A California Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would require social-networking sites like Facebook to make all data private by default and allow the parents of those under 18 to demand that Facebook remove content they find objectionable.
The bill, SB 242, was originally introduced in February, but a revised version was submitted on May 2, which passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday by a vote of 3 to 2.
At issue is whether Facebook should let users make every piece of information about themselves private. As it stands, a user who selects the most secure privacy settings on Facebook will still display data like name and photo to everyone.
The California bill would require Facebook (and other social-networking sites) to establish a default privacy setting that bans the display of their personal information without permission. New users would be able to choose their privacy settings during the set-up process, and users could demand that Facebook remove offending information from the site within 48 hours. Violations could set Facebook back up to $10,000 per infraction.
“Computers systems and the Internet have brought consumers many conveniences,” according to a Senate Committee analysis. “But these innovative methods of information sharing can pose a serious threat to our privacy and security.”