California Directs Streaming Services To Let Users Opt Out Of Data Sharing

California's attorney general on Friday warned streaming apps as well as sellers of streaming devices that they must allow residents to easily opt out of the use of their data for advertising purposes.

“Consumers that are using a SmartTV should be able to navigate to the settings menu in a streaming service’s mobile app and enable the service’s 'Do Not Sell My Personal Information' setting,” Attorney General Rob Bonta's office stated Friday. “Consumers should also be able to have this choice honored across different devices if they are logged into their account when they send their opt-out request.”

Bonta said his office sent letters to streaming companies that allegedly violated California's sweeping privacy law by failing to offer easy opt-out mechanisms.



California's privacy law, which took effect in 2020, gives consumers the right to learn what personal information has been collected about them by companies, have that information deleted, and prevent the sale or transfer of that data to third parties. The law's definition of "personal information" is broad enough to cover the type of pseudonymous data that businesses rely on for ad targeting, and the definition of “sale” includes some data disclosures that faciliate targeted ads.

In 2022, cosmetics retailer Sephora agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the state privacy law by failing to disclose it “sold” website users' personal information, and failing to honor opt-out requests that consumers sent through universal opt-out mechanisms, such as the Global Privacy Control.

1 comment about "California Directs Streaming Services To Let Users Opt Out Of Data Sharing".
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  1. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, January 30, 2024 at 1:08 p.m.

    Kudos to AG Rob Bonta.  Most companies, especially the SmartTV companies and streamers, make it very difficult and convoluted to "Opt-Out" on "selling my personal information" as, like META et al, they have become "data pirates" (per the UK Parliamentary Report on Fakebook, Feb. 2019) to drive ad revenues.  California's next step?  Make it an "opt-in" requirement rather than "opt-out"?

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