Dec 12, 2019

Chris Hoofnagle on Facebook’s Reluctance to Comply with California Privacy Law

From The Wall Street Journal

Facebook Won’t Change Web Tracking in Response to California Privacy Law

By Patience Haggin

Facebook Inc. has told advertisers it doesn't need to make any changes to its web-tracking services to comply with California's new consumer-privacy law. This may lead to an early clash over how the closely watched law will be enforced once it goes into effect.

Facebook is only one of several companies in the $130 billion U.S. digital-ad industry that maintains that routine data transfers about consumers may not fit the law's definition of “selling” data. Other major competitors, including Alphabet Inc.'s Google, have introduced new tools to comply with the law's mandate to stop collecting data if a user opts out.

Once the California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect on Jan. 1, websites with third-party trackers must add to their home page a button that says “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.” If a consumer clicks that button, the site is barred from transactions that send data to hundreds of third parties.

Chris Hoofnagle, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information, commented, “With any big privacy regime, there's a period of confusion, mistake and opportunism. And CCPA invites some opportunism because companies know they can't be sued for any breach of privacy rules.”


Chris Jay Hoofnagle is an adjunct full professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and School of Law.

Last updated:

June 12, 2020