New consumer privacy law can help Kansans monitor data

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FILE – This March 29, 2018 file photo, shows the logo for social media giant Facebook at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square. Britain’s competition watchdog signalled on Wednesday Dec. 18, 2019, its willingness to push for stricter rules to counter Google and Facebook ‘s dominance of online advertising. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – If you’ve been on the KSNT website since Jan. 1, then you may have seen a new message pop up, telling you about the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Local technology expert Burton Kelso says the new law lets people find out what companies know about them. But even more importantly, it actually lets them request it be deleted. The law affects major companies.

Because of this change, you’ll start to see notices asking if you want to change your ‘cookie’ settings. Cookies track you as you’re surfing.

“Information like addresses, phone numbers, and even your personal shopping habits, or your surfing habits, they can, in the wrong hands, lead someone to an inside look at your personal life and if you knew that, or if people knew that, they would take better steps to make sure people covered their tracks,” Kelso said.

Some companies are for the new law. Microsoft announced that it will apply the law nationwide. Kelso says the law will help prevent future lawsuits from data breaches and other data issues.

Analysts expect this to be a catalyst for other states to follow their lead.

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