Mari J. Frank is one of my colleagues on the California State Bar's LPMT Section Executive Committee. She is none too pleased about the Governor's proposal to close the California Office of Privacy Protection. Below are her comments to the media including a letter she sent to the Governor's office. Am I the media? Kinda…sorta. Ultimately, I agree with her sentiments. See her (slightly edited) comments and a link to the letter below:
Dear Members of the Media-
We are currently living in the information age, where privacy issues are at the top of the list of consumer concerns. California has been the leader in privacy protection in our country, and in promoting legislation insisting on transparency. For example, we were the first state to pass a security breach notification law, the first state to insist on the confidentiality of social security numbers, which are essentially the key to the kingdom of identity theft.
The California Office of Privacy Protection has been a great resource for consumers, businesses and even for you as journalists and media for all kinds of information privacy and identity theft information and resources. However, new State Budget Proposals propose to completely remove funding for this small but influential office. From my perspective it is outrageous that the Governor would even consider the huge jump backwards associated with closing a small but highly influential and necessary office for less than $500,000 savings.
I am so thankful for you, members of the press, since you are the ones who bring important issues that are often hidden (like this one) to the public. Please read my letter and visit the California Office of Privacy Protection’s website at www.privacy.ca.gov/ to see the tremendous guidance and outreach that is provided.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you this letter that I recently sent to Governor Brown, various California Budget Committees and the California Senate Privacy Committee. I hope you consider addressing this issue or at the very least excerpt a portion of my letter to share with your readership.
Thank you so much for your consideration of this important office.