Here's why Facebook, Google, and every other major tech company are updating their privacy policy in time for 2020, and what it means for you


Mark Zuckerberg

  • Tech companies — ranging from giants like Facebook and Google to smaller startups — are overhauling their privacy policies in time for 2020, when a sweeping new privacy law will go into effect.
  • The law was passed in California, but changes being made by most major tech companies will affect everyone.
  • Among other new changes, users will now have the opportunity to click a link on major companies’ sites reading “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In the past month, major tech companies have scrambled to overhaul their privacy policies in time for 2020 — you have seen a notification or gotten an email about it from sites including Facebook.

The reason is a sweeping California law passed by the California state legislature earlier this year that sets a January 1 deadline for companies to comply with new privacy standards.

The law, called the California Consumer Privacy Act, is meant to give people more information and control when it comes to how tech companies use their personal data. It only applies to California residents, but most major tech companies will ultimately overhaul their entire platforms to get into compliance, affecting all users.

Among the most prominent changes you may notice will be a new button or link on the websites you visit reading “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.”

Here’s everything you need to know about how the new law will reshape the internet.

The law only applies to businesses that earn more than $25 million annually, collect data on more than 50,000 people, or make more than half of their revenue by selling people’s data.

Source: Fortune

Tech companies are expected to spend around $55 billion to get in compliance, according to a report published by the state of California.

Source: CNBC

Some companies are already rolling out changes — Twitter announced a new “privacy center” in December.

Source: Slate

Similarly, Google has published a Chrome extension that allows people to block Google Analytics from gathering their information.

Source: Chrome Web Store

However, some companies are pushing back on the thrust of the law — Facebook argues that it doesn’t need to change its policies because it says it technically doesn’t “sell” user data, but rather uses it for advertising targeting purposes.

Source: Wall Street Journal

If nothing else, all companies that the law applies to will need to set up online help centers where users can request information about how their data is used — so if you’re looking for more specific information, seek out those resources.

Source: Pillsbury Law