California continues to be among the most aggressive states in proposing legislation restricting disclosure of personal identifying information. Earlier this month, California Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D) introduced SB 501, known as the Social Networking Privacy Act, which would require social networking websites to remove certain personal identifying information (PII) within 96 hours of the user’s request. SB 501 specifically defines personal identifying information to mean a person’s name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, social security number, employee identification number, mother’s maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, or credit card number. A social networking site would have to remove all such PII or face a steep civil penalty, up to $10,000 for each knowing violation. The Bill allows for parents to make the removal request on behalf of children who are younger than 18.
SB 501 follows on the heels of related legislation in the California Assembly, the “Right to Know Act of 2013,” that requires businesses to disclose which personal information it retains and/or discloses to third parties upon the consumer’s request.