With the election of current California Attorney General Kamala Harris to the U.S. Senate, Governor Jerry Brown was tasked with appointing her replacement. On December 1, he announced that his pick is U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra, head of the House Democratic caucus.
Becerra was first elected to the House in 1992 and has also served as deputy attorney general for California.
As we have previously pointed out, California is a very active state in privacy regulation. AG Harris has engaged with consumer privacy protection and the regulatory scheme, including advocating for harmonization of state data breach laws in her February 2016 Data Breach Report. We will see whether Becerra, as California attorney general, maintains the state’s involvement in this area. This handoff will occur at the same time that a new chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission takes over, a transition that is also raising questions of how the new leadership of the agency will handle privacy.
With the apparent shift in activity at the federal level following the election of Donald Trump, we expect states to be more active in a variety of areas, including privacy. Stay tuned for developments.