Like all businesses, Facebook has been struggling with its response to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect on January 1, 2020 and became enforceable on July 1, 2020. In early July, Facebook announced a new feature called Limited Data Use (LDU). If a business enables the LDU feature, it automatically detects a user’s location and blocks the exchange of data from California residents. Until July 31, 2020, Facebook automatically enabled the LDU for all Facebook business accounts, preventing all businesses from accessing data from California residents. However, as of August 1, 2020, the feature is no longer automatically enabled and business account customers must update their pixel to establish an LDU parameter — enable or disable the LDU in the business’ account settings.
Determining whether to enable the LDU is a complicated question that turns on two factors: (1) which Facebook Business Tool products are being utilized by the business and whether those products access “personal data” as defined by the CCPA; and (2) whether the business is otherwise CCPA compliant. As marketing experts know, enabling or disabling the LDU has significant implications for an effective marketing campaign capable of delivering a reasonable return on investment. Until some of the legal nuances associated with the CCPA are resolved, businesses will have difficult decisions to make — and, in the case of Facebook’s LDU feature, those decisions need to be made quickly.