Note | Privacy Law
Data Protection in the Wake of the GDPR: California’s Solution for Protecting “the World’s Most Valuable Resource”
by Joanna Kessler*
From Vol. 93, No. 1 (November 2019)
93 S. Cal. L. Rev. 99 (2019)
Keywords: California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
This Note will argue that although the CCPA was imperfectly drafted, much of the world seems to be moving toward a standard that embraces data privacy protection, and the CCPA is a positive step in that direction. However, the CCPA does contain several ambiguous and potentially problematic provisions, including possible First Amendment and Dormant Commerce Clause challenges, that should be addressed by the California Legislature. While a federal standard for data privacy would make compliance considerably easier, if such a law is enacted in the near future, it is unlikely to offer as significant data privacy protections as the CCPA and would instead be a watered-down version of the CCPA that preempts attempts by California and other states to establish strong, comprehensive data privacy regimes. Ultimately, the United States should adopt a federal standard that offers consumers similarly strong protections as the GDPR or the CCPA. Part I of this Note will describe the elements of GDPR and the CCPA and will offer a comparative analysis of the regulations. Part II of this Note will address potential shortcomings of the CCPA, including a constitutional analysis of the law and its problematic provisions. Part III of this Note will discuss the debate between consumer privacy advocates and technology companies regarding federal preemption of strict laws like the CCPA. It will also make predictions about, and offer solutions for, the future of the CCPA and United States data privacy legislation based on a discussion of global data privacy trends and possible federal government actions.
*. Executive Senior Editor, Southern California Law Review, Volume 93; J.D. Candidate 2020, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; B.A., Sociology 2013, Kenyon College.