Mobile billboard truck, online ads, educational website show unintended consequences of mass deletion of consumer data
(Sacramento, CA) The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), the voice of the consumer reporting industry, today launched a public awareness campaign highlighting the harms that California’s Delete Act (Senate Bill 362) poses to consumers. The effort includes mobile billboard trucks circulating in Sacramento this week, as well as online ads and the NotoSB362.org website.
SB 362, if enacted, would allow Californians or their authorized agents to delete all personal information retained by companies defined as “data brokers” with the click of a button.
“This bill would cause a massive ripple of unintended consequences on people’s everyday lives and California’s entire economy,” said Dan Smith, president and CEO of CDIA. “It would undermine consumer fraud protections, curb small businesses’ ability to compete, hurt mission-driven nonprofits, and empower third-party ‘pay to delete’ services at consumers’ expense.”
CDIA has raised concerns about SB 362’s potential harms to consumers throughout the legislative process. For example, it has pointed out that on:
- Small Business: Small and independent businesses, a growing number of which are minority- and women-owned, rely on consumer data provided by data brokers to find, reach, and attract new customers and grow their businesses. Without this data, these business owners will be cut off from the information they need to remain competitive with larger companies.
- Solidify big platforms’ data dominance: This bill would ultimately choose large companies as the market winners over small businesses. The legislation conveniently leaves out social media companies and search engines that collect vast troves of personal information used to sell billions of dollars in advertising. This bill would further solidify this dominance and disadvantage small businesses’ ability to compete for advertising.
- Nonprofits: Nonprofits and mission-driven entities rely on data that enables them to reach new donors and volunteers with their important messages. SB 362’s deletion mechanism will remove data from the marketplace and hinder the ability of nonprofits and cause-driven entities to further their missions.
- Empowering third parties at consumers’ expense: SB 362 would allow third parties to request deletion of data on behalf of consumers. Without proper guardrails, this could give an unfair market advantage to those not defined as data brokers. The bill has no controls to define a so-called authorized agent. For example, a large tech company could create a self-serving marketplace where it controls all data. This could incentivize a cottage industry of groups that could mislead consumers into paying for services they don’t understand.
“Consumers may not understand the potential severe downsides to deleting their information, so we favor pausing this bill for a full and transparent discussion around the unintended consequences this legislation would have for all Californians,” concluded Smith.
About the Consumer Data Industry Association
The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) is the voice of the consumer reporting industry, representing consumer reporting agencies including the nationwide credit bureaus, regional and specialized credit bureaus, background check and residential screening companies, and others. Founded in 1906, CDIA promotes the responsible use of consumer data to help consumers achieve their financial goals, and to help businesses, governments and volunteer organizations avoid fraud and manage risk. Through data and analytics, CDIA members empower economic opportunity all over the world, helping ensure fair and safe transactions for consumers, facilitating competition and expanding consumers’ access to financial and other products suited to their unique needs. Find us online at www.cdiaonline.org.