Gloria Bill to Prevent ICE from Accessing Gas, Electric Customer Data Clears Senate Committee

Monday, August 3, 2020

Gloria Seeks to Halt Immigration Authorities’ Practice of Accessing Utility Customer Data to Facilitate Deportations

SACRAMENTO, CA – A bill by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) that would prevent immigration authorities from accessing customer data through public utility companies passed the Senate’s Energy, Utilities, and Communications committee today and now heads to the Senate floor. Assembly Bill 2788 (AB 2788) seeks to end ICE’s practice of accessing the customer data from electric and gas companies in order to facilitate deportations.

We know ICE has repeatedly requested and received customers’ private data from California public utility companies to not only find out where a person lives, but when they’re home, without a court order,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “This practice is wrong and I’m proud that my colleagues on the Senate Energy Committee agree. I look forward to securing the full Senate’s support and the Governor’s signature so we can protect our residents.”

AB 2788 will prohibit electric and gas utilities from sharing a customer’s electrical or gas consumption data with any immigration authority without a court-ordered subpoena or warrant.

Current law prohibits public utilities from releasing smart meter data usage to a commercial third party without a customer’s consent, unless there is a subpoena. ICE commonly circumvents this process by using their own administrative subpoenas instead of securing judicial authority. AB 2788 will close this gap in existing law and require a court-ordered subpoena or warrant.