SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Privacy advocates have sounded the alarm that Proposition 24 expands the power of big business to charge consumers higher fees to stop the selling or sharing of their confidential information. Sections 125(a)(2) & (3) (b) (1) (2) and (3) of Prop 24 authorize online businesses to charge more for privacy protection, and to provide inferior services to consumers who do not pay extra fees for privacy.

Richard Holober, President, Consumer Federation of California stated, “Hidden in Proposition 24’s 52 pages is language authorizing tech corporations to charge more to consumers to assert their right to privacy. Those who don’t pay more could get service downgrades, bad connections, slower downloads and more pop up ads. It’s an electronic version of freeway express lanes for the wealthy and traffic jams for everyone else.”      

Consumer, privacy and public policy advocates are calling out this unfair and discriminatory component of Prop 24:

  • “Prop 24 allows companies to use and share your personal information without getting your permission – and then charge more when you ask for privacy.” Jacob Snow, ACLU of Northern California
  • “Prop 24 expands the ability, which already exists in the CCPA, for businesses to provide inferior service for consumers who don’t pay to protect their confidential information, and superior service for Californians who do pay.” League of Women Voters of California
  • “CPRA [Prop 24] could have ensured that consumers can’t be charged higher prices or discriminated against simply for exercising their privacy rights… The CPRA [Prop 24] misses the mark on both counts.”  Maureen Mahoney, Consumer Reports
  • “Prop 24 would expand ‘pay for privacy’ schemes. Specifically, the initiative would exempt “loyalty clubs” from the CCPA’s existing limit on businesses charging different prices to consumers who exercise their privacy rights. See Sec. 125(a)(3). This change would allow a business to withhold a discount from a consumer, unless the consumer lets the business harvest granular data about their shopping habits, and then profit on disclosure of that data to other businesses….Unfortunately, pay-for-privacy schemes pressure all Californians to surrender their privacy rights. Worse, because of our society’s glaring economic inequalities, these schemes will unjustly lead to a society of privacy “haves” and “have-nots.”  Electronic Frontiers Foundation,
  • “Proposition 24 asks you to vote for what is in effect a privacy poll tax.” Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance
  • “We urge voters to reject Proposition 24… It appears that Prop 24 would allow businesses to create new ‘pay for privacy’ schemes. Tech companies could downgrade service to those who cannot or will not pay an extra fee. This is unfair to low-income consumers, seniors and people of color who are already struggling to afford essential high-speed internet connections while enduring a pandemic and massive unemployment.” Linda Sherry, Consumer Action.

“AT&T test-marketed charging broadband internet customers an extra $29 per month to protect the privacy of their personal data. It withdrew the privacy surcharge for the moment, following a firestorm of criticism. Privacy is a fundamental fight of the people. Voters should reject Prop 24 and tell big tech that privacy is not a luxury item for the wealthy,” Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of California stated. 

SOURCE Californians for Real Privacy – No on Proposition 24

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