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January 2, 2020

The Hustle
TOGETHER WITH
ATHLETIC GREENS

Happy New Year, people. If California’s new data privacy law is any indicator, this new decade will provide us with plenty of spicy business stories. Today: 

  • A new privacy law hits the books
  • Counterfeit kicks are big business for crooks

Have a great day.

The Hustle Daily Email

It’s a new year, and tech companies have to play by new rules (in California, at least)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) officially went into effect yesterday, giving Californians more control over the destiny of their data.

Here’s how the law works:

Companies with customers in California will be required to provide consumers with an option to opt out of data collection. 

The law gives California internet users the power to request that any data collected from them is deleted — and mandates that companies continue to provide free services to customers who opt out of data collection (although it does allow companies to offer more limited service to data dodgers).

The law applies to any company with California customers that:

  • Makes $25m in annual revenue
  • Holds information about at least 50k people
  • Earns at least ½ its money selling CA consumers’ info

So, why is this such a big deal? 

Although concerns about corporate data collection have been growing for years, the CCPA is one of the first major consumer data protection policies to go into effect in America. 

And because many large companies like Facebook and Google will be required to build out new transparency tools to comply with the law, the CCPA’s impact will extend beyond the Golden State.

Some companies — like Microsoft — have already announced they will make data available not just to Californians, but to all of their customers. 

And since California is often a leader in passing new regulations, it is likely that other states will follow its lead.

But rollout of the law will be a bumpy process

California’s attorney general will be responsible for taking non-compliers to task. But the attorney general’s office will be able to handle only a limited number of cases per year.

The AG has set a date of July 1 to finalize the specific requirements for companies.

The law is expected to cost some businesses as much as $100m.

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The market for counterfeit kicks is alive and kicking

A recently unsealed federal file revealed that the counterfeit sneaker industry is massive — and one international counterfeiting ring managed to smuggle more than $472m worth of fake Nike and Louis Vuitton footwear into the US.

And this wasn’t an isolated incident

In fact, there have been several big busts in recent months. 

  • Last year, a team of New York–based counterfeiters were caught smuggling 385k pairs of Air Jordans into the US (an estimated $70m loss for Nike).
  • In October, a man in Queens was busted for importing $5m worth of knockoff Ugg and Timberland boots.
  • Also in October, authorities confiscated 14k pairs of counterfeit Air Jordans (worth an estimated $2.2m).

Overall, the industry is huge: Last year, sales of knockoff goods hit $520B — or 3.3% of all trade.

And some of these criminal operations are really complex

According to the report, the counterfeiters behind the recent operation used fake company names, doctored paperwork, burner phones, and fake email addresses to cover their tracks.

Want to know if your sneaks are fake? See if they pass the sniff test: Some counterfeiters use glue that smells like chlorine.

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This week’s Signal

Light Therapy Lamp

Cue the Ned Stark meme: Winter is coming. Light therapy lamps help people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder cope with the symptoms. That’s why search interest increases in winter months.

What’s next: Interest in light therapy has been particularly strong as the lamps become better known to the public and as more people realize the debilitating effects of seasonal affective disorder.

With prescription drugs increasingly under fire for their price and dangers, light therapy will be recognized more and more as an alternative.

See more
Things you should…

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What Else…

🎵 Tencent bet billions on Billie Eilish. A consortium of investors led by the Chinese internet giant Tencent purchased a 10% stake in Universal Music Group for $3.36B. The deal values Universal, which represents artists including Billie Eilish and Drake, at $34B.

🔫 G.I. Joe and Snoop Dogg are brothers now. Hasbro, the toy company that owns classic toy brands Monopoly and My Little Pony, purchased the parent company of Death Row Records in a $3.8B deal.

🐊 States can’t decide if gator skin is out or in. A California law banning the sale of alligator skin products that was supposed to go into effect yesterday was blocked by a lawsuit from Louisiana, the nation’s leading producer of gator garments. Now, the 2 states will likely head to court to decide whether the sale of gator products in California will continue. In the meantime, gator skin products are still on sale.

🏘️ Less than 10% of Americans moved in the past year. The record low is attributable to millennials’ ties to major tech hubs and an increase in dual-income couples.

🌱 What were the biggest tech misses of the year? “Cyber agriculture” and genetic gaydar were among them, MIT Technology Review reports.

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