California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Office of the Attorney General has published a list of recent CCPA enforcement examples on its website.  Each example summarizes the AG’s allegation of noncompliance and the steps that the companies took to cure the alleged noncompliance.

Under CCPA, companies have 30 days to cure noncompliance after which the California AG may initiate a civil action for civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 for each violation or $7,500 for each intentional violation.  In each example made public by the California AG, the AG stated that the target of the enforcement action cured the violation and the California AG did not assess penalties.  In January 2023, however, the right to cure will sunset when the CPRA takes effect.


Continue Reading CCPA Update: California AG Releases List of Enforcement Actions 

The Colorado Legislature recently passed the Colorado Privacy Act (“ColoPA”), joining Virginia and California as states with comprehensive privacy legislation. Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the bill (SB 21-190) into law on July 7, and ColoPA will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

How does the measure stack up against the VCDPA and the CCPA (as amended by CPRA)? The good news is that, in broad terms, ColoPA generally does not impose significant new requirements that aren’t addressed under the CCPA or VCDPA, but there are a few distinctions to note..
Continue Reading Privacy Law Update: Colorado Privacy Bill Becomes Law: How Does it Stack Up Against California and Virginia?

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), effective January 1, 2023, adds “contractors” to the list of entities that a business may entrust with customer data.  So what is a “contractor?”  And how are “contractors” different from other entities described by California privacy law, such as “service providers” or “third parties?”

As it turns out, the answer is surprising.  Contractors are nearly identical to service providers, with just two differences:  contractors are not data processors; and contractors must make a contractual certification in CCPA contracts.  Moreover, contractors are not even new entities, and were already described in existing California privacy law.

Origins of “Contractors” in CCPA

To help explain the origins of the new contractor classification, we start with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).  Under the CCPA, now in effect, each disclosure of personal information from a covered business to another entity is regulated, either via consumer opt out preferences or via contractual restrictions.  Altogether, there are three potential data flows described in the CCPA:  business to third party, business to service provider, and business to a person who is not a third party.  We describe each in turn:

  • Business to Third Party:  First, when a business discloses personal information to a third party, this constitutes the “sale” of personal information (unless an exception applies, such as in the context of an intentional disclosure).  The CCPA grants consumers the right to opt out of such sales of their personal information to prevent these data flows.

As an example, selling a marketing list to a third party or sharing profile information with an adtech partner in most cases would be considered a sale of personal information to a third party.

  • Business to Service Provider:  Second, when a business discloses personal information to a service provider, no “sale” occurs and there is no right of consumers to opt out.  The requirements for the recipient to be a service provider are that (1) the service provider processes personal information on behalf of the business, and (2) the service provider agrees to retain, use, or disclose the personal information only for business purposes specified in a written contract.

Service providers provide technical, professional, and other business support to the business.  For example, a service provider might offer various services such as cloud-based servers or software, consulting, or e-commerce fulfillment services.

  • Business to a Person Who Is Not a Third Party:  Finally, there is a rarely discussed third option in the CCPA.  The CCPA states that any recipient of personal information that agrees to certain enhanced contractual terms is not a third party.  This third category requires that the recipient agree to contractual terms that mirror service provider contractual terms, along with three additional terms:  (1) to refrain from selling the personal information, (2) to refrain from retaining, using, or disclosing the information outside the direct business relationship between the recipient and the business, and (3) to certify that the recipient understands the above contractual restrictions.

This third option is significant to avoid the “sale” of personal information.  If the recipient is not a third party, then a sale can only occur if the recipient is a “business” under CCPA.  In many cases, the recipient will not be a business either, typically because the recipient does not determine the purposes and means of processing the personal information.

As an example, if an authorized reseller furnishes a manufacturer with a list of new orders for fulfillment, and the manufacturer agrees to use the list only to fulfill orders, the manufacturer is not a third party.   Because the manufacturer does not determine the purposes and means of processing the personal information it receives, the manufacturer is not acting as a “business.”  No sale occurs.

Similarly, if an identity verification service sends personal information to a company to assist that company with confirming the identity of an applicant for service, and the company agrees contractually to limit its use and disclosure of the information for business purposes, the recipient is not a third party or business and no sale occurs from the identity verification service to the business.

Here’s a summary of the entities that may receive personal data under the CCPA:
Continue Reading CPRA Update: What is a “Contractor?”

Key Developments in CCPA Litigation for Q1 2021As we move deeper into the second year of CCPA litigation, the substantive issues continue to develop and we remain focused on the patterns and implications of recent filings and rulings.  In this post, we highlight notable developments in three cases that occurred in the first quarter of 2021.  These cases raise significant issues

California officials today announced their nominees to be the five inaugural members of the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) Board.  Created by the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), the CPPA will become a powerful, state-level privacy regulator long before its enforcement authority becomes effective in 2023, and today’s appointments move the CPPA one large step

California’s Office of Administrative Law approved further revisions to the Attorney General’s CCPA regulations on March 15, 2021. The revisions went into effect upon approval. In substance, the revisions are identical to the fourth set of modifications the Attorney General proposed on December 10, 2020, and make the following changes: (1) Notice for Sale of PI Collected Offline: Businesses that sell personal information collected offline must provide an offline notice by means such as providing paper copies or posting signs in a store, or giving an oral notice if collecting personal information over the phone. (2) Opt-Out Icon: The revised regulations provide that businesses may use an opt-out icon in addition to, but not in lieu of, notice of a right to opt out or a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link. (3) Do Not Sell Requests: A “Do Not Sell” request must “be easy for consumers to execute and shall require minimal steps to allow the consumer to opt-out.” The change prohibits businesses from using any method that is designed to or would have the effect of preventing a consumer from opting out. The revised regulation offers examples of prohibited opt-out practices, which include requiring a consumer to: (A) complete more steps to opt out than to re-opt in after a consumer had previously opted out; (B) provide personal information that is not necessary to implement the opt-out request; and (C) read through a list of reasons why he or she shouldn’t opt out before confirming the request. (4) Consumer Requests from Authorized Agents: A business may now require an authorized agent who submits a request to know or delete to provide proof that the consumer gave the agent signed permission to submit a request. The regulations also preserve the options business previously had of requiring the consumer to verify their identity directly to the business or directly confirming that they provided the authorized agent permission to submit the request. (5) Children’s Information: The addition of the word “or” in section 999.332 requires businesses that sell personal information of children under the age of 13 “and/or” between the ages of 13 and 15 to describe in their privacy policies how to make an opt-in to sale requests. We will continue to monitor closely further developments in CCPA regulations.California’s Office of Administrative Law approved further revisions to the Attorney General’s CCPA regulations on March 15, 2021.  The revisions went into effect upon approval.  In substance, the revisions are identical to the fourth set of modifications the Attorney General proposed on December 10, 2020, and make the following changes:

(1) Notice for Sale of

Only two months after finalizing the CCPA regulations, the California Attorney General’s office today released a new set of proposed changes, most significantly addressing “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” requests. The office has also recommended changes to the regulations related to providing notice when businesses collect personal information offline, proof required when an

Prior to the September 30 deadline to sign or veto legislation, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently took action on three bills related to data privacy. Bringing some potential certainty to the dynamic CCPA landscape, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1281, which provides for the extension of the CCPA’s exemptions related to employee data

On August 30th, the California legislature passed a bill to continue the employee and business-to-business (B2B) exemptions contained in the CCPA for another year. Currently, the CCPA provides two limited exemptions for employee and B2B information, whereby this information is excluded from most CCPA requirements. Both of these exemptions become ineffective January 1, 2021. Assembly

The California Office of Administrative Law today approved the CCPA Regulations that the California Attorney General submitted in June, and the regulations are effective immediately. As we discussed here, the now-final regulations, for the most part, substantively match those that the AG released in March, with a few notable changes.

Significantly, the AG