Reviewing California’s Latest Transparency Efforts

Transparency is on everyone’s mind these days, largely because digital technology is making it increasingly important that businesses be completely transparent with customers when it comes to how private consumer data is collected and managed. The latest transparency effort comes in the form of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which took effect on January 1st of the new year.

Here’s a review of California’s latest transparency efforts, how the CCPA will impact the collection and management of data, and what else needs to be done to ensure the privacy of Californians.

Health organizations are sometimes exempt


One of the most interesting facets of the CCPA is that, in certain circumstances, health organizations like hospitals or dental facilities can find themselves except from some of its stipulations. For-profit companies that do business in the state of California find themselves forced to grapple with new regulations that ensure consumers have a right to privacy. Consumers can request that an entity not sell their personal information to a third party for profit, for instance, and consumers can even request that some personal information of theirs be deleted by the company in question.

That being said, we can expect some health organizations to remain largely unchanged by the CCPA. According to Modern Healthcare, for instance, the effect of CCPA on hospitals will only be “subtle” and will likely not require systemic changes to how patient data is handled by industry professionals. For the most part, the new changes brought about by the CCPA will likely be difficult to anticipate and implement from the perspective of hospitals if only because most of these standards are already being met under existing healthcare rules.

That may change in the future, however; patients who want to get a botox treatment or spinal adjustment may find it possible to hold hospitals more accountable in the future thanks to the momentum established by CCPA and similar legislation. Regulations can be cut, too, so these new protections may themselves be rolled back in the future, though that remains unlikely given how important preserving personal privacy is to modern voters and consumers.

According to many recent surveys, for instance, privacy concerns continue to rank at the top of the hierarchy when it comes to what patients are worried about. This speaks to why the CCPA was passed in the first place, as one of its measures technically broadened the definition of “personal information” as defined under California law.

Consumers have new rights


Perhaps the simplest way to summarize the changes brought about by the CCPA is to state that consumers now have new rights they can claim. You have a right to know what personal information of yours is being collected, a right to opt-out of sales of your information, and the right to request the deletion of certain personal information of yours. Additionally, you have a right to know if your data is being sold in the first place, and finally the right not to be discriminated against by claiming any of the other rights established by the CCPA in the first place.