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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provides consumers with a right to non-discrimination when they exercise other privacy rights guaranteed by the law, such as the right to access, delete, or opt out of the sale of their personal informationThe California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provides consumers with a right to non-discrimination when they exercise other privacy rights guaranteed by the law, such as the right to access, delete, or opt out of the sale of their personal information.  However, the meaning of “non-discrimination” and the exceptions to this prohibition provided in the CCPA and proposed regulations are among the more confusing aspects of California’s privacy law.

While other privacy laws contain non-discrimination provisions, the CCPA non-discrimination right is notably broader.  For example, the CCPA concept of discrimination is not limited to protected or sensitive categories, as is the case with Title VII.  Nor is it limited to a specific type of economic activity, as is the case with industry-specific laws such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.  Instead, CCPA’s non-discrimination right applies to all California consumers exercising any of their other rights under the Act.

This post looks at what the non-discrimination right prohibits (and allows), as well as some of the important questions that the statute and draft regulations leave open.  Critical practical issues include being able to (1) distinguish between lawful denials of CCPA rights and impermissible discrimination, and (2) justify the magnitude of financial incentives offered in connection with personal information collection, retention, and sale.  With about two months before the CCPA’s July 1 enforcement date, it’s important for businesses to confirm how they are addressing this often overlooked right and square away any final adjustments that may be prudent.


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The CCPA grants the California Attorney General (AG) the authority to enforce the CCPA starting on July 1, 2020.  Last month, the AG confirmed no intention to delay that enforcement date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite mounting industry pressure.The CCPA grants the California Attorney General (AG) the authority to enforce the CCPA starting on July 1, 2020.  Last month, the AG confirmed no intention to delay that enforcement date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite mounting industry pressure.

Even if enforcement begins July 1st, companies must contend with another glaring obstacle:

 California Attorney General (AG) released third draft of proposed CCPA regulationsOn Wednesday, the California Attorney General (AG) released a third draft of proposed CCPA regulations for public comment.  The draft contains a series of technical corrections, along with a handful of substantive incremental modifications to the prior draft.  The limited number of changes signals that the rulemaking process is reaching an end.

The following

The California Attorney General unveiled its data broker registry on Monday.  On or before January 31st, companies qualifying as a “data broker” based on the prior year’s activities are required to register their name and contact information with the Attorney General and may provide a statement concerning their data collection practices.  A

The January 1, 2020 effective date of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has come and gone, but questions about how to comply with the law show no hint of disappearing.  As companies move past their efforts to comply with the law’s most visible requirement – providing notice at the point of collection and explaining data practices in a full privacy policy – the focus is sharpening on a broad array of operational and implementation questions.

While Attorney General Xavier Becerra has indicated his office will prioritize enforcement relating to the sale of minors’ personal information, will direct enforcement efforts at companies that are not showing a willingness to comply, and will not make major changes before finalizing the proposed regulations, the Attorney General has not fielded specific questions about how to implement the law.  This state of affairs has left companies scrambling to benchmark their compliance practices against competitors and the industry at large.

In this post, we provide some insights on common questions we are hearing about how to comply with the CCPA in the absence of clear guidance or precedent.  Of course, every company is different and companies should always consult with a privacy attorney before deciding on the best way to comply with the CCPA.

Why are so many companies posting a “Do Not Sell My Info” (DNSMI) button on their website if they do not sell personal information in exchange for money?

Companies that post a DNSMI button but do not sell personal information for money likely have determined that their provision of personal information to ad tech companies in connection with interest-based advertising is a “sale.”  Accordingly, they post the DNSMI button to enable consumers to opt out of these “sales.”

The question of whether, and under what circumstances, the use of third-party cookies, pixels, tags, etc. constitutes a “sale” and how to provide DNSMI choices is a flashpoint in the debate over how to interpret the CCPA (as discussed here, here, and here).  There is a growing consensus that only a lawsuit or a government enforcement action will resolve this matter.

For now, two ways of analyzing this question are emerging.  One position concludes that data collected via a third-party cookie, tag, or pixel may be a potential “sale” because the company adding that cookie, tag, or pixel to its website sends, makes available, or otherwise shares personal information to an ad tech provider in exchange for services, and, critically, where that provider does not restrict its use or sharing of that personal information for the provider’s or other entities’ commercial benefit (other than for a limited number of exempted purposes).

The other position is that the third party directly collects personal information via the cookie, tag, or pixel placed on a publisher’s website, and the publisher is not selling that personal information to the third party responsible for the tracker.

Each business, however, will need to evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, whether its interest-based advertising, analytics, and other forms of tracking may constitute a sale under the CCPA.  Often this starts with categorizing  the types of vendors and partners (i.e. ad tech, analytics, or other services); identifying each specific vendor or partner responsible for the tracker on the business’s site(s); and reviewing the vendor or provider’s publicly posted terms, privacy policy, and contract with the business, if there is one, to determine if the transfer of personal information to the vendor could reasonably qualify as a transfer for a business purpose to a service provider, or other exemption, or whether the transfer is likely a “sale.”

When can a business claim that its ad tech partner and purchased ad tech services are exempt from the “sale” provisions of the CCPA?

The CCPA provides an exemption from the definition of a “sale” when a business uses or shares with a “service provider” personal information of a consumer that is necessary and proportionate to perform a “business purpose.”  As a result, companies may want to determine (1) whether an ad tech vendor is a “service provider” and (2) whether that vendor performs its ad tech service for a “business purpose.”  Examining specific arrangements with each advertising partner is the best way to address this question and for each of the relevant services provided by the vendor.

Some of the major players in online advertising have laid down public markers that can be helpful in classifying interest-based advertising activities.  Examples include:
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Last Monday, Google released its answer to the CCPA: a new “service provider” contract.  Given Google’s widely used advertising and analytics technologies, Google’s new contract has the potential to influence how website publishers, advertisers, the Ad Tech industry, and software as a service (SaaS) providers approach compliance with California’s new privacy law.

No “Sales”

In exactly two months, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect. Many businesses are devoting resources to timely comply, but between the late rollout of the Attorney General’s draft regulations, recent amendments to the law, and a lack of consensus in the industry on interpretation of key CCPA terms, tackling compliance can be

On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed seven legislative proposals to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), marking the end of a nearly-yearlong process to make changes to the new privacy law before it goes into effect on January 1st.  The next opportunity to amend the CCPA will be in the 2020

On Thursday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released draft regulations implementing the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The regulations provide the first glimpse into how the Attorney General interprets the sprawling law, which is slated to go into effect on January 1.

The new regulations cover seven topics:

  1. Notices to Consumers: The draft regulations clarify

Ad Law Access PodcastOn a new episode of the Ad Law Access PodcastAlex Schneider discusses the amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) the California legislature voted to send to the California governor’s desk.

For additional information see the Ad Law Access blog posts: