What you need to know
- Microsoft committed to extended new privacy laws in California across the U.S.
- The new protections are granted under the California Consumer Privacy Act.
- The laws require companies to be "more transparent" about data collection and use, and allow people to opt out of having their data sold.
Microsoft announced today that it will extend privacy regulations put in place by a California privacy law across the U.S. The law, known as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), is similar to Europe's General Data Protection Regulations (GPDR), and is set to go into effect in January 2020.
"We are strong supporters of California's new law and the expansion of privacy protections in the United States that it represents," Microsoft chief privacy officer Julie Brill said in a blog post. "Our approach to privacy starts with the belief that privacy is a fundamental human right and includes our commitment to provide robust protection for every individual."
Under the new law, companies will be required to inform customers about how their data is collected and used. People will also have the right to opt out of having their personal information from being sold. This could represent a blow to companies like Facebook and Google, which make money off of selling user data to advertisers. Both Facebook and Google have already made the necessary changes to comply with Europe's GDPR, and it's unclear how much of an impact the CCPA will have on their bottom lines. However, both companies reportedly fought to "water down" the legislation.
A source speaking with Reuters notes that Microsoft's decision to comply with the law across the U.S. may not be as "substantial" as it appears on the surface. Under the law, Microsoft is treated as a "service provider," a group designation that means it will likely have an easier time complying with the CCPA.
The other two categories, businesses and third parties, must disclose to consumers when data is shared between them, potentially allowing them to opt out. Service providers are companies that have agreed, under contract, not to keep or share any personal information for any reason other than the purposes defined in the contract.
For its part, Microsoft says that it hopes the CCPA will spur action at the federal level to implement privacy protections across the U.S., which would circumvent a need for a patchwork of legislation across states.
"We are optimistic that the California Consumer Privacy Act — and the commitment we are making to extend its core rights more broadly — will help serve as a catalyst for even more comprehensive privacy legislation in the U.S.," Brill said. "As important a milestone as CCPA is, more remains to be done to provide the protection and transparency needed to give people confidence that businesses respect the privacy of their personal information and can be trusted to use it appropriately."
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Razer Basilisk V2 review: THE mouse to get for FPS games
On the very same day, Razer released updates to two of its best-ever gaming mice. The Basilisk V2 is one of them, and it improves upon one of our favorite mice in just the right way. The signature feature has been retained, as has the core design, but underneath it's vastly improved and it's gone on a bit of a diet, too.
Timeline support is being removed from Microsoft Launcher on Android
Microsoft's Timeline feature on Windows 10 has seen little success since it's debut, with only a handful of applications really taking advantage of the cross-device syncing capabilities that Timeline provides. While Timeline is still part of Windows 10 today, other Microsoft products appear to be moving away from it in favor of a more traditional "recents" UI.
Galaxy Buds Live earbuds review: Are these pricey Bluetooth beans worth it?
What if headphones, were beans? That's what Samsung asked itself, and then ultimately answered with the Galaxy Buds Live. But are these pricey earbuds worth it? Or do they not even amount to a hill of beans. Beans beans beans beans.
Use these PCIe 4.0 motherboards with the GeForce RTX 3070 GPU
The latest GeForce RTX 30 series from NVIDIA utilizes PCIe 4.0, but is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0. If you're in the market for a new motherboard and want the very best, we've rounded up some excellent recommendations for you to start your search with.