Marketers need to prepare for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and also be ready for the possibility of future nationwide legislation covering the collection and usage of people’s data.

Douglas Wood, a partner at Reed Smith LLP – a global law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Masters of Marketing Week.

And he suggested that the new Californian legislation is similar in many ways to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules governing consumer data use in the European Union, but also contains distinct provisions of its own.

“The CCPA is essentially GDPR on steroids, because they add some more things that you need to think about,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s free-to-access report: Preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act: Welcome to GDPR “on steroids”.)

While the CCPA officially will become law in January 2020 – and not be enforced for another six months after that – brand custodians must be ready for the change in data management long before that date.

“You need to start thinking about that now,” Wood insisted. “Don’t get complacent because the law is not going to be … enforced for over two years.”

Among the stipulations of the CCPA are a consumer’s right to know about the personal information that is being collected, a right to deletion, and a right to be free from discrimination in goods and services if they pursue these options.

Looking further ahead, marketers need to anticipate national regulation covering similar areas to the CCPA, and even hope it comes to pass, Wood told the ANA assembly, as differing standards magnify complexity and the probability of errors.

“We can’t have the California legislation be California’s, and then have New York do one, and Massachusetts do one; it’s just not going to work,” he said. “Because, believe me, it’s going to be total chaos if we don’t have national legislation.

“Even if the national legislation were, in fact, the California CCPA … it’s not the end of the world. You have to adjust in how you’re going to [deal with] that.”

Marketers should also formulate a consistent response to the CCPA and GDPR, according to Wood. “Speak with a unified voice,” he recommended.

“Because the thing that plays into the hands of the chaos, more than anything else, is when the regulators think you’re looking for double standards and triple standards depending on where you are.”

Sourced from WARC