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 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.