From the Inside January/February 2020
It looks like 2020 will become the year of implementing government regulations in businesses. There are several new federal and state laws going into effect this year, and it is catching a lot of business by surprise.
California Privacy Laws
California was the first state to pass privacy laws roughly modeled after the European privacy laws, but it didn't take effect until 2020. Since the wording of the laws wasn't as clear as they originally wanted it, there has been some back and forth working through it. While it seems to be more focused on regulating the larger Social Media and Tech company, it will affect smaller companies as well.
There are two major takeaways that everyone should be aware of. The law is not limited to California companies. It affects on any company that does business in California if they collect consumer data. So, even if your business is based in another state, if you do business with anyone in California, then you can't collect or receive consumer data without complying.
That's pretty much everybody. Even if you think you aren't affected, consider this: If you are working with a marketing or data collection company, like the ones that provide loyalty programs, or any company that provides data analytics for you, you need to consider your legal position.
There are still some gray areas that are being worked out. For example, if you are using cloud storage for security cameras, the law's wording implies that images on those recordings are part of the consumer's privacy rights. If the consumer states they don't want to be recorded for privacy reasons, then you are not allowed to record them even in public areas. That's how broad this law is.
New York Privacy Laws
Like California, New York is proposing a bill that would allow people to find out what data companies are collecting on them, see who they're sharing that data with, request that it be corrected or deleted, and avoid having their data shared with or sold to third parties altogether.
The difference is that New York's bill would allow their residents to sue companies directly over privacy violations. While the California law is focused on companies doing more than $25 million, New York's would apply to company of any size.
New York's SHIELD Act will directly affect how data is stored by business software regardless if they are based in New York or not. Just like California's law, it is designed to act as a right for the person who resides in their state regardless of the infringer's location.
Federal W4 and Payroll
The Federal Government has redone their payroll systems. There are new tax rules and new tax tables. Not to mention, new W2 and Tax forms to be filled out.
While this doesn't affect existing employees of a company, any new employees that have been hired in 2020 are required to use the new forms and tables. Many companies have outsourced their HR and Payroll systems, but if you are doing payroll internally still, this may come a bit of a surprise.
New York and California are also crafting freelancer laws, designed to stop companies like Uber and Lyft from abusing the drivers. The reach is far longer, affecting anyone who free lances, including writers and possibly consultants.
These topics are going to be covered at the International Spectrum 2020 Conference in Tampa, Florida on April 20th. Watch for more information in the coming months!