CCPA (and GDPR): The Coming Storm

I have been very much on top of and involved with preparing LendUp for CCPA Compliance. My management is as savvy and totally gets it as far as how critically important this is. In return for their trust in me and my abilities, they will be ready for CCPA on January 1, 2020, and then in March when you really, really better have it all nailed down. I know firsthand and from very detailed technical and business experience what this is all about – and what it takes to work towards compliance. I might be one of the pioneers on the front lines of this coming tidal wave.

What is shocking is how most companies – and I mean big, successful Data Driven companies are ill prepared – and many in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know of three for a fact who haven’t even started – and two who have been posting the same job for people to work on this since January of this year – I know – I applied for these companies. They still haven’t filled these jobs – its really amazing – and shows how broken IT is and how bad IT hiring is broken. But its worse than just hiring – its a lack of strategic planning.

The hiring process right now in Silicon Valley is the worst I have ever experienced in my 38 year career. Companies are looking for “Unicorns” – basically young geniuses from top tier schools with the highest degrees and pedigrees. Experience is not just overlooked – but frowned on in many companies – and yes, experience comes with age. Its the Shiny New Penny syndrome – and its biting companies in the ass yuge bigly.

I personally ran this gauntlet – and am very, very thankful I ended up at LendUp where they still have a great hiring process and very, very capable management. I hate to say this – but they are the only company I interviewed for this year where I feel this way about. Other companies – companies that have been touted as “Unicorns” themselves – have been so self adored and enamored – that they haven’t been able to find the perfect person or people to lead the charge and get ready for CCPA. They are going to find out the hard way – that they waited too long, and that there is no system you can purchase to quickly fix this problem. Getting ready for CCPA is very hard work – and involves not only strategic and tactical planning – but also a culture change.

The IT industry – which has now become totally data driven – has been able to play “fast and loose” with your personal data. You have no doubt been part of at least one data breach where your Social Security Number and other personally identifying information was given away, accidentally – or sold NOT by accident – but not with your permission. You signed up and didn’t read the fine print – all those selfies that you took with a hamburger at lunch was like a Trojan Horse – slipped by you by all of your favorite Social Media Sites. They literally are laughing all the way to the bank. This is about to change – and these Data Driven Companies are going to have hell to pay in 2020 if they aren’t already well on their way to being prepared.

I’ve heard that to Facebook – $5 billion is Trump Change. Go figure – imagine how many companies could be put out of business by even 1% of that fine. Oh – and about that selfie with your hamburger . . . .

Speaking of Trump Change – the great fearless business leader has already started a recession in the US – just read up on what the farmers are losing – but even more importantly – all of the farm equipment suppliers who are starting to have furloughs.

The recession is already here – it took a while for the tariffs to start the chain reaction, but we are in the very early stages of a recession NOW. Brought to you by the “Fuhrer of Finance” – the “Big Fresser of Foreclosure”. Best con artist ever . . . .

OK – back to Data. Why is this important – because just as we will be getting into a recession – these Data Driven Companies – with terribly lacking strategic planning and hiring practices will have a total “Oh Shit” moment – they will want to cut costs – but will find that staying in Compliance will cost them not just hundreds of thousands of dollars – just to prepare, but WAY more time to prepare – and with much larger teams than they ever had bargained for. From what I know – it seems like the quickest way for a company to be fined is when customers report said companies with complaints. The fines will hit unprepared companies as we sink more and more into recession and where these Data companies start having hiring freezes. Their current staff will not have the skills or knowledge – because this sort of Data Management has not been a thing since everyone left Mainframes – where you HAD to manage your data – it wasn’t an option. We now have data lying around all over the place – and most companies don’t even know where it is.

This is where my 22 years as an Oracle DBA and then 20 years as a Data Engineer propelled me into the limelight as a strategic and tactical data management planner – in fact – the very essence of what my career is based on is Proper Data Management. Lucky me!

There will also be a ripple effect – just like the farm equipment suppliers – who provide equipment to farmers – Cloud based Data companies like Google, Amazon and others will take a big hit, and here’s why – when you prepare for CCPA (and GDPR by the way), you realize that the first thing you can do is get rid of any redundant data. The cost savings is HUGE – and while you first cursed CCPA and GDPR -you now realize that Compliance saves a TON of money – that its a Godsend. The only people who will lose in this respect are the Cloud Service companies – because they thrive on a pack rat mentality that is hand in glove with the lack of Compliance (pre GDPR and CCPA). I know this from experience – last year I wrote ONE SQL statement that dropped 45,000 database tables that used many petabytes of (expensive) disk space and even more expensive processing time. Cloud companies sold everyone on “disk is cheap” – and yeah – if you only have terabytes of data – but when you get into petabytes, its not cheap. Where they gave you what seemed like cheap disk – they screw you blind on processing cost. Here’s the rub – when companies thought they were getting Cloud services for “free” – they encouraged things like “Self Service BI”. That lead to data workers and the cherished darling Data Scientist Unicorns to go use as much storage space and processing time – an all you can eat buffet. I also have never seen so much spending on Data Science and AI where the models are based on really shitty data – of poor quality – and so all the math in the world can’t overcome bad quality data. Its the worst ROI I have seen in my career – and again – its because of “Bad Data Hygene”. But those Unicorns – they are everything, man . . . . what a funny culture we have in IT! Its a symptom of too much money I suppose . . . When a $5 billion fine at Facebook is shrugged at . . but I digress. . .

Companies who are only just now posting jobs to deal with CCPA are already in huge deep shit. Their procrastination is going to wipe out the Cloud service savings they could have had by getting their shit together and planning up front. They won’t be able to find enough of the right people to manage this – and their resulting projects will be Death Marches during this 2019 Holiday Season – when people take time off. The first quarter of next year will be a real doozy in Silicon Valley and all points beyond. CCPA is a California Law – but applies to any company who does business in California- so its reach is global.

Just to spice things up – Nevada has its version of this kind of regulation and it fires up in October. New York and other states will be online with their regulations as well.

Its a major, major coming storm – and you can thank all of the fine companies who have had data breaches and who gave your Social Security number away . . .

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