What Do New Data Privacy Laws Mean for You?

changes to data privacy laws

The world of online data privacy is always growing and changing. The problem is, lots of legislation hasn’t caught up to the different ways in which data exists on the internet versus in person. That’s allowed for companies to start selling and buying customer data in ways that make many consumers worried.

More and more, legislators are coming around to the need for stricter data privacy laws. This has created new changes in the world of legal data privacy, like the California Consumer Privacy Act. With legislators focusing more and more on consumers, what does the future look like for data privacy in a social and legal sense?

Here are answers to your questions:

What’s the California Consumer Privacy Act?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), became law in 2018, but it went into effect on January 1, 2020. It’s made fairly sweeping changes to the way companies can use consumer data. And despite the two-year buffer, some companies are still scrambling to adhere to its requirements. Those requirements include the ability to know what information a company has about you, and to opt out if a company makes money from selling your information.

Though not the first privacy act of its kind, the CCPA sets a lot of important requirements. Even though it’s only for California consumers, some companies have announced they’re going to extend those options to consumers outside of California, too. It’s also shed light on how frequently companies sell data and how much data companies keep on their customers.

What Does This Mean for Consumers Now?

Whether inside or outside California, the CCPA impacts your rights. Obviously, California residents receive the bulk of the benefits: if you live in California, businesses now legally have to give you the option to opt out of data selling and see exactly what type of information the business collects about you.

However, due to the difficulty in enacting these policies, many merchants are adding them everywhere. That means, even if you live outside of California, you might benefit from similar privacy benefits as those in California. Remember, however, that these policies grant consumers additional rights. It’s up to you to exercise those rights when you want to keep your personal information private.

How Are Businesses Changing?

The CCPA requires that businesses comply with these regulations if they’re dealing with consumers in California. Businesses can receive fines for not changing to comply with these standards, and those fines become more expensive if the business does so willfully. Some of these changes have brought to light certain internal problems that businesses have had to fix to make their companies more secure overall.

One of the issues that some businesses are experiencing is the fact that certain businesses believe the CCPA is too vague. Because the text doesn’t directly define some phrases and concepts, it can be difficult for a business to become compliant. (This explains, at least in part, the aforementioned “scramble” by companies to adhere to the law’s requirements.) As of January, the California Attorney General office intends to release additional information in mid-2020 to help with this problem.

What Might Change in the Future?

Clearly, data privacy is becoming a more and more important issue in the realm of cybersecurity. The CCPA is a sweeping change that has a lot of important connotations for future data privacy legislation. However, until these changes come to every state, it’s definitely important to keep an eye on your own online safety. You can try to do that with the help of PeopleFinders.

PeopleFinders gives you the opportunity to pay attention to your own data and not just leave it in the hands of corporations. A data breach can occur anywhere, with any company. If you don’t know the amount of information that a company has about you, it can be tough to prepare for these data breaches.

You can use a PeopleFinders people search to try and check up on your own information from time to time. You should always pay attention to your personal information, and PeopleFinders helps to put that power into your hands.


The CCPA shows that legislators are starting to take online privacy seriously. These requirements have also shown that many companies collect more information than many consumers previously believed. Whether you think that’s good or bad–or you’re indifferent to it–it’s an important thing for you to know. That way, you can prepare yourself for any privacy issues in the future.

PeopleFinders can help you to try and prepare for privacy concerns both online and in person. Stay up-to-date with the most pressing security issues facing individuals in the modern age with the PeopleFinders blog.

Image attribution: chinnarach – stock.adobe.com

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