On January 1 2020, a landmark new data law comes into effect, subjecting U.S. businesses to a sea change of privacy regulations. After that date, Americans will be able to demand that charities disclose what personal data they have collected about them, and also ask them to delete that data. The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) will severely impact tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as retailers like Macy’s and Walmart.
This heralds the end of an era in which the U.S. defied a shift in global privacy norms, and allowed American companies to commodify consumer data.
There remains, however, considerable confusion over how the law will be enforced, and how much of a burden it will be to U.S. companies. What follows is Forbes’ plain English explanation of the law, the politics surrounding it, and how it will affect businesses and consumers.