California Privacy Act Goes Into Effect Starting January 1, 2020

July 2, 2018 Last Updated: July 2, 2018

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB375) passed both legislative chambers unanimously, and Governor Brown signed the bill into law on June 28.

Even though it will only be effective in California, experts say it could affect online activities elsewhere, and more states may consider similar regulations soon.

The law is similar to the European Union’s data privacy regulation, which was passed earlier in 2018 and also aimed to provide consumers with more protections.

The authors of the bill include Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), and Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa). They said in a statement that the bill “will ensure that consumers enjoy choice and transparency in the treatment of their personal information when accessing the Internet.”

The law requires business of all sizes, including Google and Facebook, to disclose the type of data they collect, why the data was collected, and what categories of data third parties could receive.

Consumers will be able to opt out of having their data sold or ask these businesses to delete their information. The law also prohibits companies from selling data of children younger than 16 without parental consent.

AB375 came after the recent data breaches with Target, Equifax, Cambridge Analytica and more that affected millions of people.

(Screenshot / California Assembly)

The authors of the bill released the following statement:

“We in California are continuing to push the envelope on technology and privacy issues by enacting robust consumer protectionswithout stifling innovation,” said Senator Bob Hertzberg.

However, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) said that parts of the bill allowing people to sue companies over data breaches are too broad. Some others who are against the bill worry that it might negatively affect news reporting and technology companies’ development.

AB375 goes into effect starting January 1, 2020, giving companies adequate time for planning and making necessary changes, while the legislature could possibly make some alterations as well.


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