Here's how CA data broker bill would make it easier to delete personal information

Thursday, September 14, 2023
CA data broker bill would make it easier to delete personal info
State Senator Josh Becker authored a bill to make it easier to have your information deleted from data brokers.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Data brokers keep track of the important events in your life and mundane details, too. They then sell that information.

In California you have the legal right to have your information deleted, but with hundreds of websites to navigate, that has been more aspirational than actually doable.

That may soon change because of California Senate Bill 362 authored by San Mateo State Senator, Josh Becker.

"So the idea here is really to simplify and operationalize this and really give us control in an actual practical way, which is a one-stop shop," Senator Becker says. "Hit one button and delete your information from all data brokers."

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7 On Your Side's Michael Finney asked the Senator if this is like a Do Not Call list.

"Yes, like that. Again, Easy. Make it easy," Senator Becker said. "That's really the whole goal here. Otherwise, we know people are just too busy."

This would be set up differently than the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call List and would be for California residents only, but its influence would spread.

"Every company, because of how big California is, has some nexus into California," cybercrime expert Chris Pierson said. "So it's going to be impossible to do a 'Hey? Let's not pay attention to this.' They're going to have to pay attention to it. As a result, it's going provide better privacy for all Americans, hopefully."

Pierson is the founder and CEO of digital protection company BlackCloak. He says this bill is about more than just privacy, this legislation will reel in online criminals.

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"Most of cybercrime actually starts there from deep web activities and data broker activities," Pierson said. "If you can actually find someone's name, address, personal phone number, personal email address, it makes them an easier target to hit."

The bill is still working its way through the legislature but has plenty of support.

"It was quite a broad coalition," Senator Becker told 7 On Your Side. "I've seen privacy groups, people who have been focused on this fight now for years, but also like Planned Parenthood. Because people don't realize data brokers can collect location-based information, purchase history. So, for example, if somebody went to a reproductive healthcare center, and that information could be available for sale."

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side. 7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.


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