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The California law that could help you find out what data companies are collecting from you

Escalator crowded mall shopping
Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 16:18:45-05

PHOENIX — From targeted ads to extra coupons, just how much do stores know about your shopping habits? Well, a new California law is revealing what info companies could be collecting across the country.

From emails to phone numbers, even your favorite foods, companies can know a lot about you. Many asking you to opt into terms and conditions that track your purchases or online searches.

When signing up for a Fry's loyalty card, you allow them to collect personal identifiers like your name, your drivers or state ID numbers. Demographic information like your level of education, type of employment even health conditions through purchases. You also allow information "shared through 3rd parties such as social media or publicly available sources."

Other grocers like Safeway and Albertson's have similar policies.

But soon, you may be able to get a record of everything they know and even limit it.

On January 1, 2020, California's Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect. Meaning state residents can ask companies for a copy of any information they have on them. Companies also have to give customers a way to limit how that information is shared or to delete it completely.

So, what does this mean for us in Arizona?

According to Consumer Reports, as companies set up these tools for Californians, they are making them available to everyone.

For example, Microsoft has expanded its privacy dashboard to all users. The same goes for other large tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.

If companies decide not to offer this service to everyone, Consumer Reports says the California law is still having a big effect. More companies are limiting what they collect, ensuring it is for a specific purpose instead of blindly collecting data.

To read the requirements under the new California law: CLICK HERE.