Privacy advocates have developed a browser
extension that could function as a universal opt-out mechanism for California residents.
The tool, released Wednesday in beta, is available as a
downloadable extension in some browsers, including those operated by Mozilla, Abine, Brave, and DuckDuckGo.
California’s new privacy law, which took effect in January, gives consumers the
right to learn what personal information has been collected about them by companies, have that information deleted, and prevent the sale of that data to third parties.
Regulations crafted by
Attorney General Xavier Becerra require companies to honor global do-not-sell requests that consumers send through browser-based tools.
On Wednesday, he praised the new tool.
“This proposed standard is a first step towards a meaningful global privacy control that will make it simple and easy for consumers
to exercise their privacy rights online,” Becerra tweeted.
Most of the major browser developers already
offer “do-not-track” settings, but those signals don’t necessarily communicate that users don’t want their data “sold,” as that term is defined by California law.
ad industry opposes the requirement to honor universal opt-out signals, arguing both that the statute itself doesn’t include that mandate, and that the requirement violates advertisers’ First
“Instead of instituting a blanket requirement for businesses to honor browser signals and other intermediary controls, a proposal that goes beyond the law’s
intent and scope, the law should provide that businesses may honor these browser controls or offer consumers another, equally effective method of opting out of personal information sale,” the
Association for National