A proposed ballot measure that would require businesses to provide annual disclosures to consumers on the collection or sale of personal information has been filed with the California Attorney General. If 365,880 signatures are obtained, it may appear on the November 2018 ballot.

The initiative is based on California’s “Shine the Light Law” which sets forth the procedures companies must follow in disclosing, upon request of a consumer, what information has been shared with third parties.  The law also contains specific language to be included in online privacy policies.

The ballot initiative would require businesses that collect and/or sell personal information to disclose that information to consumers, annually, upon request.  In addition, consumers could opt out from having their information sold or shared.

The initiative also includes exact language businesses would have to display on their websites and at a conspicuous spot near the entrance to stores.  Specifically, businesses would be required to provide a clear and conspicuous link on the business’s web home page entitled “Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Or Share it for Commercial Purposes.”  The link must lead to a stand-alone screen, window or web page, which must include only the following text:

“We sell consumers’ personal information, or share it for commercial purposes. California law allows you to tell us not to sell your personal information, or share it for commercial purposes, and we are required to offer the same goods or services at the same price, regardless of whether or not you permit us to sell your personal information, or share it for commercial purpose. If you check the box below, we will not sell your personal information or share it for commercial purposes.”

The proposed ballot measure includes several exemptions including cooperating with law enforcement, health information that is covered by HIPAA, and the sale of consumer report information.

We will continue to monitor this proposal and provide updates.