California AG’s First Formal CCPA Opinion Directs Businesses to Disclose Internally-Generated Inferences and Expresses Skepticism Around Trade Secret Claims

In its first formal opinion interpreting the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “Opinion”), the California Attorney General (OAG) has expansively interpreted CCPA to mean that inferences created internally by a business, including those based on data that is not included in the definition of personal information, constitute “specific pieces” of personal information “collected by a business” which must be produced to consumers upon request.  The Opinion, which was issued on March 10, 2022 in response to a request for clarification submitted by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, also addressed arguments that such inferences could constitute trade secrets and signaled the OAG’s unwillingness to accept “blanket assertions” that inferences constitute trade secrets or proprietary information, requiring instead that businesses explain why an inference constitutes a trade secret with greater particularity.  We highlight below some of the more instructive elements of the opinion that provide insight into potential future enforcement. (more…)

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