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Data Privacy Advocates Are Allegedly Collecting Your Info, Too

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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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An advocacy group that promotes restricting the ability of websites to collect users’ personal data might be using the same tools as its targets of criticism, Facebook and Google, to track and collect its users’ personal data, according to Bloomberg Monday.

Californians for Consumer Privacy’s website uses the same resources utilized by much of the web. And with that comes all the data trackers Facebook and Google use, too.

“The irony of criticizing Facebook and Google whilst using their services is not lost on us, but this gets back to our rationale for the initiative: Californians should be able to use these services and be secure that their personal information is not being sold,” Californians for Consumer Privacy stated on the site’s privacy policy. “Right now this is not possible.”

There’s nothing statistically unusual about a website collecting users’ data, as at least 79 percent of websites around the world use trackers that collect users’ data, according to a 2017 study by Ghostery, a company that makes privacy extensions on web browsers. The study further stated that it found a Google tracker on 46.6 percent of all webpages loaded.

Californians for Consumer Privacy‘s goal is to pass a ballot initiative that would require, among other things, a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” option on a website, that would prevent a website from selling the personal data of its users without requiring an account on the site.

Even if a user has Facebook loaded on a personal browser and that user isn’t signed in, the site can still collect that user’s data, which sometimes includes other sites he or she is visiting.

The ballot initiative, “The Consumer Right to Privacy Act of 2018,” states, “Fundamental to this right of privacy is the ability of individuals to control the use, including the sale, of their personal information.”

The group turned in the petition with more than 600,000 signatures, which should be enough to get it on the ballot in the 2018 election in November after the California State Department reviews the signatures.

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