Forbes Technology Council

The Wider Implications Of The California Consumer Privacy Act

May 14, 2019

By Daniel B. Garrie


Without a federal standard for digital privacy legislation, states are left to their own devices in enacting internet and data privacy laws. The result is a cacophonous patchwork of state legislation, leaving businesses scratching their heads and lawyers haphazardly navigating layers of red tape.

Enter California’s most recent digital privacy initiative: the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). CCPA affects those businesses buying, selling or otherwise in the trade of the “personal information” of California residents — all 39.54 million of them.

In 2019, personal information is the bread and butter of tech companies. It is the price consumers pay for using “free” internet websites and applications. What consumers don’t pay in USD, they pay in PII. The CCPA represents an attempt to regulate this economy of personal information by granting California residents more visibility into and control over the ways their personal information is used.

Below is a general overview of some of the key provisions of CCPA and some thoughts on its wider implications.

The CCPA defines personal information as “information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.”

This is much broader than the traditional definition of personal information seen in most privacy laws in the United States. However, the CCPA does exclude publicly available information, defined as information “lawfully made available from federal, state, or local government records, if any conditions associated with such information” excluding biometric information collected without the consumer’s knowledge and personal information used for a purpose different from the one for which the information is maintained and made available in the government records or otherwise publicly maintained.

To read the full article, go to Forbes

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