Category

Legislation

07 May 2020

In Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic, Senators Propose Privacy Bill Aimed At Businesses’ Use of Consumer Data

On April 30, 2020, four Republican Senators announced plans to introduce the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act.  The four Senators, John Thune (R-S.D), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), are all Members of the Commerce Committee, with Wicker the Committee’s chair.

According to the April 30 Senate press release regarding the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act, the legislation would “provide all Americans with more transparency, choice, and control over the collection and use of their personal health, geolocation, and proximity data” for data processing related to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.  The press release also states that the bill would “hold businesses accountable to consumers if they use personal data to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.” Under the bill, covered purposes include “(1) collecting, processing, or transferring the covered data of an individual to track the spread, signs, or symptoms of COVID-19; (2) collecting, processing, or transferring the covered data of an individual to measure compliance with social distancing guidelines or other requirements related to COVID-19 that are required by federal, state, or local government order; (3) collecting, processing, or transferring the covered data of an individual to conduct contact tracing for COVID-19 cases.” (more…)

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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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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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02 January 2020

Oregon Requires Vendors to Report Data Breaches

While much of the New Year attention has been focused on California due to the effective date of the California Consumer Privacy Act, a new Oregon law also went into effect on January 1, 2020 complicating compliance with data breach obligations. The law is unique among state data breach notification laws in that it imposes a direct obligation on vendors to provide regulatory notice to the state. It also requires vendors to provide notice to the data owner within 10 days.  This new regulatory notice requirement may take some control away from data “owners” that typically manage (and often contractually demand sole control over) initial regulator communications with regard to incidents impacting their data.  However, the new requirement may also incentivize service providers to take more responsibility for incident response.

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19 December 2019

Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy

On December 4, 2019, the Senate Commerce Committee addressed data privacy in a hearing titled, “Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy.”  The hearing focused on the two leading privacy proposals that were put forward in the week leading up to the hearing, the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., ranking member on the Committee, and a Staff Discussion Draft of the United States Consumer Data Privacy Act of 2019 (CDPA), introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Committee.  The competing proposals share many similarities, including their scope of covered data and entities, as well as their approaches to consumer transparency and access.  However, as witness testimony during the hearing revealed, the proposals diverge on a few critical issues.

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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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21 November 2019

The Sixth Edition of The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review is Available

The sixth edition of The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review takes a look at the evolving global privacy, data protection and cybersecurity landscape in a time when mega breaches are becoming more common, significant new data protection legislation is coming into effect, and businesses are coming under increased scrutiny from regulators, Boards of Directors and their customers. Several lawyers from Sidley’s global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice have contributed to this publication. See the chapters below for a closer look at this developing area of law. (more…)

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12 November 2019

Comments Submitted on California Consumer Privacy Act of 2020—Initiative 19-0021

As submitted for the comment period on Initiatives – Active Measures for Initiative 19-0021 on November 8, 2019.

Dear Mr. Mactaggart,

As privacy practitioners, we share your passion and dedication to the development of information privacy and data protection law in the United States. We acknowledge your achievement in pushing for the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and contributing to the ongoing national conversation to advance privacy rights. Your commitment to these issues is clear, and we commend the seriousness of your work in addressing privacy rights in accordance with your vision.

We write in the spirit of constructive development of privacy regulation, and offer the following comments in the hope of contributing to the goal we share with you: improving the quality and effectiveness of U.S. privacy and data protection law while ensuring the continued innovation and flexibility that so benefit our society. Although we often advise the regulated community on privacy and data protection matters, the views expressed here are our own.

At the outset, we note that there are important improvements in your proposed initiative relative to the enacted CCPA. Many of your new initiative’s provisions could serve to move privacy and data security law in a positive direction. In this vein, we note the following: (more…)

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29 October 2019

Observations from Albania: the 41st Annual International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (October 23-24, 2019)

UK ICO Commissioner Liz Denham, who serves as Conference Chair, welcomed attendees at the public session and provided a brief summary of what transpired at the Commissioners’ closed door sessions. She noted that “privacy” has gone “mainstream.” People around the world expect more information about how their data is used. She stressed the importance of future international collaboration and regulatory cooperation to develop shared strategies and tactics “to protect people from big companies.”

Commissioner Denham also highlighted the increased focus on the role of data protection as a relevant consideration in competition analysis by international regulators. She noted that the International Privacy Commissioners’ Conference, and the ongoing assembly of global regulators, resolved to be more transparent in the future with respect to the regulated community and other interested parties. Finally, she hinted that a new name for the group would be announced before the 2019 conference concludes.

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