State Legislators continue to consider amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act amidst uncertainty over how companies will meet the requirements, which go into effect January 1, 2020. Late last month six bills were advanced in the California Assembly that would greatly impact the force and effect of the CCPA as it was enacted almost a year ago. On April 23, 2019, the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee passed these industry-backed amendments:
- AB 25, Chau: Expressly excludes contractors, agents, and job applicants from the definition of employees, to the extent their personal information is used for purposes compatible with that context. This change addresses criticism that information collected in the employment context should not fall within the CCPA’s broad scope and onerous requirements.
- AB 846, Burke: Seeks to modify the way businesses can offer financial incentive plans to consumers in exchange for their data, by stating that the law does not prohibit businesses from offering goods or services to consumers through the consumers’ voluntary participation in loyalty, rewards, premium features, discount, or club card programs.
- AB 873, Irwin: Potentially broadens the scope of “deidentified” information by removing from the definition of “is capable of being associated with” and “household” from the definition of “personal information.”
- AB 874, Irwin: Removes the following language from the definition of “publicly available”: “Information is not ‘publicly available’ if that data is used for a purpose that is not compatible with the purpose for which the data is maintained and made available in the government records or for which it is publicly maintained.” AB 1355, Chau: Corrects various cross-references and drafting errors in the CCPA.
- AB 1564, Berman: Seeks to amend the methods businesses must make available to consumers for submitting verified requests for information regarding the use of their personal information. If passed, AB 1564 would require businesses to make available to consumers a toll-free telephone number or an email address and a physical address for submitting requests. Companies that operate exclusively online would only be required to provide an email address (as opposed to the “two or more designated methods” required by the law in its current form).
In the Senate, the California Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on SB 561, which would expand the private right of action to allow for suits alleging a violation of any part of the law, and would also remove the “right to cure” provision that affords companies 30 days to cure an alleged violation in actions brought by the Attorney General. The Committee voted 6-0 to place the bill in the Suspense File, where it will be held for further consideration.
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