The 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act: Understanding Its Implications and Ambiguities


Kaitlin Asrow, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Joanne Xu, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

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April 25, 2019

Data privacy is quickly becoming a top-of-mind issue for consumers, businesses, regulators, and legislators following the steady stream of media reports about data breaches and data misuse.
The United States has a patchwork of federal and state data privacy laws and statutes across industries, but the increasing focus on these issues has, in part, led to the development of new legal frameworks, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). The CCPA is prompting positive debate about how the patchwork of U.S. laws can be improved, but significant ambiguity remains.

This publication highlights some of the questions and implications that have arisen from the passage of the CCPA. It is the authors’ hope that reports like this one will inform the increasingly wide-ranging conversation and debate about consumer data privacy in the United States.