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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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County

City and County of San Francisco
Proposition B Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

186,758 votes yes (57.58%)

137,592 votes no (42.42%)

Shall the City amend the Charter to include privacy guidelines and require the City Administrator to propose a privacy ordinance consistent with the guidelines to the Board of Supervisors?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by League of Women Voters of San Francisco

The Question

 Shall the City Charter be amended so as to establish a Privacy First Policy to guide the City when considering the adoption of privacy-protective laws, regulations, policies, and practices for the City; the City’s contractors, lessees, and grantees; third parties receiving licenses, permits, or other entitlements from the City; and persons, including businesses and other entities, within the regulatory authority of the City?

Note: This Pro/Con information is also available in Spanish.

The Situation

 As of June 2018, the California Consumer Information Protection Act protects California residents. Different sectors managing personal and consumer information are regulated at the Federal level. Some City agencies also have their own privacy policies.  But with unintended and misunderstood uses of personal data on the rise, backers cite a need for a publicly adopted policy in City law for protecting the data of San Francisco residents and visitors. 

The Proposal

 Following the model of San Franciscos longstanding Transit First Policy, a Privacy First Policy for San Francisco would provide overarching, ongoing guidelines to apply to current and future City laws - in this case, ones that touch personal data.  The Privacy First Policy as proposed includes eleven non-binding guidelines for City agencies and officials to reference when they consider proposed laws, regulations, policies and practices protecting the personal information of San Francisco residents and visitors. The Privacy First Policy guidelines focus on ensuring that the collection, storage, sharing or use of personal information is transparent, accessible, unbiased, consensual, secure and limited to accomplish a lawful purpose.

 While the proposed Privacy First Policy must be implemented in a manner consistent with voter-approved ordinances regarding privacy, open meetings, or public records, the Board of Supervisors is authorized by ordinance to amend voter-approved ordinances regarding privacy, open meetings, or public records, provided any amendment is consistent with the purpose or intent of the voter-approved ordinance.

 The amendment would also require that by May 29, 2019 the City Administrator propose an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors addressing the collection, storage, sharing and use of personal information. This ordinance must also contain rules for third parties who hold contracts or leases with The City; and third parties with permits, grants or licenses issued by the City.

Supporters say

  • All San Francisco residents and visitors have a fundamental right to privacy, so we need privacy guidelines at the City level, to apply to our own laws.
  • The Privacy First Policy would remove the profit motive from the use of personal information by standardizing how the use of personal information is regulated in San Francisco, setting a precedent for cities across the country seeking to protect the privacy rights of their residents.

Opponents say

  • Proposition B authorizes local government to “amend existing ordinances without voter approval, so long as the change is ‘not inconsistent with the purpose or intent of the law’” and could enable officials to limit access to government records or change the composition of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force to be more friendly politicians or the very business interests they say they are trying to rein in.
  • Proposition B would not give elected local officials much additional authority, since City privacy laws would still be preempted by existing Federal and State laws.

 

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

If you vote “yes,” you want to amend the City Charter to include privacy guidelines and require the City Administrator to propose a privacy ordinance consistent with these guidelines to the Board of Supervisors.

NO vote means

A “no” vote means you do not want to make these changes.

Summary

by the Ballot Simplification Committee Final Digest

 

The Way It Is Now: The City has laws that provide some privacy protections in the collection, storage, sharing or use of personal information by The City and its contractors. The City does not have a comprehensive policy regarding the protection of personal information.

 

Proposal: Proposition B is a Charter amendment that would provide guidelines to City agencies and officials when they consider proposed laws, regulations, policies and practices protecting privacy. These guidelines focus on ensuring that the collection, storage, sharing or use of personal information is transparent, accessible, unbiased, consensual, secure and limited to accomplish a lawful purpose.
Proposition B would require the City Administrator, by May 29, 2019, to propose an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors addressing the collection, storage, sharing and use of personal information. The ordinance must contain rules for:

The City;
Third parties who hold contracts or leases with The City;
Third parties with permits, grants or licenses issued by The City. 

 

 

Background

Charter Amendment placed on the ballot by Peskin, Yee, Ronen, Kim, Sheehy, Fewer

Financial effect

https://sfelections.sfgov.org/sites/default/files/Documents/candidates/Nov%202018/PropB_ControllerAnalysis.pdf

Should the Charter Amendment be approved by voters, it would have a minimal to moderate impact on the cost of government, depending on the practices used to implement aspects of the privacy policies described in the amendment.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Proposition B

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Proposition B

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

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