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CA Broadband ISP Privacy Bill Gives Consumers Control of Personal Data

AB 375 (Chau) fills protection gap after Congress repeals FCC Regulations. Establishes ASK ME FIRST principle for use and sharing of private information. (June 19, 2017)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer advocacy groups joined Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) today to announce AB 375, the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act, to ensure that consumers gain control over the use and sharing of personal information when connecting to the internet through a Broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The legislation is largely modeled on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband ISP privacy rules enacted in 2016 and repealed in April 2017 by Congress and the Trump Administration. A public opinion poll conducted at the time found that 75% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats wanted Trump to veto the congressional repeal, and allow the FCC privacy regulations to remain in effect.

"The idea that a person should have some say about how their internet service provider can use, share or sell their personal information is not a controversial question for everyday consumers it is common sense," said Assemblymember Chau, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection. "California is going to restore what Washington stripped away." 

"Consumers pay an ISP to give us a connection to the internet. That price should not include forfeiting our privacy," stated Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California (CFC). "AB 375 establishes the 'Ask Me First' principle before ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Charter Communications can maximize their profits by trampling on our privacy."

AB 375 broadly prohibits the use, sale or sharing of customer personally identifiable information beyond service delivery and other necessary functions, unless the consumer opts-in. It also prohibits pay-for-privacy practices or penalties for customers who don't consent to unnecessary uses, and requires providers to protect customer information through reasonable security procedures. The bill allows ISPs freedom to use customer information in limited and appropriate ways.

CFC is joined by 24 other consumer, privacy, labor and public interest organizations in endorsing AB 375, including Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, CALPIRG, The Utility Reform Network, CA Alliance for Retired Americans, CWA District 9, and Color of Change. Learn more at 


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SOURCE Consumer Federation of California

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