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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  
November 28, 2011

For More Information, Contact:
William Leiter (916) 651-4011 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) today recognized the California Office of Privacy Protection with a resolution celebrating that Office’s tenth anniversary. Simitian was joined in the recognition by his colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Privacy and State Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The Office of Privacy Protection has done important work to protect California consumers in the past decade,” said Simitian. “From identify theft to medical records to social networking, the Office has effectively identified threats to privacy and promoted privacy rights throughout the state.”

In 2001, the State created the Office of Privacy Protection pursuant to Senate Bill 129 (Chapter 984, Statutes of 2000). The purpose of the new Office was to protect “the privacy of individuals’ personal information in a manner consistent with the California Constitution,” which provides for an inalienable right to privacy.

Since its inception ten years ago, the Office of Privacy Protection has supplied individuals with information, assistance and educational resources on issues such as online child safety, financial privacy, cyber security and mobile device privacy. The Office also provides expert advice on privacy policy to the Legislature, state agencies, and the federal government.

Simitian has worked extensively with the Office as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Privacy. For example, when Simitian passed a first-in-the-nation data breach notification law in 2002 (AB 700), the Office wrote recommendations for best practices to help California businesses protect customers when data is lost. Simitian updated and expanded that law just this past year (SB 24).

“As more and more of our information is stored electronically and online, we have to be especially vigilant to protect our privacy,” Simitian noted. “The Office of Privacy Protection has been an invaluable resource in California’s efforts to protect privacy, and I am confident that it will continue to make our state a leader on these issues.”

California has received numerous recognitions for its robust privacy protections. Privacy Journal, a leading publication on privacy, ranked California first in the nation for privacy protection in 2008. Similarly, the International Association of Privacy Professionals honored California’s Office of Privacy Protection with its HP-Privacy Innovation Award in 2007.

Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California, highlighted the Office’s significant work on behalf of consumers. “In the ten years since the Office of Privacy Protection was created, it has provided assistance to tens of thousands of California consumers, including many victims of identity theft. And as technology rapidly evolves, demand for the kind of expertise available through the Office will only increase.”

For more information on the California Office of Privacy Protection, visit A copy of the Senate resolution is available here.