The Golden State is adopting a new online privacy law that will control how major tech businesses—like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Uber—collect and use the personal data of their users, as reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday. The California Consumer Privacy Act allows residents to know what personal information companies have collected on them, and opt out of having their data sold.
The Act officially passed on Thursday, which means consumers will be allowed to learn how their personal data is used, without being charged a fee or provided less service upon asking. Additionally, California’s attorney general would have the power to fine businesses that don’t secure consumers’ personal data against cyber attacks, The Post noted.
Currently, California law keeps consumers’ personal information confidential and requires a company or individual to disclose any security breach that affects computerized personal data. While the California Consumer Privacy Act just passed, it won’t become a law until January 1, 2020.
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Major tech companies are vehemently opposed to the bill, claiming it has «many problematic provisions,» according to The Washington Post. Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, and Google have joined forces to push back against the initiative, donating thousands of dollars to a campaign opposing the initiative, reported Engadget.
While this act only applies to California residents, it sets a precedent for other lawmakers to update their data-collection rules, especially with the increased public outrage over how their data is used. Almost half of Americans do not currently trust social media sites or the federal government to protect their personal data, said the Pew Research Center in March.
The public could easily rally behind the privacy act adopted in California, arguing that it should be a national right to have access to their personal information and how it is used.
California businesses should gain familiarity with the bill and update their security practices accordingly. Businesses professionals should also take caution with how they are using their consumers’ personal data, whether it be for advertisements or company analytics.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- California passed a consumer privacy act that allows consumers to know and control what personal data of theirs is collected and how it is used.
- The California Consumer Privacy Act also protects Californians from being fined or given inferior service for inquiring about personal data usage.