Data Security and Privacy Law

In a relatively short period of time, the internet has become the world’s main engine for commerce.  Today the main goods being bought and sold on the internet are not tangible factory-made goods for consumption by the consumer, but rather, fragmented collections of data points predictive of internet users’ behavior that private companies have claimed for themselves (without paying the internet user).  Those companies have commodified these data points by selling it to third parties capable of compiling a shockingly accurate picture of who we are, what we like and dislike, and how we may behave in the future.  This is known as “surveillance capitalism.”[1]

Surveillance capitalism is not something that consumers should just accept.  In the absence of comprehensive privacy legislation on the national level, California recently enacted Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), effective January 1, 2020.  The CCPA gives consumers more control over their personal information and creates obligations for businesses that collect information about California consumers.  Under the CCPA, consumers have a right to know what personal information a business has collected about them, where it came from, what it is being used for, and whether and to whom it is being disclosed or sold to.  Consumers may opt out of allowing a business to sell their personal information to third parties and cannot receive disparate treatment or pricing for exercising their privacy rights under the Act. 

Many businesses are, and should be, strong supporters of the CCPA and the privacy protections it affords to consumers.  At the Sequoia Law Firm, we seek to support businesses that take privacy seriously and wish to better understand their obligations under the CCPA and other privacy laws.  We also seek to hold companies accountable for failing to properly secure and protect consumers' personal information.  Contact us to learn more. 

 

[1] Zuboff, Shoshana, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (2019).

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