LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Companies are now sending notifications and emails to accept new terms and conditions. The changes are thanks to new California law, cracking down on how personal data is collected and shared.
The law applies to any company that does business in California.
“It’s definitely most of the major technology companies,” Las Vegas cyber security expert Shannon Wilkinson said. Wilkinson is the president and CEO of Tego Cyber.
Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and Twitter were among the online giants that updated their fine print on Jan. 1, 2020.
“About selling your data, opting in and allowing it or maybe being compensated for the sale of your data, that’s another option,” Wilkinson explained the changes.
Under a new California law, companies can still collect user data, what users research and where users shop.
But now those companies must tell users exactly what they’re collecting and how they plan to use it.
“When you notice that your search for a gift on Google, the toaster or fishing rod starts showing up in your Facebook or Twitter, that makes you kind of go, ‘What kind of data is being collected on me? How long am I going to see ads for toasters?’” Wilkinson said.
After a year of major data breaches making headlines, Wilkinson said this new law is about giving consumers a choice.
“As we've seen with the major data breaches, companies just aren't doing that, aren't protecting the privacy of your data,” she said.
While the new California law is considered the most far-reaching, Wilkinson said Nevada did it first. The Silver State already has a very similar in place. It went into effect on Oct. 1, 2019.
“Where they’ve said, if I’m going to sell the data and I’m a Nevada business, I need to give people the option to opt in for the sale of their data,” Wilkinson said.
She added this calls for a lot of changes behind the scenes so don’t count on companies to roll out these privacy updates overnight.
“Just because a country or a state enacts a privacy protection law, you can't expect a company to be compliant and do something to protect your data,” she said.
Along with California, every other state has similar laws in place, which is a lot for companies to comply with.
Cyber security experts hope our federal government takes up the issue to create a sweeping privacy protection policy.