[linux-elitists] CA State Privacy bill threatened (Aug 3, SF Chron)

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Tue Aug 21 02:44:17 PDT 2001

This is a bit dated, but...

What caught my eye in particular was the inclusion of Providian
Financial among campaign contributors.  Elsewhere they've donated over
$100,000 to Govenor Davis's re-election fund:

More significantly, this is the same Providian Bank that's paid over
$400 million in fines, penalties, and lawsuit losses for predetory
business practices in which it bilked millions of customers.

...note that the rest of this makes for interesting reading as well,
though.  Interesting to know who's on the side of obstructing consumer


    Consumer privacy bill could be weakened
    Davis aides conferring with industry lobbyists

    Robert Salladay, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau 

    Sacramento -- The Davis administration is quietly working with
    banking and insurance company lobbyists to rewrite a major
    consumer-privacy measure [written by state Sen. Jackie Speier,
    D-Hillsborough], now pending in the Legislature, a confidential
    memorandum shows.

    The hard-fought privacy measure would prohibit companies from
    selling personal information such as bank balances and spending
    habits. It has become the center of an emerging national debate over
    protecting consumer privacy in an electronic culture that stores
    huge amounts of personal information in databanks.

    This week, corporate lobbyists are circulating among themselves a
    memo that outlines a new and weaker version of the controversial
    privacy measure, SB773. The memo says Gov. Gray Davis has not
    accepted the changes, but gubernatorial aides are working with
    corporate lobbyists behind closed doors without simultaneously
    consulting the bill's author.


    Dozens of lobbyists are working to defeat or radically change the
    Speier bill. Disclosure reports released Tuesday show that finance
    and insurance company interests spent $7 million in the first six
    months of this year to lobby the Legislature. The amount nearly
    surpasses the $7.5 million spent during all of last year by the same
    financial interests.


    E-mail Robert Salladay at rsalladay@sfchronicle.com.

    FINANCIAL FIRMS AND GOV. GRAY DAVIS Campaign finance reports
    released this week show Gov. Gray Davis has received at least
    $500,000 in the past six months from banking and insurance company
    interests. Some of the top givers:

    ACE American Insurance Co.  $10,000
    CA Credit Union League      $10,000
    Citibank and affiliates     $39,000
    Farmers Insurance           $10,000
    Fireman's Fund              $25,000
    Golden State Bancorp        $50,000
    Mercury General Insurance   $60,000
    Pacific Life                $20,000
    Providian (S.F.-based)       $5,000
    Travelers Property          $10,000
    Washington Mutual           $10,000
    Zenith Insurance            $25,000

    Lobbying groups also are working overtime. Banking and insurance
    interests have spent $7.04 million in the first six months of the
    year to defeat various consumer and privacy bills. The top few:

    American Insurance Assoc.          $178,085
    Assoc. of Calif. Insurance Cos.    $355,049
    Assoc. of Calif. Life and
    Health Insurance Companies         $254,078
    Calif. Bankers Association         $452,008
    Insurance Brokers of West          $288,375
    First Data Corp.                   $114,631
    Wells Fargo & Co.                  $125,373

    Copyright © 2001 San Francisco Chronicle

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>          http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
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