How California is building the nation’s first privacy police

Source: David McCabe, N.Y.Times (Paid Registration)

Ashkan Soltani faces the daunting task of overseeing the first government body in the United States with the sole job of regulating how Google, Facebook, Amazon and other companies collect and use data from millions of people. The office, the California Privacy Protection Agency, will be a more than 30-person group with a $10 million annual budget to help enforce the state’s privacy law, which is among the most stringent in the country.

The agency’s first task will be to turn the state privacy law, which is broad, into detailed regulations for industry. That runs the gamut, from how data is used for targeted ads to more novel areas of the law, like how algorithms use personal information to make automated decisions. The law also demands that businesses adhere to the privacy preferences that online users set in their browsers; it is up to the agency to decide what that means in practice.

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