California Consumer Privacy Act to take effect in January with minor amendments

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, California’s answer to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, is set to take effect Jan. 1 as the law today finally passed a legislative review process with only a small number of amendments last week.

The changes to the law include AB25, an amendment that protects employee personal information from any of CCPA’s requirements; AB 874, which removes a limitation on the publicly available information exception to CCPA; and AB1355, a technical amendment that provided relief from the act for certain business-to-business communications.

The core of the CCPA remains unchanged, giving California residents the right to know what data a company has collected on them as well as the ability to control what a company does with that data. As was noted when the law was first signed in June 2018, companies operating within the state must now disclose what information it collects, why it collects the data and to whom it sells the data upon request. Consumers able to compel companies to delete any data they have about them or opt out of their data being sold.

The news was well-received by privacy advocates. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the law will go ahead after “having fended off a year of targeted efforts by technology giants who wanted to gut the bill.” While welcoming its progression, the EFF called for the bill to be made stronger, including improved enforcement provisions.

Attila Tomaschek, data privacy advocate at ProPrivacy.com, told SilconANGLE that the days of corporations “running roughshod over consumers’ data privacy interests” — at least for consumers in California — are coming to an end.

“Consumers in the state of California will, in a few short months, be armed with a whole new set of rights that will help them take a significantly greater amount of control over their personal data and how that data is processed by the companies with which it is shared,” Tomaschek said.

What’s more, he said, since this is the first major piece of data privacy legislation being enacted in the United States, other states across the country will be paying attention to how such laws play out in practice and how consumers will be able to exert their newly acquired rights in California.

“Since any applicable business across the country and indeed across the globe that serves consumers in California will be required to abide by the law, companies across the board will likely be gearing up for compliance,” he added. “While federal laws have been proposed, none has as of yet gained any significant traction. Once the true effects of the CCPA are played out and realized in practice, it will only be a matter of time before a comprehensive federal privacy law is enacted in the U.S.”

Image: TBIT/Pixabay

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