More Consumer Protections are Coming by 2022

NBC 7 Responds looked at the voter-approved Prop 24 to see what it means for consumers

NBC Universal, Inc.

In November, Californians voted in favor of Proposition 24, which will strengthen the state's privacy laws. Those changes won't happen overnight. Instead they'll take about two years to be enforced.

"These next two years are all about getting ready," said James Lee of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Lee says California has the strongest privacy laws in the country, but the proposition will make them even stronger. It closes what he called a loophole in the system.

"We didn't have the ability to not share information, only not to sell it," said Lee. "Now we have the opportunity to say ‘don't share it.’"

Lee says that means you can now tell a company to not use your information for marketing purposes online. Prop 24 also expanded the definition of "sensitive information" to increase protection of your privacy.

"All those ads that follow you around the internet? You can stop that," said Lee. "You can request the company not use your information for that kind of advertising."

Lee says you'll be able to know who is collecting your information and how it is being used. That includes knowing how long they keep it and who they are selling it to.

During the next two years, California will create a new privacy agency to help protect consumers and the information stored by web companies. Lee says the new laws are similar to the ones already protecting European consumers.

"Currently, it's collect as much as you can and keep it for as long as you can," said Lee. "We've now turned that on its head. People are more concerned today than they ever have been in the United States about how their data is used."

Lee says everyone should notice the change. You'll likely be asked by websites what you want them to do with your information when you visit them.

"No matter what business they're in, if they're collecting, sharing, or selling information they're going to be subject to this," said Lee. "You can be big tech or medium tech. You'll be subject to the restrictions of this law."

Business now have two years to start complying with the law before it is enforced, but it is possible some websites may roll out these protections earlier as they change how they operate.

"You've had the right under the CCPA to see the information companies had about you but didn't have the right to correct it," said Lee. "Now you do."

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