Since voters enacted the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) through a ballot initiative in November, there has been considerable focus on the new California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) that will soon be established. That focus is warranted; the CPPA will be the first agency in the United States devoted to the enforcement of general consumer data privacy rights. Less attention has been paid, however, to the evolving role of the California Attorney General’s Office—which is significant. The Attorney General’s Office has been increasingly active in the enforcement of data privacy laws in recent years, and its role will continue to grow under California’s new data privacy laws.

The California Attorney General has been active in enforcing privacy laws since at least 2012, when Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, then the California Attorney General, established an in-house Privacy Unit. That unit, housed within the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office, enforces state and federal privacy laws, educates consumers and advises the Attorney General on privacy matters

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