Privacy News Why the California Delete Act Matters

vtqhtr413

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A new California privacy bill should make it easier for residents to take their personally identifiable information (PII) off data brokers. But Californians won't be the only ones to benefit if the California Delete Act (Senate Bill 362) passes. Like other tech developments, where California goes, the rest of the nation tends to follow. Bill 362 provides a perfect template for a nationwide win against data brokers and the dangerous privacy infringements they cause.


One of the largest sources of online exposure (i.e., how your phone number pops up when someone Googles you), data brokers are companies that aggregate information about consumers. They, mostly legally, take this data from various different sources (public records, credit card transactions, social media, etc.) and then sell it to third parties.

Data brokers rarely vet their customers. As a result, anyone — from marketers and law enforcement agencies to cybercriminals — can get their hands on our personal information, such as contact details, family information, sexuality, reproductive health, and even geolocation. We know that criminal groups use data brokers for reconnaissance and targeted phishing emails.

If Senate Bill 362 passes (which looks likely), it could trigger a sequence of state copycat laws. Get enough of these over the line, and a federal data broker opt-out process will likely follow.
 

vtqhtr413

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The California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 362, the Delete Act, which is designed to streamline consumers' ability to request the deletion of their personal information collected by data brokers. The proposal originally passed the California Senate 31 May before receiving approval with amendments from the Assembly 13 Sept. The bill cleared the legislature with Senate concurrence on 14 Sept., the final day of the 2023 legislative session.

The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., though he reportedly has given no indication whether he will sign the bill, according to CBS News. Newsom has until 14 Oct. to sign the bill. California Privacy Protection Agency Executive Director Ashkan Soltani said he anticipates Newsom to sign the bill. Should it become law, the Delete Act would empower the CPPA to develop a system by 2026 that allows residents to make a single data deletion request across the nearly 500 registered data brokers operating in the state.

The CPPA would also be charged with enforcing provisions of the Delete Act, such as requiring data broker registration and ensuring brokers delete an individual's personal information every 45 days upon receipt of a verified request.
 

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Kochava, the self-proclaimed industry leader in mobile app data analytics, is locked in a legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission in a case that could lead to big changes in the global data marketplace and in Congress’ approach to artificial intelligence and data privacy.

The stakes are high because Kochava’s secretive data acquisition and AI-aided analytics practices are commonplace in the global location data market. In addition to numerous lesser-known data brokers, the mobile data market includes larger players like Foursquare and data market exchanges like Amazon’s AWS Data Exchange.

The FTC’s recently unsealed amended complaint against Kochava makes clear that there’s truth to what Kochava advertises: it can provide data for “Any Channel, Any Device, Any Audience,” and buyers can “Measure Everything with Kochava.”

 

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The National Security Agency (NSA) has admitted to buying records from data brokers detailing which websites and apps Americans use, US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) revealed Thursday.

This news follows Wyden's push last year that forced the FBI to admit that it was also buying Americans' sensitive data. Now, the senator is calling on all intelligence agencies to "stop buying personal data from Americans that has been obtained illegally by data brokers."

"The US government should not be funding and legitimizing a shady industry whose flagrant violations of Americans' privacy are not just unethical but illegal," Wyden said in a letter to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines. “To that end, I request that you adopt a policy that, going forward," intelligence agencies "may only purchase data about Americans that meets the standard for legal data sales established by the FTC.”
 

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