New privacy bill gives Californians ability to “delete” their online data

California Governor Gavin Newsom has inked a new privacy law that will make it easier for CA residents to force shady data brokers to take their personal info off the web – with just the push of a button.

The DELETE Act, also known as SB 362, will provide Californians with a “one-stop-shop website” where they can essentially hit a “delete” button controlling how data brokers collect, maintain, and sell their personal information online.

“Every Californian should be able to control who has access to their personal information and what they can do with it,” said Democratic Senator Josh Becker, who first introduced the Senate bill in February.

Data brokers collect, analyze, and sell personal information about consumers, aggregating data from public records, social media platforms, online transactions, and much more to create detailed profiles on millions of people, Becker says.

And, although data brokers are required under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to register with the state attorney general’s office, they previously did not have to disclose the types of information collected and sold to the agency.

Under the new Act, brokers must now disclose specific sensitive data such as:

  • Personal information of minors
  • Consumers’ precise geolocation
  • Consumers’ reproductive health care data

Brokers would also be required to correct any personal information at the consumer’s request.

Previously, a person was only able to request the removal of online information that they'd personally provided to a site – for example, when signing up for a social media account or a shopping site – but not data collected by the brokers from other sources, often times obtained by sophisticated yet shadowy means.

“Data brokers spend their days and nights mining for personal information so they can build dossiers on millions of people and sell them to the highest bidder,” said Becker.

“The loophole in the law is big enough to drive a few million stolen identities through and it’s time to close it,” he said.

“Identity theft is certainly one concern, and older folks in particular are at risk of being scammed and ripped off by people who may have gotten their hands on a senior’s personal information,” Becker said.

SB 362, officially signed into law on October 10th, requires the CCPA to create a single deletion mechanism by January 1st, 2026 at no cost to the consumer.

Once established, data brokers will be required to access the site every 45 days to delete any consumer requests. If they fail to do so, the brokers would face monetary and civil penalties that are still to be determined.

Becker presides over two northern California counties near Silicon Valley.

Earlier this year, Becker also introduced a bill to create the state’s first Interagency AI Working Group to develop, oversee, and implement AI policy within the California legislature.

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