Tech Corner: Avoid Penalties in 2020

by | Dec 20, 2019

New Year’s Day is always a big day for change. However, this January 1st will bring about a large-scale implementation of an act that will affect the majority of large companies in the United States. On the first day of 2020, the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) goes into effect. This landmark consumer privacy law means that many US businesses will face much privacy regulations, including what data they can collect.

Since the CCPA applies to all companies that do business in the state of California and have annual revenues of more than $25 million, it’s likely that this will affect your company. And considering that the act becomes effective in a few days, it’s important that you’re familiar with the details.

The CCPA gives California residents the right to know what personal information a company has collected and to receive a list of all the third parties that have received their data. It also gives people the right to access their information, opt out of data collection and request that any personal information be deleted. If a company is found to have violated any terms of the CCPA, they will have 30 days to comply with the law. If those 30 days pass and they have not resolved the issue, the company could receive a fine of $7,500 per record, which can quickly add up.

One particularly interesting aspect of the CCPA is that it has many litigious references and seems to lend itself to consumer lawsuits. The law protects the individual’s right to sue, so there is an opportunity for class action lawsuits, making it crucial that companies comply with the act and have guidelines in place to avoid costly mistakes.

The consumer protections the CCPA gives are not surprising when you look at the current trends in data privacy, and the fact that the public has become more aware of the information that companies collect. Additionally, security and privacy issues have been in the headlines recently, from the Capital One breach earlier this year to the ongoing discussion around Facebook and privacy. Given these incidents, it is likely that other states will introduce their own legislation to clarify privacy guidelines. It’s also possible we could see a federal mandate, similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

It is important that all covered companies understand the CCPA and are ready for its implementation in 2020, given what is at stake legally. Learn more about the CCPA here.


-Amanda Bierfeld Williams, Marketing Coordinator at GT Software


This is our first post for Tech Corner, a new blog series that will focus on current technology trends. Whether the latest developments are in data, privacy, automation, or other topics, we look forward to dissecting and discussing the latest advancements in tech. Contact us if you have a topic that you would like us to cover.