Over the last decade, personal data has become the invisible currency that funds much of the internet. Social networks, sites and apps attract people with free content and services, then use the data they gather to make a fortune off of targeted advertisements.
Two years ago, the Legislature passed a groundbreaking law to give Californians more control over the personal information collected from them online. The idea was to let you withdraw from that hidden exchange of information, barring sites from selling your data to third parties that assemble detailed profiles of consumers’ habits and tastes.
Unfortunately, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which went into effect this year, didn’t live up to its billing. Major online companies found ways to wriggle