Should the legislature of California get a say over how you use the internet?

On its face, this seems ridiculous. After all, the legislators of California should have no say in the lives of the people of Louisiana. That’s the very idea of federalism. Yet, a new law passed in California has the ability to not only change how consumers use the internet in Louisiana but across the country.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which will take effect on January 1, 2020, imposes draconian compliance obligations on all manner of websites and companies with an online presence. Of course, due to the interstate nature of the internet, this means that almost any website will now be subject to the regulations of the state of California. For example, if you’ve seen the new agreements you have to click on when visiting your favorite websites, you have California to thank.

This creates not only practical effects like the privacy agreement mentioned above, but it also brings with it a host of legal issues.

That’s why the Pelican Institute was proud to join free market groups across the country in signing a letter to the state of California telling its leaders to keep their hands off our internet. The letter outlines the following issues with the CCPA:

  • The CCPA is invalid, because it has the practical effect of regulating wholly out-of-state conduct and burdening interstate commerce in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause.
  • The CCPA’s restrictions on free speech violate the First Amendment.
  • The CCPA violates due process for failure to give fair notice of prohibited or required conduct.

The Pelican Institute will also continue to oppose similar privacy proposals in Louisiana.

Click here to read the entire letter outlining the opposition.