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Landmark California Consumer Privacy Act Would Have Let People Block Facebook’s Sharing of Private Data, Consumer Watchdog says

LOS ANGELES – Facebook’s latest revealed privacy invasion could have been thwarted if the landmark California Consumer Privacy Act were in effect and the strong state law must not be preempted by weak federal privacy laws, Consumer Watchdog said today.

For years, the New York Times reported this week, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it disclosed. Companies like Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify got special access to Facebook users’ data without anyone else knowing, the Times said.

Massive Marriott Data Breach Shows Need for California Consumer Privacy Act

LOS ANGELES -- Marriott International’s massive data breach in which the personal information of up to 500 million guests could have been stolen shows the value of the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act, Consumer Watchdog said today. 

Businesses are already working to weaken the law, the strongest privacy law in the nation which takes effect in 2020. California Legislators must resist those efforts, the nonprofit nonpartisan public interest group said.

Google+ Data Breach Shows Internet Giant Cannot Be Trusted to Police Its Platform

LOS ANGELES – The data breach of Google’s social network, Google+, that the company hid since last March, shows that the Internet Giant cannot be trusted to police its own platforms, Consumer Watchdog said today.

Consumer Watchdog first pointed out Google’s failure to police its social network in 2013 when it released a seven-month study that found the company had allowed Google+ to become a virtual playground for online predators with explicit sexual content.

Privacy Bill’s Progress in California Senate is Victory for Consumers, Consumer Watchdog Says

LOS ANGELES – The 5-0 vote today by the California Senate’s Judiciary Committee to move a compromise privacy bill forward was a significant step toward ensuring Californian’s privacy, Consumer Watchdog said.

The bill, AB 375, may not be as strong as the California Consumer Privacy Act ballot initiative it is intended to replace, but for the first time gives consumers substantial control over their personal information and provides a right of private action for people to bring a suit if there is a data breach, the nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group said.

Consumer Watchdog Calls on Congress to Act to Regulate Facebook and Protect Online Privacy

LOS ANGELES – Consumer Watchdog today called on Congress to enact legislation that would protect consumers’ online privacy and not merely facilitate Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest public-relations-driven apology tour.

“Facebook has a longtime record of violating privacy, making a show of apologizing, and then going forward to invade privacy again,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy and Technology Project director. “Hearings aren’t enough, unless Congress simply wants to be an enabler for Zuckerberg’s continued abuses.”

Consumer Groups to Zuckerberg: Stop Electioneering; Let Jimmy Carter Monitor Facebook

SANTA MONICA, CA --- A coalition of privacy and consumer groups today warned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the integrity of elections, in this country and internationally, is at stake, unless Facebook stops electioneering and retains Jimmy Carter to audit Facebook’s influence on elections.