The digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation is throwing its support behind a new California proposal that would require businesses to offer user-friendly privacy controls.
The new proposal, unveiled earlier this month by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, aims to prohibit what the EFF calls “manipulative user experience designs that businesses use to trick consumers into surrendering their personal data.”
California's privacy law, which took effect earlier this year, gives state residents the right to learn what information has been collected about them by companies, to have that information deleted, and to prevent the sale of that data to third parties.
Becerra's newest proposed regulations provide that businesses must offer opt-out methods that are “easy for consumers to execute” and that “require minimal steps.”
The proposed rules specifically provide that businesses can't use methods designed to thwart someone's decision to opt out.
The EFF argues in comments filed with the state Tuesday that the new proposed rules could prevent companies from using “dark patterns” to prevent users from opting out of the sale of their data.
The newest proposed regulations include some specific examples of the types of opt-out mechanisms that would be prohibited. Among others, business wouldn't be allowed to require people to take more steps to opt out of the sale of their data than to consent to the sale.
Businesses also wouldn't be able to use “confusing” language, such as “Don’t Not Sell My Personal Information.”
Additionally, the proposed regulations would ban companies from requiring consumers to provide more personal information than needed to implement a do-not-sell request.
Becerra's office is accepting comments through October 28 on the proposed regulations.