Communicators’ Headache: Keep Track of Changing Privacy Regulations

Stephen Payne, VP, Public Affairs & Privacy, Feld Entertainment

When I wrote a column on the nexus between communications and privacy last year, I figured I’d be providing an update. What I did not expect was to be writing it from my basement home office during a global pandemic.

Though the world is a much different place than it was just six months ago, the debate about privacy–what it means and how much it is valued as a commodity–continues. Moreover, the laws and regulations about what can be done with personal data evolve almost daily.
CCPA Was The Beginning, Not The End
Companies around the country, indeed the world, scrambled to develop privacy programs that would be compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) before the July 1, 2020, enforcement date. The CA attorney general issued draft regulations earlier this year that are fully in effect now. But lacking complete regulations did not stop enforcement action against companies. And remember, this law has teeth in terms of fines and even a private right of action ( aka you can be sued) for data breaches.

What does this mean for PR? If you have data from CA residents, you need to know what you have, where you keep it and what you do with it. Under this law, CA consumers can ask you for their data, correct it if it’s wrong and demand that you delete it. Pay particular attention if you sell, share or trade data with a third party.

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