Privacy move. California passes the Delete Act, so users can to remove their personal online data from a single page
California has passed what it is calling the ‘Delete Act’ as it seeks to strengthen the privacy options for citizens in that US state.
The Delete Act, otherwise known as Senate Bill 362, was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday. It states by January 2026, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) must create a way for people to make data brokers delete their data with a single request.
California already had strict privacy laws under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which required businesses to disclose, delete, or withhold from sharing or selling personal data as requested by individuals.
However it required filing a request with each individual company, which considering there are said to be 500 data brokers in California, was a big ask.
But the Delete Act, which was introduced in April 2023 by the state senator Josh Becker, is an attempt to give Californians easier control over their privacy.
It will make possible for Californians to either ask data brokers to delete their personal data or forbid them to sell or share it, with a single request.
So how exactly will it work?
The Guardian newspaper reported that the new bill reinforces that all data brokers must register with the California privacy protection agency, and it requires the CPPA to establish an easy and free way for Californians to request that all data brokers in the state delete their data through a single page, regardless of how they acquired that information.
If data brokers don’t comply with these rules, the bill stipulates they be fined or otherwise penalised.
“Governor Newsom’s signature of the Delete Act enshrines California as a leader in consumer privacy, and we are determined to restore consumers’ control over their own personal data,” state senator Josh Becker was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
“Data brokers possess thousands of data points on each and every one of us, and they currently sell reproductive healthcare, geolocation and purchasing data to the highest bidder,” Becker reportedly said. “The Delete Act protects our most sensitive information.”
But the bill has also faced opposition, unsurprisingly from advertising companies, which have argued it would undermine their industry.
California will have until 2026 to implement the Delete Act.
It is understood that by August 1st, 2026, data brokers will have to check for and honour new requests every 45 days. After removing the data as requested, brokers can still gather data but will have to delete it at the same 45-day interval.
However, since Californians can make a persistent request to have their data deleted or kept private, they won’t be able to sell the data without permission.
Starting January 2028, independent audits every three years will verify brokers’ compliance.