In May of 2018, the EU’s groundbreaking privacy and cyber security regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), went into effect. The GDPR covers virtually every aspect of how companies handle protected data and empowers individuals with a wide range of rights over their data. Implementing these sweeping GDPR requirements has proved to be strategically and operationally challenging for affected businesses, with few expecting to have achieved full compliance by the Regulation’s May 25, 2018, effective date.
Just as companies were catching their collective breath after racing toward the GDPR deadline, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed the hastily enacted and similarly groundbreaking California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Like the GDPR, the CCPA also vests individuals with more control over their protected data. Although the CCPA is expected to be further clarified prior to its January 1, 2020, effective date, it also promises to create challenging strategic and operational hurdles for covered businesses. While there are a number of similarities between GDPR and CCPA — some commentators actually refer to CCPA as “GDPR light” — understanding the specific areas of overlap as well as the differences between the two standards can help companies more efficiently and effectively work towards ongoing compliance with both.