Watchdog group claims California bill would loosen insurers' privacy rules

A California consumer watchdog group is urging state lawmakers to address a bill that may allow health insurance companies to bypass some privacy laws, according to Insurance Business America.

The bill in question concerns the pending California Consumer Privacy Act, which is set to take effect in January 2020. Under the act, companies would be prohibited from selling consumers' personal information to other firms. The act would also allow customers to sue noncompliant companies for data breaches.

In response to the act, California Assembly Insurance Committee chairman Tom Daly introduced a bill that could nullify the act, according to opponents of Mr. Daly's bill. The Consumer Watchdog advocacy group argued that Mr. Daly's bill would undo privacy protections for insurance and finance industries.

Consumer Watchdog also alleged that insurers like Anthem, Allstate and Prudential contributed $183,000 to Mr. Daly. Mr. Daly's office did not comment on the allegations, but said his bill would reduce redundancies in overlapping privacy rules, not skirt the act, according to Insurance Business America.

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