Amid a national reckoning over the perils of social media, a looming question has been whether — and how — the US government might respond. A series of hearings in Congress raised the specter of onerous new rules without ever quite convincing anyone that regulation was imminent. Amid deep partisan disagreements, the worst that Facebook, Google, and Twitter have had to contend with some sharply worded questions. But all the way across the country, a different story was playing out. A single wealthy man, suddenly radicalized on the subject of data privacy, began consulting with experts in the hopes of crafting strong, state-level privacy protections. His name is Alistair Mactaggart, and he succeeded. Here’s how my colleague Colin Lecher described California’s new data privacy law at the time: The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is set to dramatically change how businesses handle data in the most populous state. Companies that store large amounts of personal information — including major players like Google and Facebook — will be required to disclose the types of data they collect, as well as allow consumers to opt out of having their data sold. The legislation was a very-slightly-watered-down version of an initiative that… Read full this story
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