Governor Newsom Signs a Number of Key Consumer Protection Legislation Sponsored by the Consumer Federation of California

Late Friday night California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law five bills sponsored by the Consumer Federation of California that help consumers avoid scams, junk fees, and enhance their rights over data that their in-vehicle cameras may capture.

The five bills are:

1. SB 296 (Dodd) – Enhances consumer protections by requiring that consumers be informed at the time of purchase if an in-cabin camera is in a car, and prohibits video recordings from that camera from being used for advertising or sold to third parties. This is a common sense policy that makes it clear that consumers should not have to take extraordinary action to prevent their in-vehicle video recordings from being taken or used without their permission or knowledge. 

2. Senate Bill 401 (Limón and Atkins) – Will regulate and cap fees for so-called “crypto kiosks.” This new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.

3. SB 666 (Min) – Restricts certain fees in financing products commonly used by small businesses, especially those who don’t have a relationship with a traditional financing entity. The new law will ban certain fees related to ACH transactions, pay-off statements, and other up-front fees that often deceive small businesses. It also limits collateral monitoring fees to only those scenarios where the small business is more than 90 days delinquent. Finally, SB 666 limits certain fees related to business filings to no more than 150% of the cost of the filing, since in some cases a filing costing just a few dollars is marked up to a small business by an outrageous amount. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2024.

4. AB 39 (Grayson) – Will license and regulate crypto companies under California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), providing key consumer protections while giving industry clarity on how to operate safely. This new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.

5. AB 537 (Berman) – Makes it illegal for lodging establishments to advertise or offer a room rate that does not include all fees and taxes required. This bill enhances California’s False Advertising law and will apply to lodging establishments, so-called “consolidator” sites such as Expedia or Priceline, and alternatives such as Airbnb or VRBO. AB 537 increases transparency and helps the more than 80% of travelers who do their travel research and comparison shopping online. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2024.

About the Consumer Federation of California: The Consumer Federation of California is a nonprofit advocacy organization that, since 1960, has been a powerful voice for consumer rights. CFC campaigns for laws and regulations that place consumer protection ahead of corporate profit, either in front of the California Legislature or before state agencies in support of consumer regulations.