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January 22, 2004

For More Information, Contact:
Daryl Savage at (650) 688-6384


PALO ALTO – The Commonwealth Club, in partnership with the Stanford Macintosh Users Group (SMUG), welcomes Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to their February 2 meeting which will be held at Stanford University. Simitian will address the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum on “Online Privacy Protection: How a Bill Becomes a Law (Really).”

“With the internet economy finally beginning to thrive,” said Commonwealth Club President and CEO Gloria Duffy, “privacy issues are coming more to the fore. With his strong legislative record in this area, as well as his sense of humor, we look forward to Assemblymember Simitian’s insights.”

In his talk, Simitian will highlight his work on Assembly Bill 700, landmark legislation that gave California’s online users the right to know when their confidential personal and financial information has been stolen, hacked, or otherwise accessed inappropriately due to a security breech. His tell-it-like-it-is approach promises to give listeners an appreciation for how Sacramento really works.

Simitian’s work on AB 700 recently received nation-wide recognition in Scientific American magazine. In December 2003 Simitian was named one of the “Scientific American 50” Leaders in Science and Technology.

“The scale and speed of the internet are raising privacy concerns we never imagined,” observes Simitian. “AB 700 is my effort to provide the protection we need if consumers are going to feel secure doing business online. I’m looking forward to sharing with folks the hurdles and opposition that we faced with even this commonsense type of legislation.”

Simitian will also discuss his most recent online privacy legislation, AB 68, which requires online businesses to post a privacy policy and comply with its provisions effective July 1, 2004; as well as his latest effort in the field, AB 1143, which would protect the privacy of anonymous Internet users by requiring that consumers be notified before their personal identities are disclosed by their Internet Service Provider as a result of a civil subpoena.

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so reservations are required. To R.S.V.P. visit the Commonwealth Club website at or call 800-847-7730.

Date: February 2, 2004
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. (doors open to the public at 7:00 p.m.)
Panofsky Auditorium at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center,
2575 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA

For further information contact Assemblyman Simitian’s District Office at 650-688-6384.