(KPIX 5) — Californians are about to get a groundbreaking new privacy law to protect their data online and on their phones. The California Consumer Privacy Act will allow you to see the personal information companies collect about you and stop them from sharing it.
That includes your name, user name, password, phone number, address and tracking via your location, browsing and purchase histories.
The law also covers race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, and biometric information.
The sweeping law covering 40 million Californians was introduced by Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg two years ago.
When the bill passed, he said on the Senate floor, “I don’t think there’s going be any question this will be the most far reaching bill across the country.”
Many people KPIX talked to over the weekend support the new law.
“It’s our privacy and our data. I think it’s a great idea,” said Lisa Kriedeman of San Diego.
But the burden is on the consumer to request more privacy. Would people take the time to do it?
“I already know that everything I put out into the world in text, video, photos, they have all of that,” said Nick Thurston of Berkeley.
Would he request companies to delete it? “Yeah, absolutely,” Thurston said.
Some companies are already letting you separate your identity from your data, so businesses can use it anonymously. Companies that don’t comply with the new law face thousands of dollars in fines for each violation.
And if there’s a data breach due to negligence, you could sue.
But some, like DJ Kriedeman of Oceanside, wonder if the changes are more trouble than they’re worth.
“You’ve giving your information to them willingly when you sign up, so is the law really necessary if you already know you’re giving information to them?” he asked.
If you do opt out of letting companies use your private information, the new act says they can’t exclude you from their services completely, but can limit them.
Other states aren’t the only ones interested in California’s landmark changes; lawmakers are now working on creating a federal privacy law.