Engine statement on the California Consumer Privacy Act

The following can be attributed to Engine Executive Director Evan Engstrom:

“A new consumer privacy proposal in California, while well intentioned, would have a chilling effect on the innovative companies that fuel the state’s startup ecosystem, which is the envy of the world.

In theory, the measure is aimed at protecting Californians’ data. Engine supports giving Internet users sensible control over their data, but the overly broad language in the measure would significantly limit the kinds of innovative goods and services that startups can offer Internet users in California. Most significantly, the measure would open startups up to significant legal liability and the risk of huge fines if they suffer a data breach. 

While a few high-profile missteps can quickly paint a picture of carelessness across the industry, many startups take the privacy and security of their users and their data seriously. In today’s crowded market, startups competing for users have to be especially sensitive to the concerns of their users, including concerns about how their data is collected and used.

It’s clear that California policymakers, Internet users, and companies need to participate in the current national conversation about online privacy. But a poorly written, overly broad measure up for a simple up/down vote on the ballot in November is not the place to start that debate.”