How a new California privacy law could benefit Floridians

Consumer Reports

FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo an iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. Facebook says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In an age where nearly everything we do is recorded or tracked, it might seem like there’s no way to keep our personal data private. But a new law in California could give everyone here in Florida more control over what they share, and who they share it with, 8 On Your Side reports.

From where you like to shop to where you live, companies have been turning your personal data into big profits for years. But to start this year, the California Consumer Privacy Act gives California residents–and perhaps millions of others–new privacy rights.

“This law is definitely the first comprehensive privacy law we have in this country. It’s the first law that will require big companies that make money off of your data to give you back some control over it,” said Justin Brookman with Consumer Reports.

The law will likely have a ripple effect through the United States.

“First, we’re already starting to see other states consider passing similar legislation, Nevada has already passed a privacy law for example. I also think a lot of companies are going to follow this law everywhere rather than try to figure out where people are to decide what law to comply with,” says Brookman.

Here’s what California residents can expect to see changed:

  • Companies will offer consumers the option of having their data deleted.
  • Companies are also now required to provide details about the kinds of third parties they’re selling data to.

But possibly the most significant change will be an “opt-out” link — a button on the bottom of a webpage that says “do not sell my personal information.”

What can you do right now here in Tampa Bay? Use an ad blocker to help stop companies from tracking you.

If you’d like to see similar privacy laws here in Florida, you can contact your state representatives and let them know that you’d like to see a change.

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