Report: Walmart Will Add ‘Do Not Sell My Info’ Option to Comply with California Data Privacy Law

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Major U.S. retailers including Walmart and Home Depot are reportedly planning to comply with California’s new data privacy law that requires companies to disclose to consumers how they collect and share personal information. Retailers plan to give consumers a “do not sell my info” option.

The decision stands in stark contrast to Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, which have taken a defiant stance against the new law.

Reuters reported Monday that retailers including Walmart will add “Do Not Sell My Info” links to their websites and signage in stores starting January 1, giving consumers the ability to opt out of the sale of their data.

Others like Home Depot will allow shoppers around the country to access such information online, according to the report. Home Depot will add signage to its California stores as well as barcodes so shoppers can look up information using their mobile devices.

Amazon told Reuters that it doesn’t plan to put a “Do not sell” button on its website because “Amazon is not in the business of selling customers’ personal data and it never has been,” according to a company spokesperson.

The spokesperson told Reuters that Amazon will launch a “revised privacy notice” and will review the final regulations to “understand what signage may be required to inform customers how to find the privacy notice.”

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is set to take effect January and represents one of the most aggressive attempts by a state to address the controversy around data sharing. The new law affects both brick-and-mortar stores as well as online companies, including tech giants, many of whom depend on the sale of user data for a large chunk of their revenue.

Facebook recently told advertisers it won’t make changes to its web-tracking services to comply with the law because the social media giant believes that the routine data transfers it engages in may not fit California’s definition of “selling” data.

The defiant stance is setting up a potential clash between Facebook and state lawmakers.

The California Attorney General told Reuters in an interview that privacy law enforcement will look kindly on companies that demonstrate an effort to comply.

Reuters cited an anonymous Walmart source saying that the company is “working through a lot of ambiguities in the law, for example, the language around loyalty programs and if retail companies can offer them going forward.”

A Home Depot spokesperson told the news service that the California law introduces new requirements but does not change the company’s “deliberate approach to customer data and privacy.”

Reuters reported that Target already allows its shoppers to opt out of sharing their information with third parties for marketing purposes. A spokesperson for the retailer said a  “Do Not Sell” button on its website will be visible to all U.S. shoppers.

In addition, Target will provide California residents with information outlined under the new law.

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