In 3 months, the CCPA will mark a watershed moment for data privacy

Register now

The deadline has passed for tech companies to file any additional objections to California’s looming data privacy legislation. This means the California Consumer Protection Act is primed to go into effect on January 1, 2020, and usher in the first set of sweeping data privacy regulations in the United States.

The days of corporations running roughshod over consumers’ data privacy interests -- at least for consumers in California -- are, mercifully, 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.

Since this is the first major piece of data privacy legislation being enacted in the United States, other states across the country will certainly 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.

For instance, consumers in the state of California will have the right to request from companies a breakdown of what data is collected on them and what it is used for, as well as the right to have that data deleted and the right to request it not be sold to third parties. Companies will need to provide multiple communication channels through which consumers will be able to get in touch with companies to exert these rights.

Additionally, businesses must provide a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on their websites for those consumers who do not wish their personal data be sold to third party entities. Consumers will be granted multiple, clearly defined ways to get in contact with businesses to exercise increased control over what data is being collected and how it is being processed.

The enactment of the CCPA will be a watershed moment for data privacy not just in California, but also throughout the United States. 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.

Other states are poised to follow and also introduce their own data privacy initiatives, but what is more likely to come of this is a sweeping federal law that covers all consumers in the United States at once and uniformly. Federal laws have been proposed, but none have 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 US, which will certainly be welcome news for privacy-conscious consumers across the country.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.