The looming threat of a new social networking privacy law is making for strange bedfellows these days.
More than a dozen leading companies from around the worlds of technology and social media have joined forces in opposition to a new bill that’s presently being considered in California.
If enacted, the law would harshly crack the whip on social networking sites by forcing more restrictive privacy settings that, among other limitations, would significantly inhibit the types of user information that can be legally shared.
Among the heavyweights leading the opposition include Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo – all of which have jointly signed a letter that lays a written smack-down on SB 242, a bill that – according to the angry social networking giants – “gratuitously singles out social networking sites without demonstration of any harm.”
Yesterday, the passionate partners pitched their comprehensive correspondence to the bill’s author, Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-Cal.).
The letter, which doesn’t mince words, suggests that Corbett’s bill will “significantly undermine the ability of Californians to make informed and meaningful choices about use of their personal data, and unconstitutionally interfere with the right to free speech enshrined in the California and United States Constitutions, while doing significant damage to California’s vibrant Internet commerce industry at a time when the state can least afford it.”
SB 242, the letter continues, would also “dramatically limit social networking sites growth potential in California by imposing additional operating costs and raising barriers to consumer participation in social networking services, all while exposing those services to massive and unwarranted civil liability.”
“There are legitimate debates happening in California and around the world about the nature of online privacy and use of personal information on the Internet,” the letter reads in conclusion. “These are important discussions. However, rather than establishing a floor for online privacy which social networking sites must meet or exceed, SB 242 would establish a ceiling, undermining meaningful consumer choice while incentivizing this growing industry to expand their operations anywhere but California.”