How do I use this new law to protect my privacy?

Even with the new law, scrubbing your information across the internet remains a pretty painstaking process. You have to request to see your data, and request that it be deleted, individually from each company that has it. If you want businesses to stop selling your data, you have to separately request that from each individual company that has it, too.  

Most companies are including directions in their updated privacy policies, so you may have to scroll through a lot of text to find out how to request your data. Some businesses have tools allowing you to access your information without filing a request:

Asking a company to stop selling your data involves a different process and is not available at every site. That’s because businesses disagree about what constitutes a “sale” of personal information under the new law.  

Some websites are posting prominent buttons saying “do not sell my personal information.” Others are adding the phrase in small type at the bottom of the page. Clicking leads to a form you must complete, and, in some cases, an email asking you to verify your request. 

Experts anticipate that commercial services will soon emerge to help consumers use the new law to protect their privacy. Common Sense Kids Action, a nonprofit group that co-sponsored the law, offers free resources at this link to help people monitor their data and that of their children.