A bill designed to give online social network users more control about how their personal information is displayed on websites failed to muster enough votes to pass the Senate today.
The California Chamber of Commerce and many companies in the Internet technology industry had said the bill would stifle innovation in one California's growing industries.
The measure's author, Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, said it made "all the sense in the world" to let users opt-in to reveal anything more than their name and city of residence. The measure would have forced users to set their privacy settings as part of the registration process to join sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Eharmony and Match.com.
The bill stalled in a vote last week, and Corbett tried throughout Thursday afternoon to sway two more senators to support the bill. Ultimately, the bill was rejected 19-17.
One of the provisions that the tech industry opposed was the creation of a process for users to remove information from the website. The Internet Alliance contended that the bill's language didn't match the way the websites operate and that major websites already remove information when asked. Under the bill, websites who failed to respond to a user's removal request within 96 hours would have faced a $10,000 fine. Corbett said Thursday she would be willing to drop the fine to $1,000.
Though several senators expressed support for protecting the privacy rights of people online, they said they couldn't support the bill because it still contained too many flaws.