10 things to know about California Consumer Privacy Act

Though just a few days old, the California Consumer Privacy Act — passed in 2018 and enacted Jan. 1 — has caused consumer privacy experts to question its potential. The bill is designed to give consumers more control over their data, but the bill may not go far enough to ensure consumers' have data autonomy. 

Here are 10 things to know: 

1. One of the cornerstones to the CCPA is a consumer's right to access their personal data. California residents can ask ride-hailing services, retailers, cable TV companies, mobile service providers and other businesses that collect data for commercial purposes to disclose what information they are collecting, such as location or voice recordings, according to The New York Times

2. Following suit, consumers can also request information on what kinds of third parties, such as app developers, a company is selling their data to. The consumer can request logs of their personal online activities, ride-hailing routes, facial data and ad-targeting data. 

3. Consumers also now have the right know how a company perceives them or any specific inferences a company has made about a consumer. This includes predictions about their buying behavior, intelligence or attitudes. 

4. Facebook, which has come under fire for how it collects and shares data on consumers, along with Microsoft and Twitter have adopted or created automated systems that allow users to download copies of their data that has been collected. 

5. California employees also now have the right to ask their employers the categories of personal information they are collecting, such as online activity data and mobile phone location data, according to NYT

6. If a consumer does not want the company to store their data, they can request that their information be deleted.

7. California consumers can also opt-out of having their information sold. Apps, websites and other organizations that sell consumers’ data for compensation must include a "Do Not Sell My Data" alert for consumers. 

8. Companies may ask consumers for their driver's license or another form of identification to verify who they will be sharing the data with. If a consumer makes a request, the company must acknowledge the request in 10 days and deliver the information within 45 days.  

9. The CCPA comes with a hefty price tag. The Berkeley Economic Advising and Research assessment estimates that it will cost companies $55 billion to become complaint with the privacy legislation, according to The Hill.  

10. Many of these costs will also come from "small" businesses. The Department of Justice estimates that the CCPA will affect between 15,000 and 40,000 businesses, with up to 50 percent being small businesses. This could be viewed as a contradiction for the law, which was supposed to target large companies, such as Facebook. 

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