Governor Brown has just signed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The new law, which has numerous similarities with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The law was passed on an expedited schedule to block a similar initiative that had garnered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. While the two measures have similar terms, it will be much easier for the California Legislature to amend the statutory measure than its initiative counterpart. It is expected that legislation proposing changes to the new law will be introduced early next year as part of the next two-year legislative session.
The law expands the definition of “personal information” to include a broad list of personal and commercial characteristics and behaviors, as well as inferences drawn from this information. It also provides California consumers with the ability to obtain information about the sharing and disclosure of their personal information and to prohibit such sharing or disclosure. The law affects a broad range of entities doing business in California, creating obstacles to their marketing and monetization efforts.