Culture

Every company is taking a different approach to complying with California’s new privacy law

None of them are very happy about it.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect on January 1, and retailers are scrambling to prepare for its arrival. The law allows all California residents to find out what personal information is being collected by businesses, and then it allows them to opt-out of the sale of this information.

In order to comply with the new requirements, companies must update their privacy policies and e-commerce sites.

Expensive and complicated — Many companies are unhappy with the new regulations, and with good reason: the CCPA is expected to cost businesses somewhere between $467 million and $16.5 billion in the next ten years. Compliance costs are estimated to hit $50 billion. Because the law is fairly ambiguous, companies are being forced to dedicate funds and human resources to the project of compliance.

Some retailers will change for the whole country — While the new law only affects businesses and consumers in California, some retailers are updating their policies for all customers. Target, for example, is adding a “Do Not Sell My Info” button to its website for all U.S. visitors, while California residents will have further access to information outlined under the new law.

Some companies see this process as an investment in the future — the CCPA has the potential to set a precedent for future federal regulations as well, so everyone might as well get used to the changes now.

Not everyone is rushing to make changes — Take Facebook, for example: the company says it doesn’t need to update its policies to comply with the CCPA. The company has stated that the sale of personal information is completely controlled by third parties. Other internet companies like Google have already begun enforcing new protocols to work alongside the new law.

Sources told Reuters that they expect plenty of lawsuits in the new year against any businesses that fail to comply with the new law. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Bacerra, said his office won’t enforce the law until July 1. He expects to use the office’s limited budget for big-ticket companies: “the bigger the company, the bigger the problem,” he stated.