Measure puts more power into consumers' hands
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY/NBC News) - A first-of-its-kind law in California will give people more say over who can, and cannot, make money off their information.
NBC's Stephanie Gosk took a closer look at how it could ease growing concerns over data privacy.
It should come as little surprise...
Nearly every click, search and download is being tracked and in some cases that information sold to advertisers.
But Wednesday in California, a new law goes went effect, returning at least some control over that data back to consumers.
" Americans should not have to give up their privacy to live and thrive in this digital age," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
The California Consumer Privacy Act comes at a time when an increasing number of Americans are concerned with how their information is being collected and used.
" You'll be able to find out what companies are collecting about you, and then you'll be able to say no, I don't want my data sold to third parties that I've never heard of. " says Robin Swanson, a California public affairs and communications expert.
Privacy advocates say legislation like this is just a first step and is far from perfect...among the concerns, it requires California residents to take action to protect their information instead of companies.
Mark Rasch is a cybersecurity and privacy attorney. Rasch says, " We've all seen those really long privacy policies and nobody reads them, so simply giving people notice really doesn't affect the behavior of those companies that collect the information."
There are also still questions about how well it can be enforced, but supporters hope similar laws with pass in other states, turning the tide on internet companies, who have long relied on your data to increase their profits.