Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedApril 23, 2024

CCIA To Testify On California Tech Bills Tuesday

Sacramento, Calif. – As California legislators approach milestone legislative deadlines, they are expected to consider various tech bills across committee hearings in the Assembly and Senate Tuesday. The Computer & Communications Industry Association’s State Policy Director Khara Boender will submit written statements and testify opposing up to five bills, including SB 1154, SB 1504, SB 1444, SB 1228, and AB 2655.

SB 1154 would harm numerous businesses and industries statewide by prohibiting the use of pricing algorithms to set or recommend a price or commercial term that incorporates nonpublic competitor data. These algorithms are crucial for businesses to efficiently adjust prices in line with supply and demand fluctuations, bypassing traditional pricing methods. Enacting this legislation would have widespread repercussions, as it seems to presume the illegality of a broad spectrum of activities. 

CCIA has concerns regarding several proposed bills’ potential impact on free online expression, privacy, and the efficacy of existing online safety measures. While SB 1504 aims to curtail cyberbullying and protect online users, its lack of clarity raises compliance concerns for social media platforms. SB 1444 proposes requiring social media platforms to open up their application program interfaces to third-party vendors, allowing such vendors to collect significant personal data from younger users on social media platforms, while disregarding alternative existing parental safety tools. SB 1228 mandates that covered platforms seek to verify influential users by requiring users to submit government-issued identification, potentially restricting online communication freedom and raising security issues. AB 2655 assumes online platforms can definitively detect and block synthetic, deceptive, election-related content despite lacking the tools to make such judgments. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA State Policy Director Khara Boender:

“Without clarity in the bill language, it would be challenging to discern which data would be prohibited for training price algorithms – and that in turn would make it difficult to avoid potential violations of California’s bill (SB 1154). The California Chamber of Commerce has even added the bill to their 2024 “job killer” list of legislation pending before the California legislature – a sign of the widespread opposition to this bill is a clear sign of the harm it could cause to the state’s economy. We urge California lawmakers to reject this unnecessary and detrimental measure that would hurt businesses all across the state.”

“We encourage California lawmakers to reconsider a range of social media bills that fail to address underlying pervasive issues or would cause unintended consequences and burdensome requirements without clear benefit to internet users in California. While well-intentioned, we respectfully ask state leaders to thoroughly examine the implications of these bills and to refrain from advancing legislation that is not adequately tailored to its objectives.”