Goodbye 2019. Hello, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

As of January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect. Official enforcement of the act is scheduled for July 1, 2020. There is also an ongoing push to spread like-minded legislation throughout the rest of the 50 states. 

What does this mean?

The CCPA targets companies that buy and sell data. It largely refers to California businesses that perform data mining in numbers over 50,000, the new law requires you to disclose your actions with the owners of that data. You must also give them the opportunity to opt-out should they choose to do so. 

The CCPA is often presented side-by-side with elements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR is Europe’s regulatory law for data protection. That being said, many companies that deal with global commerce may already be prepared to handle the CCPA. 

Businesses that have yet to become equipped for the new law may face large compliance costs. However, the California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, has offered lenience on smaller businesses that are attempting to become CCPA compliant.  

What’s next?

This advancement in privacy law is just the beginning of data-based marketing restrictions. The Privacy for America coalition is also trying to create a Data Protection Bureau that would be housed under the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). 

In addition, future changes to the CCPA should be expected. Certain pieces of the CCPA are either too broad or could potentially have unintended consequences. The adjustments to the law will center around enforcing compliance rather than attacking small businesses. 


In summary, the goal of the CCPA is to keep companies from selling California consumer data without their permission. That being said, the repercussions towards small businesses may be unsightly. Also, companies should expect to see high costs and as well as numerous changes as amendments are applied to the new 2020 law. 

If you run a similar business and are not located in California, you should still be on the lookout for policy updates and new mandates. the CCPA is expected to set off a chain reaction throughout the U.S. in bringing in stricter privacy laws.

Francine D. Ward

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Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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