January 08, 2020
As we discussed in our article covering the things you need to know about the CCPA in more detail, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) gives California consumers new privacy rights and creates new obligations for businesses that are covered by the law, including small businesses.
The CCPA deals primarily with consumer rights related to personal information, and what obligations businesses are under relating to those rights. (Please refer to our small businesses and the CCPA article for full details.)
Why should every small business be aware of the CCPA?
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I care about what they do in California? I sell pizza in New Jersey.” Well, the CCPA is likely a harbinger of things to come across the U.S., as concern for consumer privacy rises and American businesses and consumer groups work to align with Europe’s much more stringent consumer rights and privacy laws.
Here’s an example: nearly every product sold in America containing trace amounts of lead (or over 900 other chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm”), from wine to electronics to baby monitors, now bears the now-familiar “Proposition 65 warning,” which you have likely seen more than once.
Why is a California-only health warning now nearly ubiquitous on all American consumer goods? It’s a question of cost and convenience.
Since businesses who sell products online (potentially to California residents) or across state lines find it much less of a hassle to include the Prop 65 warning on all their product packaging than to maintain two separate inventories (one for California and one for everyone else), a California-specific policy now has universal application to businesses across the country.
Similarly, though the CCPA currently applies only to businesses that meet the CCPA list of criteria and do business in California, it may become the trend in other states as consumers vote for more stringent regulations regarding the sharing and use of personal information.
Some business leaders think the CCPA will kick off a string of similar legislation across the country, so you should think about getting ahead of it.
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