California Shine the Light

Definition & Meaning:

The California Shine the Light law, officially known as California Civil Code Section 1798.83, allows California residents to inquire about how their personal information is shared with third parties for direct marketing purposes.

Enacted in 2005, it aims to increase transparency and give individuals more control over their personal data.

Under this law, businesses are required to provide a specific disclosure to customers upon request, once per calendar year, detailing the categories of personal information shared and the identities of the third parties with whom it was shared in the previous calendar year.

For example, if you live in California and have shopped at an online store, you can request a report from that store on whether they have shared your personal information with any advertising agencies.

The law applies to companies doing business in California that have shared customer information for direct marketing purposes.

It ensures that residents are informed about what personal data is being distributed and offers a pathway to understanding and potentially limiting this distribution.

Businesses subject to the California Shine the Light law must provide a method for consumers to submit requests for information, such as a toll-free number, email address, or physical address.

They are also required to make this information easily accessible to customers, often found in the privacy policy or a specific section of the company’s website dedicated to legal disclosures.

The law is significant because it focuses on the sale or sharing of personal information with third parties for direct marketing, a common practice that raises privacy concerns among consumers.

By obligating businesses to disclose their practices, users are encouraged to make informed decisions about their interactions with companies and their personal information.