By

Sheri Porath Rockwell

04 November 2020

California Privacy Law Overhaul – Proposition 24 Passes

The results are in, and California voters have approved the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) which was listed on the ballot as Proposition 24.  The law, most of which does not go into effect until January 1, 2023, will substantially overhaul and amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which went into effect just this year, on January 1, 2020, with final regulations issued just a few months ago, on August 14, 2020.  And indeed, CCPA obligations continue to evolve, with proposed amendments to the regulations proposed by the Attorney General’s Office mid-October 2020.

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29 October 2020

CCPA Update: Comment Period Closes on Third Round of Proposed Modifications to CCPA Regulations; CCPA Litigation Gaining Steam; Consumer Groups and Major Newspapers Urge “No” Vote on California’s Privacy Initiative

New privacy developments continue to come from California, with a new proposed modifications to CCPA regulations, continuing CCPA litigation, and voting beginning on Proposition 24, an initiative to overhaul the CCPA.  We provide insight into each below.

Proposed Third Modified CCPA Regulations

In mid-October 2020, just a few months after the “finalization” of the regulations, the California Office of Attorney General proposed a handful of proposed modifications to regulations implementing the California Consumer Privacy Act.  The abbreviated comment period for the proposed modifications closed on October 28th, which means the Attorney General must now review the comments, draft a response, and either further modify the proposed regulations or submit them in their current form for approval by the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

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14 October 2020

California Amends Privacy Laws Again: CCPA Health Information Amendment and Employee/B2B Exemption Signed into Law; Vetoes for Genetic Privacy and Social Media Parental Consent Bills

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law two bills to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”).  He also vetoed two other consumer privacy bills based on concerns about potential conflicts with existing state and federal law. Collectively, these four bills represented the most significant privacy legislation that came out of the California Legislature’s 2019-20 term, which came to a close on September 30th.

Only one of the two new CCPA amendments, AB713, includes substantive changes to the law.  It streamlines the CCPA’s health information exception and imposes new obligations on CCPA businesses and others that handle deidentified patient information.

The other CCPA amendment, AB1281, simply extends the CCPA’s employee and B2B exemptions to January 1, 2022 if voters fail to pass Proposition 24 (CPRA or CCPA 2.0) in November.  Those exemptions are currently set to expire on December 31st of this year.

Newsom also vetoed two consumer privacy bills despite expressing support for the goals of each.  SB980 would have expanded consumer rights with respect to genetic information collected by direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies.  Newsom’s veto was motivated by concerns that the law could have “unintended consequences” for the operation of the state’s communicable disease reporting requirements, including those applicable to COVID-19.  The other bill, AB1138, would have imposed additional parental consent requirements on social media network operators.  Newsom vetoed it to avoid potentially overlapping state and federal compliance obligations, citing parallels between the bill and federal regulations under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).

Here we outline the significant features of each of the new CCPA amendments.

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20 August 2020

Third Time’s the Charm: CCPA Regulations Finally Approved With Limited Substantive Changes from June 2020 Version

On August 14, 2020, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved and filed with the California Secretary of State final regulations implementing the California Consumer Privacy Act.  The regulations, drafted by California’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG), went through three rounds of changes during the rulemaking process and were finally enacted more than two years after the CCPA was signed into law.  The CCPA is a landmark state privacy law that grants consumers new privacy rights, and requires businesses to enhance disclosures about their data practices and facilitate consumer privacy rights.  (more…)

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26 June 2020

The Return of the Mac: CCPA 2.0 Qualifies for California’s November 2020 Ballot and Could Usher In Sweeping Changes to CCPA

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a proposed initiative to codify far-reaching amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and sometimes referred to as “CCPA 2.0”, is back in play and heading to the November 2020 ballot.  A series of dramatic procedural twists and turns culminated with initiative backers successfully obtaining a writ of mandate directing the Secretary of State to direct counties to verify signatures for the ballot proposal by the June 25th Constitutional deadline.  This verification involved each county conducting a random sample of the more than 800,000 signatures that proponents had submitted to place the initiative on the ballot.

Before the California court’s ruling, observers were skeptical that signatures could be verified before the deadline.  Initiative proponents were almost two weeks behind the recommended schedule when they delivered signatures to be verified by California’s 58 counties.  This meant counties had until June 26th to verify signatures — a day after the June 25th Constitutional deadline.  Experience with other initiatives this year had shown that several large counties were waiting until the deadline to complete verifications, so proponents petitioned the court to push the deadline up by a day in order to meet the Constitutional deadline.  The court agreed to do so, finding good cause existed to force counties to complete verifications a day early.  And, as it happened, the extra time was not needed, as counties finished the count two days ahead of their initial deadline.

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04 June 2020

CCPA Enforcement Date Rapidly Approaching: California Attorney General Proposes Regulations for Final Review With July 1, 2020 Less Than One Month Away

On June 1, 2020, California’s Office of the Attorney General (“AG”) moved one step closer to finalizing the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) regulations when the AG submitted proposed final regulations for review and approval by California’s Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”).  This submission signals the end of the AG’s CCPA regulation drafting process that began in early 2019.  If the OAL approves the proposed final regulations, they will be finalized and enforceable by the AG, subject to any legal challenges.

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04 May 2020

Stay At Home Orders May Have Killed California’s Ballot Initiative to Expand CCPA [**Update – But Californians for Consumer Privacy Say Maybe Not**]

UPDATE:  Soon after we published the post below, we learned that the sponsors of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) – i.e., the ballot initiative that aimed to amend and significantly expand the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – intend to push forward with their attempt to get it on the ballot this year.  On May 4th, the initiative’s sponsors, the Californians for Consumer Privacy, announced on Twitter they were submitting to counties across the state.  Whether county election officials can verify the signatures in time to qualify for the November 2020 ballot remains to be seen.  While conventional wisdom is that the recommended April deadline is an important one to make, the approval process may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it might affect the availability of resources to approve initiatives.  We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates on Data Matters as appropriate.    

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the ballot initiative that aimed to amend and significantly expand the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), including by creating the California’s very own data protection authority, the nation’s first, appears to be dead–at least for this ballot season.

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10 April 2020

CCPA Marches On: California Attorney General Proposes Further Revisions to CCPA Regulations, Industry Pleads for Enforcement Delay Amid COVID-19 Crisis

While the world seems to have ground to a halt in so many ways, time still marches on, and along with it, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) enforcement date (July 1, 2020) inches ever closer.   On March 11, 2020, the California Attorney General (“AG”) released the third turn of proposed California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) regulations.  The AG’s revisions make only moderate changes to the last round of regulations issued in February 2020.  Businesses will not need to dramatically change compliance plans as the proposed revised regulations seek to refine requirements in prior drafts rather than introduce any wholesale changes to the regulatory framework.  (more…)

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12 February 2020

A February 2020 Surprise: California Attorney General Proposes Significant Revisions to CCPA Regulations

Just as companies were starting to recover from their exertions to put in place California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) compliance programs before the law’s January 1, 2020 entry into force, the California Attorney General (“AG”) provided an early February surprise.  CCPA watchers long expected that the AG would revise the CCPA regulations he initially proposed on October 10, 2019.  But when the AG actually released his proposed regulations on February 7 – a proposal he subsequently modified slightly on February 10 – both the timing and breadth of the revisions were surprising.  In short, the revisions were both sooner and more significant than expected.

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18 December 2019

CCPA 2.0 Moves to Next Critical Stage of Referendum Process

In the evening of December 17, 2019, Californians for Consumer Privacy, the consumer privacy rights organization led by Alastair Mactaggart that propelled California towards the U.S.’s first comprehensive privacy legislation, tweeted the Attorney General’s release of the title and summary for Initiative 19-0021.  This Initiative would substantively amend and essentially replace the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) with the proposed Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2020—also known colloquially as CCPA 2.0. (more…)

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