California begins enforcing digital privacy law, despite calls for delay

California’s privacy law, often called the broadest law for digital privacy in the United States, can finally be enforced starting Wednesday. And despite industry calls for the state to hold off because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Attorney General Xavier Becerra is forging ahead.

“For sure we will start enforcing on July 1,” Becerra said in an interview.

The law went into effect Jan. 1 after a winding and sometimes surprising route through a voter ballot process, the state legislature and a contentious amendment period culminating in a final version last fall. It gives consumers in the state — and many outside California — broad ability to be able to request that companies tell them what personal data they hold on each person and to ask companies to stop selling their personal data to third-party advertisers or others. The law gave companies six months after it took effect before enforcement began, though Becerra noted that companies had to begin complying in January.

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