Prop 24: no recommendation on changing California’s privacy laws

While the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of privacy, the California Constitution guarantees an explicit right to privacy right in Article I, Section 1. And while U.S. privacy law is often alarmingly weak, California’s privacy law rivals those of Europe for its strength and careful drafting.

Prop 24 makes a number of changes to California privacy laws, many of which (thankfully) can later be tweaked by California’s legislature. Prop 24 was put on the ballot by Alastair McTaggart, the rich political donor who used the initiative system to pressure our state legislature into passing such strong privacy laws in 2018 in the first place.

Originally, we thought Prop 24 was a simple matter of further strengthening state privacy laws. But it gives us pause that the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a long-time proponent of privacy on the internet, refused to endorse Prop 24, calling it “a mixed bag of partial steps backwards and forwards.” Among other things, they worry the way Prop 24 is drafted would further encourage “pay for privacy” schemes.

Ultimately, it’s up to you, the citizen legislator, to sort through this mixed bag and decide if you like it well enough to vote it into law, or would rather wait to see what else the state legislature (and Alistair McTaggart) come up with in the future.

NEXT: Prop 25: YES to ending cash bail in California