SB 46 strengthens computer account privacy for consumers (signed into law)

Update: Governor Brown signed SB 46 on September 27.

Consumer Federation of California supports SB 46, which will strengthen computer account privacy protections for consumers by requiring the state and businesses operating in California to create additional safeguards.

Today, most people use a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desk computer to conduct personal business and shop online, instead of running errands in person.

Although technology is convenient, it can be risky for a person even with high-security software, which is why the law requires client or customer notification if an online business has reason to believe an individual’s personal information, including unencrypted social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, medical information, health insurance information or specific financial account information, such as credit card numbers with security codes, has been stolen. Unfortunately, such notification occurs well after a breach of personal information and too late to prevent or minimize theft and damages.

SB 46 will provide real-time notification when there is reason to believe someone may have obtained an individual’s password, username, or answers to security questions so the client or customer can immediately change their access information and prevent or limit financial losses and theft of personal data.

Supporters of SB 46 include:

  • Consumer Federation of California
  • Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
  • California Department of Justice