Privacy / Data Protection

Exploring Information Sharing through California’s 'Shine the Light' Law

Author(s): Chris Jay Hoofnagle
Year: 2009

Abstract: Consumers have a dim understanding of how companies share personal information. To "shine a light" on information sharing practices, the authors employed a unique California law to survey the information sharing practices of 112 businesses. This follow-on study to a similar, smaller survey in 2007, found that four years after the law took effect, compliance is uneven. Fifty-three companies did not respond to the request at all. Only six companies disclosed how they shared information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes. Thirty-nine companies informed us that they do not share information, 5 provided an opt-out option for third party sharing, and 9 responses were categorized as "other."

Keywords: Privacy, opt-in, opt-out, direct marketing, information sharing, SB 27, shine the light