Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The new law aims to give consumers more control over their personal data, imposes limitations on how data can be shared with third parties, and forewarns harsh penalties for organizations that don’t comply.

The sweeping and complex law, to take effect in 2020, will affect any local, national, or international company that deals in or manages consumer data for marketing purposes in California — in effect, everyone.

For marketers, this development ushers in an era of rules and obligations.

First, organizations will have to learn a new and dense rulebook regarding the use of consumer data. Marketers, PR firms, lawyers, government affairs officials, lobbyists, compliance, and operations will need to understand obscure, detailed facets of the 10,660-word law. For example, though companies must obtain express consent before selling certain data, companies can “share” data with fewer restrictions. What constitutes “sharing” vs. “selling” will be debated and scrutinized for the next 18 months. One certainty: it will be complicated.

Second, marketers will need to create highly sophisticated, compliant inducements to collect and use data. Under the new law, marketers are permitted to offer “financial incentives” in exchange for consumer permission to collect and use data. Creating rewards that pay for long-term commitment could come at a cost to the bottom line. In the absence of consumer-specific data, the role of influencers and engaged social media communities in disseminating messages will take on an even greater importance. Appealing to followers through organic and authentic avenues such as online publicity, digital events, and email marketing will become more important.

Originally published at PR Week. To read the rest of the article please go here.