Voters cast their ballots at Sherwood Elementary School in Salinas on Tuesday. Artwork by Jose Ortiz & # 39; Hijos del Sol Arts Productions served as the background. (Photo: Eduardo Cuevas)

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of four articles highlighting notable nominations. The other proposals that The Californian covered were 17, 21, and 22.

Sentence 24 is a bit confusing.

Does it increase privacy for internet users or ultimately worsen the situation? At first, there doesn't seem to be a straightforward, easily digestible answer.

To begin the story, we need to go back to 2018 when the California Consumer Privacy Act was passed and the California Privacy Protection Agency was established. The law came into effect in January.

Proposition 24, also known as the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act 2020, would expand the 2018 law.

The election initiative was launched by Alastair Mactaggart, a real estate developer.

He called the 2018 law "a great foundation," according to the Los Angeles Times, but wants that proposal to take things further. According to proponents of the proposal like Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog, this would protect the existing law from legislative attack.

"We feel it is important to go further and give people the right to say no to use sensitive information like race, gender and sexual orientation," said Court.

This law would oblige consumers to opt out so that their data is not collected, and not to sign up. Critics say this could be a problem, along with the fact that ISPs could potentially use this measure to charge more consumers who opt out.

"Unfortunately, Prop 24 doesn't help people who are already struggling to protect their privacy because it enforces this notion that people should be burdened for their privacy," said Jacob Snow of the ACLU. "It also uses a framework that forces people to do the job themselves by filling out forms."

Snow and the ACLU believe Prop 24 weakens current California data protection law in a number of ways, and has many exceptions that allow businesses to benefit from people's information.

"We have seen immigrants targeting immigrants by the federal government using information they bought from private data brokers to gather information about people's locations. The simple fact is, data breaches put people at risk," he said . "Privacy in California is an inalienable human right. So the law should protect privacy for everyone, not just rich people. "

The Court hopes that this new proposal can do some good.

He claims that the idea that Internet Service Providers could charge more for those who choose to protect their privacy is wrong.

"This is the strongest law in America," said Court. "Some say it should go further, but it is the strictest law in America and we must have the right to say no to sharing and selling our information."

So the opponents and supporters disagree on what the law would mean. The text says the following:

“1) A business shall not discriminate against a consumer for exercising any of the consumer's rights under this Title, including, but not limited to … (B) charging different prices or tariffs for goods or services, including through the use of Discounts or other benefits or penalties. "

This seems to imply that a company can't charge more for someone who opts out, right? However, the text continues with the following:

“A business can provide financial incentives, including paying consumers in compensation for collecting personal information, selling or sharing personal information, or storing personal information. A business may also offer the consumer a different price, rate, level, or quality of goods or services if that price or difference is reasonably related to the value that the consumer's data offers to the business. "

All in all, it seems that Prop 24 wants to protect consumer data, but it has many loopholes that would allow companies to collect data and even use incentives to get consumers to agree to their data being sold.

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