Major US tech companies attempt to take on California’s privacy law Major US tech companies attempt to take on California’s privacy law

Major US tech companies attempt to take on California’s privacy law
07 Sep 2018

Major US tech and advertising companies are attempting to push back on California’s proposed new data privacy law claiming it could limit competition and damage the digital economy.

The controversial new legislation, which is similar in nature to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is due to come into effect on 1 January 2020. But according to the New York Times, a number of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM have all increased their lobbying for the creation of new federal privacy laws. The aim is to pre-empt the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 by coming up with a less stringent alternative. 

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) also raised concerns with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about both the proposed Californian legislation and GDPR, which came into force in May this year, attesting they could threaten the digital ecosystem.

Responding to a call for input from the FTC, according to MediaPost, the ANA wrote: “We anticipate that the commission will find that laws like the GPDR and CCPA will limit competition, overburden consumers with opt-in notices, and make an efficient and effective digital economy harder to maintain.”

But privacy advocates hit back. Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation told the New York Times: “It’s clear that the strategy here is to neuter California for something much weaker on the federal level. The companies are afraid of California because it sets the bar for other states.”

Vermont has already passed a new data privacy law in May, which like the GDPR offers broad-ranging protections for both US and non-US citizens. It comes into effect in January 2019. Another 43 states are also exploring something similar.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Major US tech and advertising companies are attempting to push back on California’s proposed new data privacy law claiming it could limit competition and damage the digital economy.

The controversial new legislation, which is similar in nature to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is due to come into effect on 1 January 2020. But according to the New York Times, a number of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM have all increased their lobbying for the creation of new federal privacy laws. The aim is to pre-empt the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 by coming up with a less stringent alternative. 

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) also raised concerns with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about both the proposed Californian legislation and GDPR, which came into force in May this year, attesting they could threaten the digital ecosystem.

Responding to a call for input from the FTC, according to MediaPost, the ANA wrote: “We anticipate that the commission will find that laws like the GPDR and CCPA will limit competition, overburden consumers with opt-in notices, and make an efficient and effective digital economy harder to maintain.”

But privacy advocates hit back. Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation told the New York Times: “It’s clear that the strategy here is to neuter California for something much weaker on the federal level. The companies are afraid of California because it sets the bar for other states.”

Vermont has already passed a new data privacy law in May, which like the GDPR offers broad-ranging protections for both US and non-US citizens. It comes into effect in January 2019. Another 43 states are also exploring something similar.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

California is first US state to pass GDPR-like law

What does Europe's new data protection law mean for global payroll managers?

Only just over a third of US organisations are GDPR-compliant

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