California's "Delete Act" Advances Digital Privacy
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A new bill, set to enhance data deletion rights for Californians, has been approved, drawing both praise and criticism. Advocates of the legislation view it as a necessary step for privacy, while some lawyers and advertisers foresee a deteriorating digital landscape in California.
On September 14, Senate Bill 362, termed the "Delete Act," was passed by the California Senate. The bill is structured to grant Californians stronger privacy rights, particularly against data brokers. Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14 to sign it into law, a step that many, including Ashkan Soltani of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA), anticipate he will take.
The law introduces an "accessible deletion mechanism" to simplify the process of erasing consumer data collected by data brokers. By 2026, the CPPA will create a system enabling Californians to request data deletion from all registered data brokers in the state via a singular request. Furthermore, data brokers will be mandated to honor these requests and delete the relevant data within 45 days.
The Delete Act aims to rectify a loophole in the existing California Consumer Privacy Act. Before this legislation, individuals had to individually contact each data broker to have their data removed. Senator Josh Becker, the mind behind the Delete Act, emphasizes that every Californian should have control over their personal information's distribution and usage.
Highlighting the urgency, Becker mentioned how data brokers constantly compile vast amounts of personal data, sometimes purchasing it to later auction it off. Tom Kemp, an advisor on the bill, underlined the critical nature of sensitive data like reproductive health information, especially in today's climate.
However, the Delete Act has its critics. Kelley Drye & Warren Partner, a law firm, and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) argue the law will complicate operations for companies and cost them financially. ANA's Chris Oswald further warns that the bill could hamper California's digital economy and lead to increased fraud and identity theft due to limited data availability for identity verification.
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