While no one was looking, California passed its own GDPR

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is widely viewed as a massively expensive and burdensome privacy regulation that can be a major headache and pitfall for American firms doing business in Europe. Many firms, including Facebook, have sought ways around the law to avoid having to deal with the burden of compliance.

Well, there is no weaseling out now. Last week, with no fanfare, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB375, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, the California equivalent of GDPR that mirrors the EU law in many ways.

The law will give the state’s 40 million residents the right to view the data that companies hold on them, make corrections to it, and request that it be deleted and not sold to third parties.

Facebook tried to get around the European regulations by shifting its entire European user base to U.S. protections, but it didn’t work. The day GDPR went into effect, Facebook and Google were sued for a total of $8.8 billion by one privacy advocate in Austria.