Oct 23, 2019

The best and worst states for online privacy

California, Delaware and Utah are the states that best protect users' online privacy in 2019, according to an annual ranking by privacy and cybersecurity research firm Comparitech.

Why it matters: States are taking the lead on online privacy protections in the U.S. as bipartisan efforts in Congress have yet to produce a federal privacy law.

Details: Comparitech ranks state privacy on a range of criteria, reviewing laws governing companies' use and disclosure of customer data and those aimed at protecting children.

  • California earned the top spot in part due to its Consumer Privacy Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1 and gives consumers the right to know what information companies have collected about them and the ability to demand that a company delete their personal data.
  • Delaware and Utah also ranked high for laws related to advertising to children and barring internet service providers from sharing customer data with third parties without consent.

Wyoming was at the bottom of the list. Not only does it lack a shield law to protect journalists from exposing sources, it also lacks a court precedent for doing so.

  • Comparitech also gave the state low marks because companies aren’t required to get rid of users’ personal data after a set time period and employers aren't barred from forcing employees to share passwords to social media accounts.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.

Louisville police chief fired after body cameras found inactive in shooting of black man

Louisville police officers during protests. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the city's chief of police Steve Conrad after it was discovered that police officers had not activated their body cameras during the shooting of David McAtee, a local black business owner who was killed during protests early Monday morning.

Why it matters: Mandatory body camera policies have proven to be important in efforts to hold police officers accountable for excessive force against civilians and other misconduct. Those policies are under even greater scrutiny as the nation has erupted in protest over the killing of black people at the hands of police.