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Who Owns Personal Information?
Anatomy of a Privacy Case

Developments in the States

State senators Steve Peace from California and Richard Codey from New Jersey have independently introduced bills to explicitly prohibit unauthorised sale of personal information. Both bills are still in the legislative process, and the senators would appreciate the opinion of their constituancy about them. Below are descriptions of the bills and contact information. If you live in California or New Jersey, please tell your senator what is your opinion about his bill.


Senator Steve Peace is the Chairman of the Energy, Utilities and
Communications Committee. Randy Chinn, a consultant for the committee,
compiles the material for the bill. The bill was introduced on 2/21, and
final draft should be submitted on 4/9. 

Contact Information:
Senator Steve Peace
Address: State Capitol, Room 5064
         Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel:     916-445-9764
Fax:     916-445-1389
email:   Senator.Peace@sen.ca.gov, Randy.Chinn@sen.ca.gov

Web Addresses:
CA Senate  - http://www.sen.ca.gov/
Sen. Peace - http://www.sen.ca.gov/htbin/senator_profile/peace
The Bill   - http://www.sen.ca.gov/htbin/ca-billpage/SB/1659/


Bill No.: SB 1659  
Title:    An act to add Section 43.2 to the Civil Code, relating to privacy. 
Topic:    Personal rights: privacy. 
History:  Introduced 02/21/96 by Senator Peace 

Existing law, the California Constitution, provides that all people have
certain inalienable rights, including the right to privacy. 

This bill would prohibit a person or corporation from using or distributing
for profit information concerning an individual, including his or her credit
history, finances, or medical history, without his or her written consent.
The bill would include a statement of legislative findings concerning the
right to privacy. 

SECTION 1. The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following: 

(a) All people have an inalienable right to privacy as declared in Section 1
of Article I of the California Constitution. 

(b) Advances in technology have made it easier to create, acquire, and
analyze detailed personal information about an individual. 

(c) Personal information, including information about a person's financial
history, shopping habits, medical history, and travel patterns, is
continuously being created. 

(d) The unauthorized use of personal information concerning an individual is
an infringement upon that individual's right to privacy. 

SEC. 2. Section 43.2 is added to the Civil Code, to read: 

43.2. No person or corporation may use or distribute for profit any personal
information concerning a person without that person's written consent. Such
information includes, but is not limited to, an individual's credit history,
finances, medical history, purchases, and travel patterns.

New Jersey

Richard J. Codey is the Assistant Minority Leader. His aide, Pete Cammarano,
is compiling the material for the bill.

Contact Information:
Senator Richard J. Codey
Address: 449 Mount Pleasant Avenue
         West Orange,  NJ  07052
Tel:     201-731-6770
Fax:     201-731-0647
Email:   none

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Last modified: March 23, 1996
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