Legislation to Create California Cybersecurity Awareness and Education Council

Published On: May 5, 2023

In the face of cyber threats via malware, data, and even your webcam, a new bill seeks to establish a council that would promote cybersecurity among California residents.

Assembly Bill 1667, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and sponsored by Common Sense Media, would establish a 15-member group called the California Cybersecurity Awareness and Education Council.

Established within the California Department of Technology, the council would feature a variety of backgrounds including “K-12 education (both teachers and students), business, academia, public safety, and the nonprofit sector.”

These members would research how to create a more robust and diverse cybersecurity-trained workforce and educate families, students, and adults on increasing cybersecurity awareness. 

Cyberseek, a public-private project to help close the cybersecurity skills gap, estimates that there are 81,584 job openings requiring cybersecurity related-skills in California alone and 561,743 nationwide. 

“This research, in turn, would lead to a Council proposal for a strategy to engage Californians in the effort to improve cybersecurity practices and strengthen cyber infrastructure, including through a public awareness campaign and education materials,” according to AB 1667.

As for what that might look like, the bill mentions increasing cybersecurity awareness in K-12 schools, higher education, and workplaces while also leveraging social media and news media for the distribution of cybersecurity materials. 

“Families and individuals can keep their online information and networks safe by taking basic but important steps such as using strict privacy settings on apps and websites, enabling multi-factor authentication, using a password manager, learning about and staying cautious of phishing scams, regularly updating software, and more,” reads a statement from sponsor Common Sense Media. 

About the Author: Will Keys

Will Keys writes about technology issues for the GovReport. He is a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. He can be reached at will at govreport.org