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Calif. league-backed data security bill passes assembly
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (4/24/08)--The California Credit Union League and state consumers scored a legislative victory with the passage of Assembly Bill 1779 to protect data and credit card information from identity theft. The California Assembly approved the bill on a 75-0 bipartisan vote. “With unopposed passage through two committees and the Assembly floor, it’s quite obvious the California Legislature is in agreement that AB 1779 is the ticket to further protecting Californians from future data security breaches,” said Bill Cheney, league president/CEO. “We are confident the bill will be received in similar fashion by legislators in the Senate.” The bill, introduced by Sacramento Assemblyman Dave Jones, seeks to ensure that California retailers and government agencies protect consumers’ sensitive financial data and take responsibility for any unauthorized access of that information. The bill represents a framework for discussions that began in 2007 when the league and Jones joined forces to send AB 779 to the governor’s desk. AB 779 was vetoed last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That bill was opposed by the California Retailers Association, the California Grocers Association, and the California Chamber of Commerce, said Keri Bailey, league director of state government affairs. “What the governor asked us to do is to work with the opponents of the bill to deal with their concerns,” Bailey said. The opposition’s concerns are mostly about how the data protection standards are developed, and about the liability issue--the reimbursement provisions of the bill, Bailey told News Now. “Most of the discussion with the opposition has been centered on the reimbursement part of the bill,” Bailey explained. “For instance, they want to know if a merchant is meeting all the protection standards, does it have the same liability as those merchants who are not even trying to meet them?” The California league is going through “one more round with the governor’s office” with input from the bill’s opposing parties, Bailey said. The legislation then moves on to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing, where it is slated to be considered before the fiscal deadline of Aug. 31.
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