Proposed California Privacy Rules Draw Mixed Reaction From ANA

Proposed regulations implementing California's privacy are drawing a mixed reaction by the Association of National Advertisers.

The latest version of the proposed rules, unveiled earlier this month, ”includes some suggestions made by ANA and others in the business community,” Executive Vice President for Government Relations Dan Jaffe writes Wednesday in a blog post.

But he adds that the draft regulations “still have significant problems that, if left uncorrected, will negatively impact both consumers and businesses.” 

The California Consumer Privacy Act, which took effect last month, gives consumers the right to learn what information has been collected about them by companies, have that information deleted, and prevent the sale of that data to third parties.

The bill defines “personal information” as data that could reasonably be linked to individuals -- and mentions data that that can be used for ad targeting, including persistent identifiers, browsing history and IP addresses.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is tasked with developing regulations to implement the bill, proposed in recent guidance that data should only be considered “personal information” if it is stored in a way that could reasonably link it to particular individuals or households. For instance, IP addresses would not be considered personal as long as they weren't linked, or “reasonably” linkable, to customers or households.

On Wednesday, Jaffe suggested the ANA views that change favorably, writing that Becerra had “tightened” the bill's definition of personal information.

At the same time, Jaffe noted that it's still not entirely clear when data will be considered “reasonably linked” to individuals.

He also criticized other proposed regulations, including one that would require companies to honor “do not track” requests sent through browsers, provided the consumers affirmatively activate the signal.

“The proposal ... states that, if a global setting conflicts with a specific privacy setting, it must be honored but the business can alert the consumer about the conflict and the consumer can indicate his/her intentions,” he writes. “The proposed mandated browser signal provisions would preclude consumers from making individual choices about data transfers by specific businesses, hindering the advertising community’s ability to market specifically to that consumer.”

Becerra's office is accepting comments through Feb. 25 on the proposed regulations.

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