Ad Industry Urges California Governor To Veto Data Broker Bill

A new California law that would require “data brokers” to register with the state attorney general would hurt California's “entire tech and data-driven economy,” five ad industry associations say in a letter sent Wednesday to Governor Gavin Newsom.

The organizations are urging Newsom to veto AB 1202, introduced in February by Assembly member Ed Chau and passed by California lawmakers earlier this month.

The bill “would result in numerous problems for consumers, the California Attorney General ... and businesses, making California a more difficult place to innovate and regulate, and hurting workers and consumers in nearly all sectors of the state’s economy,” the Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Advertising Federation, American Association of Advertising and Network Advertising Initiative write.



The groups tell Newsom it would be “ill-advised to sign a new law directly regulating the information economy” until the attorney general has drafted regulations for the Consumer Privacy Act.

That law, slated to go into effect in January, broadly gives consumers the right to learn what personal information has been collected about them by companies, have that information deleted, and prevent the sale of that data. Attorney General Xavier Becerra is still developing regulations to implement the Consumer Privacy Act.

The ANA and other organizations also say the new law's definition of data brokers is so broad it “potentially cover every business operating in California.”

Chau's bill defines data broker as a business that “knowingly collects and sells to third parties the personal information of a consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.”

The measure uses the same definition of “personal information” as the California Consumer Privacy Act, which characterizes personal information as data that could reasonably be linked to individuals -- including data used for ad targeting, such as persistent identifiers, browsing history and IP addresses.

The ANA and other ad groups argue that this construct sweeps in many companies beyond traditional data brokers -- including “businesses conducting routine activities, such as a publisher trying to reach new customers, detect against fraud, or measure their marketing campaigns.”

Newsom has until October 13 to sign the measure.

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