California’s Delete Act Eases Erasing Consumer Data

The California Senate has approved Senate Bill 362, also known as the “Delete Act,” which aims to give Californian consumers the right to easily remove their data from online databases. Advocates argue that deletion rights are essential, while critics, including lawyers and advertisers, view it as a threat to the state’s digital ecosystem. Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14 to sign the bill into law, which is expected, according to Ashkan Soltani of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA).

The Delete Act establishes an accessible mechanism for deleting consumer data collected by data brokers. The CPPA will create a system by 2026, allowing residents to make a single deletion request to all 500 data brokers in the state. Brokers must then delete a customer’s personal information within 45 days of receiving a verified deletion request. Previously, consumers had to contact each data broker individually to delete their data.

Democratic senator Josh Becker introduced the Delete Act to address a loophole in the California Consumer Privacy Act, emphasizing the importance of individuals controlling access to their personal information. Critics argue that compliance with the new law will be costly for companies, particularly advertisers, who see it as a threat to the data-driven digital economy in California.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) expressed concerns that the Delete Act will disrupt the state’s digital economy and lead to more fraud and identity theft due to the potential lack of a robust data marketplace.