The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was passed in response to a number of newsworthy data breaches with widespread impacts, and which revealed how little digital privacy consumers actually have. Despite the large market for consumer data, individual consumers generally do not earn money when their personal data are sold. Further, consumers have very little control over who collects their data, what information is collected, and with whom it is shared. To place control back in the hands of the consumer, affirmative consent should be required to collect and sell consumer’s data, and consumers should have the ability to sell these data themselves.
The CCPA provides a mechanism for consumers to monetize their own data, but it does not go far enough. The CCPA allows consumers to “opt-out” of sharing their data, but an “opt-in” framework would offer increased privacy and greater incentives for companies to pay consumers for their data. Despite these and many other issues, the CCPA represents a step towards improved digital privacy. However, it remains to be seen whether the CCPA will result in any meaningful change to consumer data monetization and digital privacy protection more broadly.
Rebecca Harris, Forging a Path Towards Meaningful Digital Privacy: Data Monetization and the CCPA, 54 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 197 (2020).