Ad Industry Warns Of 'Negative Impact' From California Privacy Law

The major ad industry associations are reiterating concerns that California's new privacy law is too broad and could restrict loyalty programs that offer discounts to consumers.

We “have notable concerns around the likely negative impact on California consumers and businesses from some of the specific language in the law,” the Association of National Advertisers, American Advertising Federation, Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Association of Advertising Agencies and Network Advertising Initiative say in a letter sent Thursday to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

They add that ambiguities in the law “could result in reduced choice and privacy for consumers.”

California's law, passed last year and slated for enforcement in 2020, allows consumers to learn what personal information about them is held by businesses, and to opt out of the sale of that information.



State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is tasked with developing regulations, is currently holding forums about the law.

The measure defines personal information as including data that could be linked to particular consumers or households. The ad organizations express concerns in their new letter that the definition is too broad. The ANA has previously argued that any data can theoretically be connected to particular consumers.

The groups add they are also concerned the law could affect loyalty programs. That concern stems from a provision of the measure that prohibits companies from charging higher prices to consumers who opt out of data collection and selling.

But in an apparent ambiguity, the measure allows businesses to offer "financial incentives" -- including cheaper prices -- to consumers who allow their data to be collected and sold.

The industry groups also say Becerra should refine the law's opt-out provisions to allow consumers to opt out of data sharing on a more granular level.

“The CCPA allow consumers entirely to opt out of the sale of their data or delete their data; but the law does not explicitly permit a business to offer a consumer the choice to delete or opt out regarding some, but not all, of their data,” the groups write. “We request that the AG clarify that businesses may offer reasonable options to consumers to choose the types of 'sales' they want to opt out of, the types of data they want deleted, or to completely opt out -- and not have to just provide an all-or-nothing option.”

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