Some of the biggest names in social media have formally opposed new “Do Not Track” legislation introduced in California.
California has entered the “Do Not Track” battle with two new proposals, SB 242, The Social Networking Privacy Act, and
SB 761, their version of a Do Not Track bill.
Google and Facebook not happy with proposed laws
Facebook has made friends with Google, and other social media giants to form a group to formally oppose the bill. The group, which also includes big names like Twitter and Yahoo, has sent a letter to California State Senator Ellen Corbett, the sponsor of the bill, listing their reasons why they “strongly oppose SB 242.”
The letter states that “SB 242 would do significant damage to California’s technology sector.” Perhaps some will see this
as a threat to California legislators, that they need to back off on over regulating social networking site, or they will take their businesses elsewhere.
Government looks to address hot topics
Legislators looking to earn points with their constituents are seizing the opportunity to address the hot issues of the day. A recent USA TODAY Gallup Poll shows that nearly 70% of Facebook members and 52% of Google users are either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about their privacy.
A California state law could easily be overruled by a federal law. If it takes awhile for the federal government to come up with legislation, states like California run the risk of chasing booming upstart businesses across their borders to
Even laws enacted by the Federal government raise a host of issues because of the global nature of the Internet. Perhaps legislators need to factor into their thinking that we are dealing with the “World Wide Web” and not the “United States Web.”
While some might see the social media super powers as big bullies in these debates, the questions they raise are important issues that need addressed.
Small businesses don’t have the flexibility to pick up their operations and move them to another state more favorable to
their business, and they don’t have the resources of Google and Facebook to lobby legislators. Hopefully the debate will be addressing the issues of privacy and security, without creating a burden that would have a negative impact on small
companies trying to work more productively and profitably.
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