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A Nevada law that fines companies for selling private data is about to take effect



The Stratosphere Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in the Nevada Desert.
Photo: Dan Callister / Getty

As of next Tuesday, Nevada residents may choose not to have their personal information resold online. A privacy bill, signed into law in May, requires website operators to respond to requests from consumers and stop the sale of their personal information within 60 days – or potentially with severe fines.

The law, enacted as Senate Bill 220, was modeled on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), although it is more limited in some areas. Companies are still allowed to exchange personally identifiable information (PII) with their own business companies, for example. To be eligible for an opt-out, the operator must intend to actually sell the information.

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California's idea of ​​PII is also somewhat broader, and includes essentially all information that can reasonably be associated with a particular individual or household. Conversely, Nevada law describes specific examples of information that is considered private, such as the consumer's name, address, telephone number, social security number, and so on.

Formally effective October 1, SB 220 authorizes Nevada's Attorney General to bring legal action against site and app site operators who violate the requirements. Violators can be fined up to $ 5,000 per violation and civil penalties.

CCPA enters into force on January 1, 2020.

The laws are a direct response from state lawmakers to sweeping privacy violations in recent years; from the litany of scandals on Facebook to the huge data breach at Equifax in 2017. So far, the US Congress has failed to provide comprehensive legislation to protect US consumer data, despite public outcry and a series of record-breaking fines from regulators.

Tech companies have stepped up pressure on Congress to pass a national privacy law, arguing that the patchwork for state-level politics is expensive and too burdensome to follow. However, advocates for privacy say any law making it through Congress will be significantly weaker than those made by states. They also accuse major technology companies of pushing for a federal federal law specifically for that reason.


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