California - Oppose AB 375 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

California - Oppose AB 375

State Action

September 7, 2017

The California Senate
1315 10th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Senator,

I urge you to oppose AB 375, which would impose restrictions on consumer privacy, in order to avoid a patchwork of confusing privacy laws across the country that could hinder innovation and broadband infrastructure development in California communities.

State-level efforts such as AB 375 are in direct response to the passage in the U.S. Senate of S. J. Res. 34, which provided for the disapproval of the heavy-handed privacy rules, which covered only internet service providers, approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on October 26, 2016. That federal legislation, rather than singling out one industry for special treatment, simply restored the status quo for privacy regulations that for decades covered all actors on the internet equally.

Indeed, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Acting Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen issued a joint statement on March 1, 2017 noting that they would work together to ensure a consistent approach in regulating internet privacy.  They agreed that jurisdiction over privacy and data security related to broadband providers should go back to the FTC, and that every actor “in the online space should be subject to the same rules, enforced by the same agency.”  They added, “The federal government shouldn’t favor one set of companies over another ... we will work together to establish a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world.  Such a uniform approach is in the best interests of consumers and has a long track record of success.”

California should avoid wasting taxpayer funds pursuing a patchwork of consumer internet privacy laws that will only serve to undermine the federal laws currently enforced by both the FTC and the FCC.  I urge you to oppose efforts to include privacy enforcement language in your upcoming deliberations and to focus instead on reducing barriers to broadband infrastructure deployment in order to bridge the digital divide.


Thomas A. Schatz


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