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May 24, 2001

For More Information, Contact:
Jamille Moens at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) announced today that he has selected Assemblymember Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to Chair the Assembly Select Committee on Privacy.  Hertzberg noted that, “Privacy is a matter of growing concern to the public,” as more and more transactions are conducted online.  The Select Committee on Privacy will initially focus on the issue of Internet privacy and then expand its scope to consider various other aspects of privacy.

In making the appointment, Speaker Hertzberg noted that, “Assemblymember Simitian’s skills and legislative experience are an ideal fit for this important and complex issue.  I know he’ll weigh the interests and concerns of all parties fairly in identifying potential solutions.”

“This is a great but challenging assignment,” said Simitian.  “We’ve got to consider the privacy rights of individuals, the legitimate concerns of business, and our desire to encourage the growth of information technologies.”  And, Simitian said, “California is a unique case.  Privacy is an explicitly recognized right in the California Constitution,” in contrast to the federal Constitution which does not expressly address privacy.

Hertzberg announced that in addition to Simitian, the Select Committee on Privacy will include Assemblymembers Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), Bill Leonard (R-San Bernardino), and Anthony Pescetti (R-Rancho Cordova).

The Select Committee will hold hearings throughout the State to get input from consumers, business and government agencies.  “Privacy is an issue that cuts across many sectors,” said Simitian.  “Commercial, healthcare, financial, educational, and government institutions are certainly among the many sectors that are deeply engaged in the current debate over privacy — and how to manage consumer information appropriately in this digital age.”

In accepting the appointment Simitian noted, “At the end of the day, our goal is to protect an individual’s right to privacy.  I’m pleased to be in a position where I can help to ensure that constitutionally guaranteed right.”




Related Pages: Privacy, Press Releases