The CA Delete Act has a gaping loophole that gives the most common data brokers immunity from the Delete Act and the delete your data portions of CCPA and CPRA
Updated: September 26th, 2023
The people search site data brokers, the sites that sell detailed background checks on the majority of the US population, successfully lobbied to get an exemption from data broker regulations. They did this by claiming that personal information should NOT include information that is publicly available, such as by government records, social media, or other sources.
Well, it turns out pretty much everyone’s name and contact information can be found somewhere on the web, even if they didn’t put it there. So it gives these data brokers a way to claim that the data they sell was already public and therefore not subject to the CCPA, CPRA, and now the delete act.
The General Counsel of one of the largest data brokers told me in writing “the information offered by our company is "publicly available information" under CPRA (successor to CCPA) and is therefore outside the scope of the law. ”
To fix this loophole, the state of California needs to amend the definition of personal information to anything that could be used to identify an individual in part or in whole, regardless of how it was sourced.
If not, the majority of data brokers will not be subject to the delete act. And one could argue that since most of our personal information can be found somewhere on the web, that could mean that pretty much any company could claim that the data they have on consumers is accessible somewhere on the web, which renders the majority of the CCPA, CPRA, and Delete Act useless.
I am publicly requesting that the State of California REMOVE the exemption for data brokers that enables them to display and sell personal information that can be sourced from public sources. All personal information should have the right to be removed from non-government sources upon request.
These people search sites are able to aggregate personal information from various “public” sources that creates a much more detailed profile than each individual source. That profile can include name, phone, email, address, place of work, education, legal records, marriage records, criminal records, family members, and social media profiles. All of this information for sale in one place is not the way this information was intended to be used. And it’s dangerous because scammers can use it to commit identity theft, fraud, social engineering hacks, and financial crimes.
Attorney General Rob Bonta
Senator Josh Becker
Senator Scott Wiener
Senator David Min
Assembly Member Jesse Samuel Gabriel
Assembly Member Gregg Hart
Assembly Member Josh Lowenthal
Assembly Member Buffy Wicks
CEO and Co-founder
Los Angeles, CA