The recent wave of consumer privacy legislation has created a number of compliance headaches for covered companies, but it also carries burdens for consumers. Anyone who cares to exercise their rights to opt out of data sales and sharing for targeted ads, profiling, and other marketing purposes has had to go to every website they do business with and submit their opt-out using whatever tools or instructions the website provides. Now, Consumer Reports aims to make things easier: it has released an app that is free to consumers and allows them to submit such requests all from one place. The app reportedly covers many familiar consumer brands, as well as many data brokers.
Why It Matters
More and more often, new privacy legislation is building in a requirement that websites comply with a browser signal set to “opt out," which should function to opt a user out of a compliant website's data sales and sharing. However, it's not clear how such a signal affects the browsing experience, and it is new enough that many companies don't yet honor it. If consumers can opt out in one fell swoop from dozens of marketing efforts, they may be more inclined to take advantage of their new privacy rights. This may mean, however, that website operators should prepare for an influx of new opt-out requests and be prepared to comply.
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