San Francisco, Jan. 6, 2020—With the new year comes unprecedented rights for consumers under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to control and protect the massive amounts of data that companies collect from them. Common Sense has new free resources to help families exercise their rights including a "Do Not Sell" form and tips for how to understand what information companies have about them and how families can best protect it.
In an era where we're tracked with every click, swipe, and voice request, the new law, which was co-sponsored by Common Sense, now allows parents, teens, and other consumers to demand that companies tell them what information they've collected about them, and to delete and no longer sell their personal information. The law extends extra protections for teens up to age 16, prohibiting companies from selling their data unless explicitly given permission.
The CCPA also requires companies to provide consumers with information on their websites about how to exercise their privacy rights. Common Sense is providing a free request form that consumers can download and send in through mail or email to find out which categories of data are collected about them, to find out how their data is used, and to tell a company not to sell it. And even though some companies say they don't sell data, consumers have the right to know which data has been collected about them and can request to delete their information.
"Because we cannot count on profit-driven companies to prioritize privacy and consumer protections, Common Sense is providing a free form consumers can use to exercise their rights," said James P. Steyer, CEO of Common Sense. "California is ground zero for privacy protections and holding tech companies accountable. The time has come once and for all to take action and take back our privacy."
The Common Sense privacy resources also include tips for families on their new rights, illustrative videos on why their data is important and how it affects their day-to-day lives, tips on how to better protect children's privacy at home and in school, privacy reviews of edtech and games, and an educational curriculum on privacy.
Today's kids have had access to devices their entire lives, and these devices have in turn had access to kids—with little regulation or protection around what data is collected or how it is used. This means companies have been tracking everything from their health and habits to their education and political beliefs—and we don't yet know what implications this will have for them going forward.
Common Sense co-sponsored the new law as part of its advocacy for tech reforms that will lead to the improved digital well-being of kids and families and protect against the ongoing profiling and commercial use of kids' data.
What parents need to know:
1. As of January 1, 2020, the CCPA provides consumers:
The right to know which personal information is being collected about them.
The right to know which categories of personal information are sold and to whom.
The right to opt out and say no to the sale of their personal information.
The right to access their personal information.
The right to download or transfer their personal information.
The right to have information they provided to a company deleted.
The right to equal service and price whether or not they exercise their privacy rights.
2. For kids under 16, companies will be prohibited from selling their data unless parents (for kids under 13) or teens (age 13–15) tell the company they can.
3. Companies will not go to consumers. Families have to contact the companies directly to exercise their rights.
4. For accessing or deleting information, many companies may require individuals to log in to the service to verify identity. To exercise the right to know what data has been collected about them, every individual must submit a form with each company (there are no family forms).
5. A company is supposed to fulfill requests within 45 days.
6. To tell companies not to sell your data, individuals can submit a form or should be able to click on a "Do Not Sell" link on their sites.
7. Consumers can submit requests starting January 1, 2020. Companies have until July 1, 2020, before compliance is enforced.
Find more information here.
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.