By Major Garrett & Carter Evans, CBS EVENING NEWS
December 31, 2019
MAJOR GARRETT: 2020 will bring with it a new law in California that could impact consumers across the country. It gives shoppers control over the way their personal information is used. Carter Evans explains how it works.
CARTER EVANS (CBS News Correspondent): Whether shopping in stores or online, retailers collect all sorts of information about you.
MAN: My credit card details, my date of birth.
WOMAN: Your location, what items you`re shopping for.
CARTER EVANS: And a whole lot more--who your family and friends are, and all of your internet search history. Many companies sell or share that information without your knowledge.
ALASTAIR MACTAGGART: I have no problem with companies profiting. I just think you should have a right to know how it`s happening.
CARTER EVANS: Real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart launched the California Consumer Privacy Act.
ALASTAIR MACTAGGART: If the company is selling your information, they`re required to have a "do not sell" button on their website.
CARTER EVANS: Home Depot already has the link. Click it, and you can request to see what information the company has on you. You can have them delete it or opt out entirely. Walmart and Target now also have the link.
JAMIE COURT: It`s kind of like a panic button for your privacy.
CARTER EVANS: Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court says the law now gives consumers control.
JAMIE COURT: Big value of this law is it`s a deterrent effect. It tells companies be reasonable with what you collect about our data because you`re going to have to tell us.
CARTER EVANS: Big opponents, like Nicholas Ahrens with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, says the state law is ambiguous and confusing.
NICHOLAS AHRENS: That`s really the reason that you want to have one federal law that`s comprehensive that sets a clear set of rules for all consumers so that they know what to expect.
JAMIE COURT: California is really, I think, giving a New Year`s gift to America because my bet is if it`s not easy for retailers to do this just for Californians, all Americans are going to inherit these rights.
CARTER EVANS: And that`s already beginning to happen. Microsoft, Target, and Home Depot all say they`re going to apply the California privacy law nationwide. Major.
MAJOR GARRETT: Finally, a privacy panic button. Carter Evans, thanks so much.
There is still much more ahead on tonight`s CBS EVENING NEWS. We will take you around the world for, of course, New Year`s celebrations.