Snapchat is adding a new privacy setting that enables users based in California to better protect their sensitive personal information. The company confirmed it’s rolling out a feature designed to comply with the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which takes effect on January 1, 2023, and applies to personal data collected on or after January 1, 2022.
In November 2020, California residents voted to pass the CPRA, also known as Proposition 24, which builds on an earlier consumer privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018.
While the CCPA gave residents the right to access and delete personal information held by businesses and opt out of the sale of that data, the new law puts into place further requirements for businesses around their data collection practices and data retention. It also introduces new notification requirements and clarifies that users have the right to opt out of both the sharing and the sale of their personal information, while also adding a new category of “sensitive data.”
The law created the California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the state’s privacy laws, as well as investigate violations and assess penalties if warranted.
Consumers based in California, meanwhile, will gain the right to not only know who’s collecting their information, but also be able to access it, correct it, delete it and transfer it, and to stop its sale and sharing, without being penalized as a result. As part of this, they’ll also gain the ability to access their options through “easily accessible” self-serve tools.
Snapchat’s implementation would seemingly address the latter with a simple toggle switch under its Privacy Controls section in the app’s Settings screen. Here, users will be presented with a new option at the bottom of the list that reads “California Privacy Choices.”
A tap into this screen (as spotted by competitive intelligence provider Watchful — see below image) reveals a new option to “Limit the use of sensitive personal information.” This page explains that enabling the setting would require Snapchat to limit the use of users’ personal info, including things like precise geolocation.
The setting, however, is appearing in the Snapchat app for all U.S. users — even those who don’t live in California.
Snapchat confirmed the new privacy feature is rolling out in compliance with the CPRA, but notes it functions only for those users in California.
The addition is interesting, as it demonstrates how a popular mobile app has chosen to comply with the new legislation. And unlike on Facebook — where settings are buried, difficult to find, and constantly being relocated — Snapchat’s new privacy feature is relatively easy to find. All of the app’s settings are available from one main screen, organized into sections. So the new CPRA-compliant setting isn’t something users have to dig around to find.