Keep Out! California Reader Privacy Act Passes in State Senate


Last month, I mentioned that Justia friend Mary Minow had testified before the California State Senate on Senate Bill (“SB”) 445, which proposes enhanced privacy protections for public library patrons. In yet more news concerning California reader privacy, the State Senate on Monday approved SB 602, the California Reader Privacy Act. This bill will protect consumers against unwarranted searches of records related to book purchases. While you can probably already guess that the bill covers works in both paper and digital format, of note is how “book” is defined in the bill. As Sonya Ziaja notes in her post linked below, “Under this [new] definition, news articles, blogs, magazines, and potentially some websites could all be considered “books.” This would mean that “book providers” could include LexisNexis, Google Reader, Amazon and your local bookstore.”

SB 602 now heads to the California Assembly for consideration.

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Text of SB 602, as Amended 4/25/11

SB 602 Bill Documents & History

Analysis of SB 602 by Guest Blogger Sonya Ziaja on Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Blog, California’s Reader Privacy Act: A First Step in a New Direction,  5/2/11.

Senator Leland Yee (SB 602 Sponsor) Press Release, Reader Privacy Act Unanimously Approved by Senate, 5/9/11.

Library Journal, California Bill Would Offer Clear Protection for Digital Reading Records,  4/21/11

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Reader Privacy Act Introduced to Upgrade Book Privacy for the Digital Era, 3/30/11.

ACLU, Reader Privacy Act of 2011.