SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Today marks the six-month anniversary of when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was enacted, and the date that the Attorney General can begin enforcement of the statute. The CCPA is the first law in the nation to give consumers the right to access, delete, and stop the sale of their personal information, rights that are particularly important as consumers spend even more of their time online during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CCPA is an important first step to securing digital rights for consumers online, but a lot of companies are adopting bad faith and half-hearted compliance so far,” said Maureen Mahoney, a California based policy analyst for Consumer Reports. “This is just going to continue until Attorney General Xavier Becerra starts holding companies accountable.”
The CCPA was signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown in June 2018, and it went into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA gives the AG the authority to bring enforcement actions beginning on July 1, 2020. But companies have sought to avoid being held accountable for any violations. In late January, advertising groups called on the AG to delay enforcement of the privacy law until January 2021, and in March, dozens of companies joined in those efforts. The AG’s office has confirmed that they will move ahead with their planned enforcement timeline.
Even before the law went into effect, companies signaled that they planned to evade compliance with the CCPA. For example, Facebook has announced that its “like” buttons, which allow the company to track Facebook users’ behavior across the web — even if they are not logged in — is outside of the consumer opt-out. Some companies are making consumers jump through hoops to exercise their rights under the CCPA. Consumer Reports is currently undertaking a study to learn more about whether—and how—companies on the California Attorney General’s data broker registry are complying with the new law. In addition to its efforts in California, Consumer Reports is advocating for strong privacy legislation in states around the country and at the federal level.
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