Forty million Californians will soon have sweeping digital-privacy rights stronger than any seen before in the U.S.

Come Wednesday , roughly one in 10 Americans will gain the power to review their personal information collected by large companies around the world, from purchase histories and location tracking to compiled “profiles” that slot people into categories such as religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Starting January 1, they can also force these companies — including banks, retailers and, of course, tech companies — to stop selling that information or even to delete it in bulk.

The law defines data sales so broadly that it covers almost any information sharing that provides a benefit to business, including data transfers between corporate affiliates and with third party “data brokers” — middlemen who trade in personal information.

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