Policy Research

The Problem

Access to our favorite free websites and apps is at risk! Last year, the State Legislature passed a new law called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) intended to give consumers more control over their personal data. Stronger data protection is something we all support, but this law was passed in just one week with little public scrutiny or consideration for how some provisions might negatively impact the continued availability of free websites and apps that are supported by modern online advertising. These include services such as email, news, driving directions, weather reporting, sports, streaming music, stock market updates, and more.

The Solution

Legislators need to act this year to ensure that equal access to these important online conveniences is not disrupted. The CCPA was never intended to prohibit the use of tailored online ads, since these ads do not require personally identifiable information – such as your name, address, social security number, email, etc. – in order to be delivered to you. This privacy protective practice of serving tailored ads to consumers on the internet helps ensure that important online services remain free for all.

  • Modern online ads support free online content and services in the same way that TV commercials support free TV programming. Without them, we may have to pay for the websites and apps we use today for free.
  • Modern online ads empower small businesses, allowing them to reach new customers in their community and elsewhere looking for specialized products and services.
  • Modern online ads enable charitable groups to better reach potential supporters and donors.
  • Modern online ads ensure all Californians, regardless of education or income level, have equal and free access to information and resources they rely on for work and everyday life, including email, driving directions, weather forecasts, news and more.
  • Modern online ads are delivered using only technical data needed to present the right ad to the right device or computer – not personal information like your name, phone number, banking or social security number.

Free access to important online services is critical to our personal and working lives. Tell your legislator to support the fixes to the CCPA needed to ensure our privacy is protected without jeopardizing the free internet!

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