Important Clarifications Initiated on California Consumer Protection Act

Important Clarifications Initiated on California Consumer Protection Act

The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) will impact global companies. The CPPA aims to sets forth landmark privacy rights for Californians and becomes effective January 1, 2020. Last week the California Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee began clarifying important ambiguities in the CCPA through a serious of amendment bills. These amendment bills are not law just yet. These bills were actions taken by the Committee to advance proposed changes through the legislative process. Some of the most notable clarification from the amendment bills include:    

  • Updating the current CCPA to make it clear that employees are not “consumers” for purposes of the CCPA and addressing some of the concerns with household data.
  • Clarifying personal and de-identified information by adding a reasonableness standard to make it clear that not all information capable of being associated with an individual or household will be considered personal information. Further, the de-identification standard would be shifted to the FTC “reasonably linkable” de-identification definition which is better understood. 
  • Redefining “publicly available” to mean information that is lawfully made available from federal, state, or local records to ensure there is a public record exemption from the definition of “personal information.” 
  • Adding amendments that make loyalty programs exempt from the CCPA’s “non-discrimination” restrictions. 
  • General cleanup of mistakes and confusion in the current language.  
  • Updating the current CCPA requirement that businesses must establish a toll-free number to receive CCPA requests, to a requirement that they must provide a toll-free number or an email address.   

Two amendment bills were withdrawn that would have dramatically expanded the CCPA requirements.  Notably, it included the bill that extended the private right of action to all privacy violations, extended the opt-out to all sharing of personal information (not just “sales”), added data minimization requirements, and expanded the CCPA right-to-know requirement to require accounting to consumers the specific third parties to whom personal information was shared. 

What’s next? These amendment bills head to the Senate leadership. However, these initial steps suggest that some legislative clarifications of CCPA requirements may pass this year.  It is important to balance compliance with this state law with other data privacy and security laws across the globe.  Taking a practical approach with experienced legal teams will be critical.

DISCLAIMER: This alert is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, or the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and may not be used or relied upon as a substitute for legal advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified attorney or practitioner licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the advice is sought.

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