Losing the Spotlight: A Study of California's Shine the Light Law

Losing the Spotlight: A Study of California's Shine the Light Law

From revelations of widespread NSA spying to high profile data breaches, the need to know what is happening to our personal information is more important than ever.

California was at the forefront of providing needed transparency about the “who, what, where, and when” of how a business handles personal information when it passed the Shine the Light law in 2003.  But after a decade of exponential technological innovation and changed business practices, is this landmark privacy law still living up to its promise?

In our new policy paper, Losing the Spotlight: A Study of California’s Shine the Light Law (pdf), we take a close look at California’s landmark transparency law as it turns a decade old.  We examine why it’s important and whether it’s continuing to provide needed transparency about how a business handles personal information. We also highlight public support for transparency and draw specific lessons that can inform policymakers and businesses seeking to protect privacy and increase transparency about data collection, use, and sharing in the modern digital era.

Download a pdf of Losing the Spotlight: A Study of California's Shine the Light Law.

Learn more:

Information on AB 1291 (California Right to Know Act), an important update to the current Shine the Light law.

Current text of California's Shine the Light law, California Civil Code §1798.83.