Could California beat federal lawmakers to the punch when it comes to regulating data brokers?

Although federal lawmakers have spent months investigating, issuing reports, and discussing possible data broker related legislation, the California Senate recently approved a bill requiring online data brokers who sell consumer information to provide an opt-out mechanism and consumer access to the data.

S.B. 1348 would give California consumers the right to review the information owned by a data broker and request that it be permanently removed within 10 days. Once removed, the information could not be reposted or sold to a third party.

The proposal passed the Senate in a 24-to-8 vote and now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.

The proposed law – which would cover data collected as of Jan. 1, 2015 – includes a private right of action with damages of $1,000 per violation, plus attorneys’ fees.

Backed by privacy rights groups, the bill faces opposition from entities such as the California Chamber of Commerce and the Direct Marketing Association.

To read S.B. 1348, click here

Why it matters: Data brokers have been in the spotlight and have faced potential regulation for several months. After conducting a yearlong investigation, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) released a report, in which he claimed to be “revolted” by some of the industry’s practices. A second report from the Government Accountability Office recently recommended that federal legislation be passed to create baseline privacy rules for data collection, sale, and use, which has led many to speculate that regulation of the industry is a matter of when, not if. But with no actual movement by Congress, California could step in with its own law.