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Does CCPA apply to government agencies?

Businesses all over America and beyond have been scrambling to initiate significant changes to their records and management systems. All this is the result of a relatively new law introduced in California called CCPA.

Individuals and businesses across the country are asking themselves: “do I have to comply with CCPA”? To answer this question, you first need to understand what the law entails.

CCPA (The California Consumer Privacy Act) is a state law that created new consumer rights associated with access to, removal of, and sharing of personal data collected by organizations that do business in California.  This means that if a customer in California places an order for a particular product or service from a company headquartered in the United Kingdom, the British company has to comply with CCPA rules to do business.

Impact Of CCPA On Government

Currently, government organizations do not have to comply with CCPA. However, such agencies must recognize and accept that their collection and usage of personal information may place them in a challenging position in the future as data privacy rules evolve.

Quite a few states across the US are already proposing similar bills, and some have even enacted laws regarding the CCPA data subject access request as a way of keeping up with the changing times.

Essential Items To Note When It Comes To Privacy Laws In The United States

  • Local governments all over the United States are currently collecting and maintaining a database of personally identifiable information or PII and selling it to companies in some cases.
  • According to various reports, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation obtains geo-data from hundreds or even thousands of dockless scooters available for use all over the city.
  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles can drum up close to $50 million in revenue selling drivers personal data.

What Local Governments Need To Learn From CCPA

With the introduction of CCPA, local governments will have no choice but to prepare for the very likely event of having to change their public records management systems. It becomes likely as more and more constituents find out how their personal information is being gathered and shared. Bills in other states are also expected to take their cues from CCPA, which provides Californian consumers with the right to:

  • Ask for all the data a company has collected on them and saved over the last twelve months.
  • Ask for the deletion of any data related to them.
  • Learn how their data is processed.
  • Ask to see a list containing data of all the third parties who may have access to their information.
  • Refuse the sale of their data to third parties.
  • Seek legal action against companies or organizations that violate the privacy guidelines.

One of the significant issues raised with CCPA is that it excludes California’s local and state governments from the collection and use of personal data. However, this doesn’t mean that such agencies are off the hook.

Currently, discussions are being undertaken on how similar laws can be applied to California’s governments.  The governor of the state also signed five amendments made to the CCPA just after its enforcement date, which is a clear indication that the data privacy laws are constantly evolving and can change at a moment’s notice.


To understand how your agency can better prepare itself for data privacy laws such as CCPA or even how you, as a consumer, can protect yourself, you can look at several guides to improve your knowledge. You can also seek professional help or advice if you have any trouble understanding how it works.


November 4, 2021

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