California's Consumer Data Law Isn't Working Too Well

The “Shine the Light” law passed in California in 2005 requires all businesses to tell customers who they sell their private data to, and to provide a no-cost way to remove your name, address, and phone number from their lists. Unfortunately, it’s not being followed by more than half of the companies tested in a new report: “The California Public Interest Research Group found only one third of the survey participants received responses from companies consistent with the law.”

Included in the report’s recommendations are making companies provide an opt-out on their Web site and getting an “opt-in” approval from customers before their information is shared; moves opposed by small businesses.

“Typical California; Opportunity to add more and more layers of government and regulation at a time when we still have not seen this particular law fully tested,” said John Kabateck from the National Federation of Independent Business.

Nice work there, Kabateck—in one sentence, you managed to come across as a smarmy caricature of a real person. Maybe that’s why you’re not afraid of having your identity bought and sold by the highest bidder?
“Consumer group warns of ID theft” []
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Buran says:

    If you don’t like it, don’t do business there.

  2. Munsoned says:

    I wonder how much SPAM, telemarketing calls, and junk advertising Kabateck gets in an average week… ?

  3. goodkitty says:

    That’s right… just like mandatory binding arbitration. If you don’t like it, don’t do business with people who use it… which is pretty much everyone. So go live in a cave, all you non-corporate malcontents.

  4. Buran says:

    @goodkitty: One state out of 50 isn’t “everyone”. There’s PLENTY of other choices.

  5. iamme99 says:

    I discovered a few months back that when I subscribed to Smithsonian magazine, that they automatically sell your info to others. You have to call them to get yourself removed. Sheese.

  6. savdavid says:

    In Bush’s Amurica, following the law is not in fashion. Triple that for consumer protection laws.

  7. EtherealStrife says:

    Kabateck worked (@ $90k/year) for the California bureaucracy he so loathes. A job earned through campaign contributions.


  8. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Oooo! @goodkitty and @savdavid have given me the ultimate idea!!!
    Next time you have to sign a contract that includes ‘mandatory binding arbitration’ just do as dubya does and use a SIGNING STATEMENT!!! (i.e., the ‘arbitration’ clause does not apply to me)

  9. Sidecutter says:

    @Buran: So, a business isn’t doing what they’re required by LAW to do, and you have no way to avoid it because all the other businesses are making the same error. Your solution is to instead do business with a company in another state that isn’t even required to follow the unfollowed law in the first place, and if probably disrespecting you the same way anyhow.

    I see no problem there.

  10. magus_melchior says:

    @doctor_cos: Dude, that’s several degrees of genius.

  11. asherchang2 says:

    @Buran: Companies in all states do this crap, it’s just that California tried to do something about it.