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Continuing the groundswell of support for Do-Not-Track across the nation, California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) introduced legislation that would force Internet companies doing business in California to allow consumers to opt out of online monitoring. If passed, California would be the first state to have a do-not-track law. Lowenthal is hoping that passage in democratically controlled California could act as a “stimulus to the rest of the nation.”

The proposed bill broadly applies to all connected devices, likely requiring software updates to many existing smart phones, computers, tablets, and Internet TVs. It empowers the state attorney general to issue regulation requiring that websites give users a simple method to block tracking. The bill allows individuals and the state attorney general to target violations with civil suits.
The bill is backed by a number of advocacy groups, including Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearing House, Common Sense Media, and the California Consumer Federation. However, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a digital marketing industry group, criticized that a strict reading of the legislation, SB761, would prevent websites from collecting innocuous information that could hurt the user experience. IAB also believes that the bill could be an unconstitutional restriction on interstate commerce.