As California seeks to crack down on worker misclassification, predatory lending and consumer data privacy, some companies are fighting back — by flat-out refusing to comply with new laws that they say don’t apply to them.
Facebook, for example, says it doesn’t need to change its web tracking service when California’s new data privacy law takes effect in January.
And money lenders are partnering with out-of-state banks to get around a newly passed interest rate cap on loans between $2,500 and $10,000.
“Everyone has to calculate what their risk tolerance is,” said Margita Thompson, who served as press secretary for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Ultimately, you have to figure out what’s going to be the impact to my bottom line, what’s going to be the impact to my workforce what’s going to be the impact to my shareholders.”
Thompson says the way a law is written on paper might not necessarily match the way a state agency might implement or regulate it. That’s where the legal system comes in.
In the end, she says, “it’s not gonna be something that companies can ignore.”
While companies can challenge a law, Thompson says it’s also something the courts can enforce. “And so you need to make sure that you are capturing whatever costs may happen through that ultimate implementation, even if you’re not doing it right away,” she said.
In some cases, voters will have a say, too: Measures that would expand data privacy rights and allow gig companies to keep their drivers classified as independent contractors are likely heading for California’s November ballot.
Clarification: We've updated the headline on this story to clarify that the companies say their existing policies already comply with the new laws.
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