Last year, the European Union enacted the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) a significant overhaul in how consumers can protect their personal data online. The U.S., meanwhile, has been slow to act. But California is the exception. The state has already passed a strict privacy law set to go into effect in 2020. And now, lawmakers have introduced an amendment that would make the law even tougher, and that consumer advocacy groups are calling a model for the nation.

Courthouse News notes that among its provisions, the amended California law would guarantee consumers “a vested legal right to take companies to court if they fail to protect their personal data. It also provides consumers with tools to determine which companies retain their personal data, how much and what type of data can be retained, and the right to demand companies delete the data they collect.”

On Monday, Reuters reported that the expanded bill was backed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The amended bill, dubbed "Privacy for All" (AB 1760) was introduced on February 22 by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, and has already earned the endorsement of more than a dozen consumer groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“All eyes are on California, which has taken the lead nationwide in passing a historic consumer privacy bill at a time when people across the country are outraged by the privacy abuses they read about every day,” said EFF Legislative Counsel Ernesto Falcon. “Privacy For All improves on the existing privacy law so that consumers can control who gets access to their data and how the data is being used.”

The Library community is a historically powerful advocate for individual privacy rights, and we can expect librarians to engage with the legislative process as it unfolds.

Reserve Reading

NBC News this week follows up a report from an office "that’s responsible for enforcing European data privacy laws against many of the biggest U.S. tech firms," which found that of 15 ongoing investigations, 10 were about Facebook or its subsidiaries, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Via AdWeek, Facebook says it is preparing the debut of its "Clear History" tool, billed as a privacy feature will let users "wipe information the social network has collected on users via third-party apps and websites."

Politico reports that the 2020 election season has already seen "a coordinated barrage of social media attacks" that suggests "the involvement of foreign state actors."

The Verge has the maybe most harrowing story of the week, an article that explores the "the secret lives of Facebook moderators in America."

From American Libraries, comes this report on an ALA Washington Office workshop on library advocacy. In it, Kathi Kromer, director of the ALA Washington Office, confirms that librarians expect the president’s new budget proposal due in mid-March will, for a third straight year, seek to eliminate federal funding for libraries.

Via Publishers Weekly, the University of California this week terminated its subscription deal with Elsevier, staking out a bold position in favor of open access.

From the Austin American Statesman: Texas Senate Bill 3 would allocate "$3.7 billion over two years to boost pay for classroom teachers," but not other education employees...including librarians. "School librarians, who are required to teach in a classroom for two years and in many cases receive a master’s degree to qualify for the position, would be excluded from legislation offering a $5,000 pay raise to all Texas teachers."

From local affiliate WYFF-4, South Carolina GOP legislators are going after drag queen story times with a "House Ways and Means Committee amendment stating that if libraries fail to comply with making determinations about what events are age-appropriate, they would have to return their funding."

Via Gothamist, New York City legislators have introduced a bill that would guarantee inmates at Rikers Island access to the library "within 48 hours of entering the jail system."

Via TriState news, Indiana Senate Bill 64 would require public libraries to request criminal background checks on employees and volunteers who conduct a performance, presentation, or workshop for children less than 14 years of age.

The Santa Monica Daily Press details a program from the Santa Monica Public Library that seeks to redress an important problem: Women, particularly women of color, are largely absent from Santa Monica’s historical archives.

Via, the Ocala, Florida public library is wrestling with a conservative political group's efforts to remove certain titles from school libraries.

The Houston Chronicle looks at the city's Alice McKean Young Library.

Via CityLab, a "visual" history of the American public library."

The local Eagle Tribune has a nice piece on how The Friends of the Amesbury (Massachusetts) Public Library recently paid the library fines of 49 city residents, allowing them to regain their borrowing privileges.

OK, but not exactly accessible, is it? Fast Company on the Arch Mission Foundation's creation of the Lunar Library. Apparently the idea is to send "a 30-million-page long compendium of humanity’s greatest cultural offerings, encoded it on a specially designed disc meant to last a billion years, and sent it to the moon to keep it safe."

The Burlington County Times questions why are libraries in New Jersey still waiting for access to $125 million in state funding approved by voters in 2017?

And congratulations to Barbara Lison, IFLA President-elect 2019-2021, by unanimous choice.