Californians can now request removal of personal data
California governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill allowing its state citizens to request the removal of their personal data from data brokers.
The bill, known as The Delete Act, was first introduced in April to give Californians more control over their privacy.
While it was possible to deny the collection of data before it happened, there were no powers to control data that had already been collected.
The new bill enforces data brokers to register with the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA), and it requires the CPPA to establish a simple and free way for Californians to request that their gathered data be deleted by data brokers.
If the data brokers fail to comply, they will face a fine or be penalised, according to the bill.
State senator Josh Becker, who first introduced the bill earlier this year, said: “Data brokers possess thousands of data points on each and every one of us, and they currently sell reproductive healthcare, geolocation and purchasing data to the highest bidder.”
“The Delete Act protects our most sensitive information.”
Commenting on the news, Eduardo Azanza, CEO of biometric authentication firm, Veridas, said that he expects to see this become a trend across many states in the US, as users demand an easy solution to scrubbing their data from the internet.
“Today, someone having access to your data is just as sensitive as someone having access to your DNA and people must have the means to swiftly erase what is available to others, with just one click,” Azanza said.
“With the internet constantly expanding, we will see similar legislation set in motion for the array of data that is available online, such as biometric data, PPI data, browser and social media data, financial data, and more.”
The bill, however, may adversely affect advertising and marketing firms as without the data it may prove challenging to provide relevant ads to target audiences.
This sector has already been impacted by Google’s decision to stop the practice of using third-party cookies, which collect small amounts of data based on users’ internet activity to help advertising and marketing firms.
The changes are also set to impact data scraping firms and the large language models which scrape the internet to create intelligent chatbots such as ChatGPT.
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