It looks like a new tool is on the horizon with the potential to make the lives of people concerned about their personal privacy much easier. The Data Elimination and Limiting Extensive Tracking and Exchange Act or “Delete Act” was introduced February 10, 2022 and has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The Act requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a tool enabling people to submit a one-time request for deletion of their personal data to all registered data brokers that do not have a business relationship with the person. Americans could clearly save huge amounts of time by only submitting one request across multiple businesses. Not to mention it is difficult for the average American to stay abreast of how his/her personal data is currently tracked or collected, when no comprehensive transparency laws nor regulations exist to require organizations in America to disclose that information, much less monitor it themselves.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was the first law to introduce such a tool as a future requirement, referring to it as a Global opt-out button. The Global opt-out button in the CCPA is somewhat different as it’s geared toward opting-out of the sale or sharing of an individual’s personal data and sensitive personal data versus having the personal data actually deleted from the data broker’s databases. Coupling the ability to submit an opt-out request for direct marketing with deletion requests is still a reactive approach to privacy but it is a step in the right direction for consumers to regain control of how their personal data is being processed. This together with a transparent privacy notice, informing consumers about the collection of their data might encourage them to make more educated decisions about who data is shared with and how it is being used. This could represent a big step for moving the country into more of a Privacy by Design model that can be empowering to organizations and consumers alike.
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