In California, One Privacy Bill Dies, While Another Passes

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Californias state legislative session ended on Aug. 31 with one major privacy bill being killed and another heading toward the governors desk.

The highly controversial Senate Bill 773, a financial privacy bill sponsored by State Senator Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, and Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael, died in the final hours of the session with a vote of 36-34. Forty-one votes were needed for passage.

Insurers were concerned about the bills definition of an affiliate and the opt-out provision it required. For companies considered non-affiliates, an opt-in would have been required.

However, another privacy bill, Assembly Bill 2297, was passed by a vote of 47-28. That bill addresses privacy policies on Web sites. It requires those policies to be posted and that notification be given if there is a breach of security on a Web site and confidential consumer information is accessed.

S.B. 773 was opposed by both life and property-casualty groups including the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the Alliance of American Insurers, Downers Grove, Ill. It was supported by consumer groups and credit unions represented by the California Credit Union League, Rancho Cucamonga.

CCUL supported an opt-out provision for third parties that would make it easier for small financial institutions to market products.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, September 9, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.