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Deadline Looming For Social Networking Privacy Bill

May 31, 2011

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An Internet privacy bill that's strongly opposed by Facebook, Google and other social networking sites will have one more chance to pass out of the California state Senate this week. The bill was granted "reconsideration," which means Senator Ellen Corbett has until the end of the week to try to gather the five more votes needed for passage.

"This really is something the citizens of California are clamoring for; more privacy and respect for their private information. And I think this is the wave of the future."

The Social Networking Privacy Act would require Internet sites to remove a user's personal information within 96 hours when asked, and require new users be able to make their own privacy settings when they first sign up for the site.

Senator Corbett says her bill has the support of law enforcement.

"Pretty much everybody in law enforcement that cares about these issues, identity theft and predators following children and having inappropriate contacts, tells me that these are important issues."

The measure also would require a website to remove personal information of users under the age of 18 if a parent requests the removal.

Senator Corbett says she believes she will gather enough votes to pass the Social Networking Privacy Act.

"I think that, as members continue to hear from their constituents and from people all over the state of California that people really do care about their privacy, they may come aboard."

Opponents say the measure would stifle the growing Internet industry and that most companies already go to great lengths to protect an individual's privacy.

More information about SB 242 is at 1.usa.gov/iYqreq

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA