The California State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee has given its approval for the California Delete Act, a significant data privacy bill. This legislation aims to simplify the process for individuals to prevent data brokers from collecting and selling their data without their consent. If it becomes law, it would become the first U.S. law allowing consumers to universally demand the deletion of their data through a single website, a milestone in data privacy.
Despite facing strong opposition from data brokers and advertisers, data privacy experts have highlighted the importance of this legislation, as it could set a precedent for data privacy regulations across the nation.
Furthermore, senator Josh Becker introduced the bill, which is designed to create a user-friendly website where Californians can easily block data brokers from collecting, maintaining, and selling their data.
Currently, citizens in California and nationwide have to approach numerous individual data brokers to request the cessation of data usage for commercial purposes. The bill’s progress is particularly significant given the aggressive lobbying campaign against it by data brokers and advertisers. Data privacy experts emphasize its potential to empower consumers and safeguard their data.
Additionally, the California Delete Act has garnered strong support from the public, with around 80% of Californians backing it. However, it has faced fierce opposition from data brokers aiming to undermine the legislation. These data brokers have formulated plans to use their data and targeting capabilities to influence Californian residents against the regulation.
If the bill passes the Assembly floor vote, data brokers will be required to register with the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) and disclose the personal information they collect from consumers.
The CPPA’s role will include creating a simple process for Californians to instruct all data brokers to delete their personal information without charge. While a similar bill was considered by the U.S. Senate in 2022 but didn’t advance, this California legislation is now being closely watched as it could pave the way for more robust data privacy regulations.
Matt Schwartz, a policy analyst for privacy and technology policy at Consumer Reports, underscores the bill’s importance, particularly because data brokers often operate without consumers’ knowledge, making it crucial to give individuals control over their data.