teams for new sports arenas.

He signed a bill making it harder to sue to block the Sacramento project, as well as streamlining environmental regulations for development near transit stations in cities throughout California.

The measure promotes "smart urban growth, which is a victory for the economy, for the environment, and for California," said Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), author of SB 743.

The governor also OKd a law by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that authorizes the State Lands Commission to approve a proposal for private financing of an arena for the Warriors in San Francisco. That bill is AB 1273.

Under another bill Brown signed, the regulated growing and processing of industrial hemp in California will be permitted if it is legalized first by the federal government. Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is behind that bill, SB 566.

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