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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Publications Editor, August 24, 2018 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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Greetings from Portsmouth, NH,

I write to you on my last day before taking a brief vacation. It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the unofficial end of Summer — though technically we’re good until Sept. 21. Late August is a beautiful time of year here in the Seacoast New Hampshire region. The temperatures cool down a bit, the veggies are ripe, fresh and delicious, and the Gulf Stream makes for warm ocean swimming.

The battles over the future of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 are clearly underway. In at least two filings to the Federal Trade Commission, industry is warning of the fallout if the law is implemented as currently written. Earlier this week, the Association of National Advertisers said the CCPA “threatens the free flow of information and impacts U.S. consumers and businesses.” The ANA goes further, asking the FTC to conduct a “rigorous analysis” of the impact from the law, arguing that this will limit competition, burden consumers with opt-in notices and stifle the digital economy. The ANA has urged the FTC to share its findings — if it were to conduct an analysis, of course — with policymakers.

In separate comments, AT&T is also warning of the CCPA’s potential effects on the digital economy. The company contends the law as written will “create a highly problematic patchwork quilt of privacy regulation” and that “balkanized state-by-state regulations would lead all providers to tailor their practices nationwide to the most restrictive elements of the various state laws.”

If you thought 50 state data breach notification laws is a difficult patchwork quilt to navigate, imagine 50 versions of the CCPA!

On the other side of the equation, privacy advocates are going to battle for the CCPA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in particular, is pushing back against the Chamber of Commerce and dozens of business groups that “have asked legislators for immediate and far-reaching changes that would terminate many of the law’s critical safeguards.” Among the specifics, the EFF wants to ensure the “right to know” provision remains. This allows users to learn the “specific pieces” of data collected about them. The EFF also wants to keep the CCPA’s “data portability” provision, calling it “a critical measure that should not be repealed.”

Clearly, there’s a long way to go, and the battle is just beginning to heat up. You can be assured, however, that we’ll continue to keep up on the latest developments involving the CCPA. In case you missed it, we published the final installment of our five-part series on the top operational impacts of the CCPA. This one focuses on the law’s penalties and enforcement mechanisms. As it stands right now, this is a law that packs some serious penalties for violations.

Well, it’s time for me to unplug for a little bit to enjoy these waning summer days.

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