California Passes Groundbreaking New Digital Privacy Bill

The latest privacy bill in California drastically changes how information is protected on the internet.

Will McCormick
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On Thursday, The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 has been passed through legislation and has Governor Jerry Brown has signed the strongest data privacy law in the United States. Originally, the bill was intended to be proposed by moneyed activist Alastair Mactaggart and then voted on this November.

However, he agreed to withdraw this proposal if legislators put together their own version of the bill by today, which they have done. Unfortunately, the bill's provisions won't be put into effect until 2020. That means there will be more legislation for the next two years, but today's importance cannot be overstated in personal and data privacy on the internet against huge tech companies like Google or Facebook.

What's So Important About California's Data Privacy Law? 

The law has placed a ton of extremely powerful protections against major companies collecting data and selling it without the knowledge of their consumers. As a result of the new data privacy bills, Facebook, Google, and other major companies are forced to disclose what information they collect from their users, why they collected it, and who they share your information with and why.

The law gives you complete control over how your data is used by these companies and you have the right to refuse your data being sold. Also, you can request it be deleted at any time.

What Happens Between Today and 2020? 

Obviously, Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon, and other companies are extremely unhappy about this law passing. These companies have taken advantage of their access to their users' data unopposed to make money by selling information to third parties. Since the provisions will not take effect until 2020, there's a lot of time for these major companies to fight back and prepare for these changes.

On paper, these companies might strike back in more creative ways. For instance, their business will be focused on other states. However, California is the first state to approve a data privacy law like this. Other states will follow suit in the future, and California remains an extremely influential state in the tech world. Today was a major shift in the industry after the way the Broadband Privacy Rule and Net Neutrality were handled. The next two years are going to be very interesting.