California is the Highest Ranking US State for Digital Privacy, Who Comes in Last?

The digital world has become just as crucial as the real one because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up preserving our private and personal data. However, not all US states perform equally well in terms of digital privacy with all things having been considered and taken into account. Digital rights advocates at PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) recently published their second annual report which sheds some light on this matter.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that California obtained the top spot in these rankings. The west coast state has made enormous strides in digital protection, including the consumer privacy act that it passed into law in 2020. The California Privacy Rights act further strengthened the protection that residents of this state get to enjoy, thereby making them far safer than might have been the case otherwise.

California is followed by Connecticut in second place, with Colorado and Virginia tying for third place. These states are all famous for their simple laws surrounding the sharing of data, and their investments into digital security helped to get them close to the top of these rankings. Furthermore, these states have a reputation for being very proactive whenever a data breach ends up getting reported.

New York, Illinois, Michigan and Oregon tied for fourth place, and Washington state, New Mexico, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Maryland rounding off the top five in fifth place. Massachusetts in particular is a great example of how digital privacy should be promoted, with the state recently putting forth a proposal to outlaw the buying and selling of location data.

Referred to as the Massachusetts Location Shield Act, this law, if passed, will put the onus on service providers to turn location tracking off by default. Right now, consumers have to go and toggle this off themselves, so many are calling the Massachusetts proposal a positive step in the right direction.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, many other states are seeing a bit of backsliding as far as digital protections and privacy are concerned. Three states have the dubious honor of being ranked at the bottom of this list, namely Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Mississippi is notorious for being one of the worst states in the US in terms of quality of life, so it is no surprise that this state got ranked so low.

While the rest of the US is trying to take digital privacy to the next level, these states are actively dismantling the protections that are already in place. Enacting a mandatory age verification process for the consumption of adult media online is just one of the examples of backwards rules and regulations that are being introduced in these states, and Montana’s recent ban on TikTok is yet another example of this.

It will be interesting to see where things go from here on out. The US is on the precipice of a great divide between its states, with some choosing to uphold digital privacy and others doing whatever they can to destroy it once and for all.

Read next: 86% of Consumers Are Willing to Share Their Email Address, Here’s Why That Matters
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