Memo to Zuckerberg: Protect privacy

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

As you are no doubt aware, we are sponsoring a privacy initiative to appear on the November 2018 California ballot, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

The measure would allow California consumers to protect their personal information from the type of breach that just occurred at Facebook.  The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 will allow California consumers:

1. To see what categories of their personal information large businesses collect about them;

2. To tell those corporations to stop selling their personal information, and to not discriminate against them for making that choice (i.e. the company couldn’t then refuse service, or increase prices); and

3. To hold businesses accountable to victims of data breaches when they are reckless with Californians’ personal information.

We are confident that Californians will vote YES on the California ConsumerPrivacy Act this fall to protect their personal information.   You can learn more about our efforts at www.caprivacy.org.

When we were drafting the initiative, we reached out to Facebook to try to enlist its support.  We thought Facebook would be an obvious supporter.  What could be more natural than the world’s biggest repository of personal information, agreeing to give consumers the power to protect their personal information, including prohibiting the sale of their information—especially when you already say publicly, that you don’t sell it?

We were, however, disappointed:  Facebook chose not to support us.

We were even more disappointed to learn that on February 27, 2018, Facebook joined Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Google, to contribute over $1 million to a political action committee you set up to oppose the measure.

Something’s not adding up here.  You have claimed the Cambridge Analytica data breach was not a breach, and that you do not sell users’ personal information—but either it was a breach, or a sale.  If not a breach, we are forced to conclude that Facebook sold Cambridge Analytica access to over 50 million users’ personal information, most of whom NEVER consented to having their personal information shared.

We call upon you to either support our ballot measure, or to acknowledge that Facebook’s practices violate our initiative’s prohibitions, namely that you sell your users’ personal information, and that you plan to continue doing so.

It is time to be honest with Facebook users and shareholders about what information was collected, sold or breached in the Cambridge Analytica debacle; and to come clean about the true basis for your opposition to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

Californians, and your users, have a right to know.

Yours sincerely,
Alastair Mactaggart, Chairman
Californians for Consumer Privacy

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