On June 30, 2018, the California state legislature passed an unprecedented privacy regulation, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which takes many of its cues from the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The legislation grants consumers greater control over and visibility into their data and its use and propagation over the internet – a significant step up in data-collection oversight.
While the new California law is not as broad as GDPR, it does grant consumers (also known as data subjects):
Beginning with the law’s enforcement in January 2020, the potential fine for a compromise/breach or unauthorized release of personal data is steep ($100 to $750 per record). For example, if a company suffers a breach that affects 100,000 records that include personal information, that translates to a potential minimum fine of $10 million.
It is clear that we are entering an era of stricter data privacy regulations with increasing demand for oversight. California is likely only the first of many U.S. states to enact this type of protection and rights for data subjects. Any company that collects or processes personal information needs to understand the regulation, the impact of its compliance requirements and how customers/clients view data privacy. Start with building a sustainable privacy program to address these issues. Companies must ensure they have access to privacy expertise to evaluate how privacy, and new regulations such as GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act, will affect their business decisions.
With the increasing expectations and empowerment of consumers comes a growing need for greater transparency to a company’s data collection and processing approach. Following are essential steps to take now:
The evolving nature of data privacy continues to challenge business leaders. Those who proactively develop a sustainable data privacy program will be better prepared to address consumer concerns and provide an improved brand experience to their customers.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help, contact our team.