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CCPA Officially Passes into Law: The Week in Data News

The new year is upon us, and that means that the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) is finally in full effect. It’s already causing a ripple effect on the rest of the country. Read on for this week’s data privacy recap.

California’s new data privacy law will change the internet

The CCPA went into law on January 1, 2020, and it’s a huge step forward for progressive data privacy legislation. It’s of course inspired by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposes strict penalties on companies for failures to comply with its strict data privacy rules and regulations. Under both laws, consumers can opt out of having their data collected by companies across the board. On each website, a note or pop-up window will now appear to provide this option to all California citizens. The development isn’t solely about prevention, however, it’s also about transparency. Like the GDPR, the CCPA will give residents the ability to request exactly what kind of information companies have on them and then request that it be deleted if they so desire.

An added bonus is that while the CCPA technically only applies to Californians, many companies have vowed to make national changes as well. Essentially, as a show of support for the progressive legislation, they will extend the act’s protections to consumers throughout the country. “In order to provide a consistent experience to all of our customers, we plan to provide to all of our U.S. customers the data access and data deletion request processes that we provide to California customers under CCPA,” an Amazon spokesperson told Yahoo Finance. Microsoft chief privacy officer Julie Brill expressed a similar sentiment, saying “We are strong supporters of California’s new law and the expansion of privacy protections in the United States that it represents.”

Mozilla: All Firefox users get California’s CCPA privacy rights

Fresh off the passage of the CCPA, Mozilla has already rolled out some pretty powerful changes to the Firefox browser. Unlike some other Silicon Valley power players, Mozilla has endorsed the legislation from the very beginning. They’ve vowed to implement their changes country-wide, and rightfully so as it would be a hassle to essentially make two different products. The primary change is that all users will now be able to easily request that Mozilla delete the data that Firefox has on its servers. Mozilla already doesn’t collect search history, but now users will also have the option to clear data related to how many tabs were opened and browser session lengths. “We’ve decided to go the extra mile and expand user deletion rights to include deleting this telemetry data stored in our systems,” said Alan Davidson VP of global policy, trust and security at Mozilla.

Data breach at Wyze Labs exposes 2.4 Million customers

Another data breach came in under the wire, as news broke that home-security camera company Wyze Labs was hacked. The information of 2.4 million customers has been exposed to the public, including camera information, Wi-FI network details and email addresses. Consulting firm Twelve Security broke the news in the last few days of December, getting the news out as soon as they could. Wyze was a popular holiday item this holiday season, as it offers a cheap alternative to other cameras like Nest. Whereas Nest cameras start at about $200, Wyze cameras are currently selling for just $20. If anything, this low price point should’ve raised some suspicions. “We didn’t properly communicate and enforce our security protocols to new employees,” said Dongsheng Song, a co-founder at Wyze.“We should have built controls, or a more robust tool and process to make sure security protocols are followed.”

Apple, Facebook to face off at CES Panel

In another interesting update, an executive from Apple is headed to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to speak at a panel about privacy. The executive in question here is senior director of global privacy Jane Horvath. She will join Erin Egan, the chief privacy officer at Facebook, as well as Rebecca Slaughter, a member of the FTC, and Procter & Gamble chief privacy officer Susan Shook. Apple and Facebook have had notoriously different policies when it comes to the use of consumer data, which will undoubtedly spark some conflict and conversation at the panel. Facebook’s profit model is completely reliant on the sale of user data, while Apple has recently become a vocal proponent of letting consumers opt out of data sales. Especially considering the passage of the CCPA, this discussion will give both companies a platform to show off just how progressive their policies can be.


What do you think was the most important data story of the week? Leave us a comment below.

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