The real estate developer behind California’s tough new privacy law — the strictest in the U.S. — wants to further strengthen it when it becomes effective Jan. 1, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday (Dec. 29).
Alastair Mactaggart’s 2018 state ballot initiative resulted in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and now he wants to ensure it’s bullet-proof from modifications that could weaken it.
“It’s an evolution,” Mactaggart said, according to the report. “We are in the beginning.”
Effective Jan. 1, some 40 million Californians will have broad digital privacy rights and will be able to access any data collected about them, ask that it be deleted and assert that it can’t be sold to a third party.
The CCPA’s sweeping definition of data sales covers just about any information that could benefit companies — including data transfers between corporate affiliates to third-party brokers. Further, the law triggered increased interest in nationwide privacy legislation, even at the federal level.
Mactaggart said his 2020 state ballot initiative would result in a state enforcement agency and would curtail location-based ads. In addition, the “negligent data breach” section would be expanded, enabling people to press charges in the event of a data breach.
Internet trade groups representing big tech tried to poke holes in the CCPA, which ultimately served to weaken the rules, consumer advocates said. Records indicate that the Internet Association spent over $500,000 in the first nine months of this year.
The Internet Association was successful in defeating an amendment that would have granted consumers the right to pursue legal action based on the law’s statutes. The group was also victorious in getting rid of a bill that would have given people a default opt-out to having their personal information sold.
“What we saw in California is what we are seeing nationally,” Jacob Snow, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, told the news outlet. “Company and other industry interests are making huge efforts to stop laws that protect people’s privacy.”
Mactaggart said his 2020 initiative would make the current law difficult to modify unless it’s a change that will further protect consumers’ rights.
The law’s complex requirements kick in regardless of whether a company deals directly with consumers. The law concerns companies that conduct business in California and includes out-of-state companies that sell in California. The law can also include businesses that profit from services like payment processing or website hosting.