Financial services firms must prepare for the California Consumer Privacy Act, says Alex Scheinman.

Data privacy has become an overarching issue top of mind to organizations across industries and geographies over the past several years. It affects every business function in an organization, from the IT department to compliance to marketing to HR, and has increasingly been occupying the minds of the C-suite. With the European Union’s sweeping GDPR regulation having gone into effect last year, additional countries and jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to create similar legislation that enhances individual privacy rights and holds companies accountable for ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect data.

Even in the U.S., where data privacy has historically been viewed as an afterthought rather than a business priority for the nation’s data-rich companies, the never-ending wave of high-profile data breaches and corporate and political misuses of data has brought data privacy to the forefront of the corporate agenda. Further, technological innovations in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing mean that wherever an individual goes, regardless of their place of residence or work, their data moves with them – adding an additional layer of privacy risk. To address some of these concerns, on June 28, 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to grant California residents increased control over their personal data, set to go into effect in just under a year on Jan. 1, 2020.

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