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San Francisco Proposition B: City Privacy Guidelines

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There's been a lot of debate recently about how tech companies should handle our data, and whose job it is to regulate it. San Francisco's Proposition B, also called the Privacy First Policy, is one approach to the problem. It aims to protect people from having their personal information abused by companies.



Proposition B is sponsored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin. It says companies would need to abide by certain privacy guidelines to get a permits from the city or do business there.


Proposition B says that companies working in San Francisco would need to be transparent about the personal information they’re collecting from people. The policy also says businesses could only collect personal data if they're using it for reasons necessary to the business’s core function.


The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, have come out in opposition. I should note that KALW’s news director Ben Trefny is the vice president of that journalists group. They say it would give city officials the power to amend an ordinance already in place that gives residents access to government records.  


It’s important to note that Proposition B wouldn’t immediately put new privacy rules in place. It only sets guidelines for drafting personal-data privacy laws by next May.


So if you want to amend the city charter by adding guidelines for the city to create privacy protections, vote yes on Proposition B. If you don’t want the city to add those guidelines, vote no.