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Ad Trade Bodies Campaign Against California Delete Act

Multiple industry trade bodies voiced their opposition to the proposed Delete Act (SB 362) in a letter to California lawmakers late last week.

The bill—introduced earlier this year—enables California residents to make a single request to delete their data from every data broker registered with the state.

Introduced by Sen. Josh Becker, the bill will mandate all data broker companies to honor this opt-out request. The bill is currently in an Assembly committee.

“If passed, SB 362 would negatively impact Californians,” according to the letter obtained by Adweek.

Although the new bill gives people major rights, it hobbles the entire data ecosystem critical for marketers. Trade bodies argue that this bill would also hinder cybersecurity and anti-fraud measures, as well as prevent smaller players in the industry from competing, often women-owned or minority-owned businesses, the letter states.

The trade bodies include names such as the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4 As), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA).

The new bill would be the first in the country that allows universal data deletion. Under California’s existing data privacy laws, including CCPA and the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, residents can opt out of allowing companies to collect their data. However, residents are required to contact data brokers individually to make data deletion requests.

“There are proven, effective ways to conduct targeted advertising and measure marketing performance that do not use PII nor create privacy issues for consumers,” said Matt Voda, CEO of marketing software company OptiMine. “Contextual advertising, marketing mix modeling and other traditional approaches that have been modernized by today’s technology and innovation will easily step into the void to provide marketers the tools they need to continue to be effective, relevant and cost-effective.”

Still, without people’s data, companies like anti-fraud and identity verification services, marketing services and loyalty programs, and cybersecurity services would not be able to deliver products and services that people benefit from today, the trade bodies argue. Based on a 2022 study by Privacy for America, the free and low-cost products and services people can access, in large part due to data, provide $30,000 in value to each individual every year.

“This major windfall to consumers would be lost if SB 362 is enacted,” per the letter.

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