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California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Similar in spirit to the General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”), which recently went into effect in the European Union, the Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“the Act”) in California seeks to provide consumers with rights in relation to their personal information.  The Act, passed in late June 2018, is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020 and it will change how businesses handle personal information data.

This Act will apply to businesses with California-based assets or customers that fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Has an annual gross revenue of over $25 million
  • Collects, sells, receives, or shares, for commercial purposes, personal information of 50,000 or more Californian consumers, households, or devices
  • Derives at least 50% of its annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information

Under the Act, businesses will be required to disclose the existence and nature of consumers’ rights in their privacy policies in addition to the categories of personal information that they collect, the purpose for which they are collecting said information, and the categories of data that has been sold within the last 12 months. A business must remove personal information upon request and provide consumers with the ability to opt out of having their data sold.  A business also cannot impose penalties or refuse goods or services to individual that exercise their privacy rights.

There are still several aspects of the Act that are somewhat vague and confusing. Although California Legislature is expected to provide clarification and/or changes on several provisions before the effective date, it would be advisable to thoroughly plan a compliance program as soon as possible.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. Regulations and laws may vary depending on your location. Consult with a licensed attorney in your area if you wish to obtain legal advice and/or counsel for a particular legal issue.