Privacy Advocates Eye Calif. Ballot

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A citizens group said it has gathered more than 550,000 signatures, far more than required, on a ballot initiative to enact a tough "opt in" privacy law on the use of confidential financial and medical information.

But the group, California for Privacy Now, said it would back off its initiative if the state legislature takes up the issue and passes its own opt-in law, instead.

The proposal would require credit unions and all other users of confidential information to obtain a consumer's permission-allow them to opt-in, before sharing that information with a third party. The group needs just 375,000 validated signatures to get the question on the state ballot next March.

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