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Clients and legal teams appreciate Shelby’s passion for the law as it relates to protecting technology and company assets. She regularly monitors and researches fast-changing consumer privacy laws, with the understanding that critical strategy and success for any business includes oversight of data privacy policies and intellectual property portfolios.

Keypoint: Businesses subject to the CCPA will need to revise their compliance programs before the exemptions expire on January 1, 2023.

As previously reported, the California legislature had been considering multiple bills to extend the employee and business-to-business data exemptions under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). On August 31st, however, the California legislature adjourned without extending the exemptions which automatically expire on January 1, 2023 – the same day the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) goes into effect.

Generally speaking, the current exemptions apply to (1) personal information of job applicants, employees, owners, directors, officers, and independent contractors in the context of the individual’s employment or application for employment and (2) personal information reflecting written and verbal communications or a transaction where the consumer is acting in a business-to-business commercial transaction. With the exemptions set to expire, California will become the first state to apply comprehensive restrictions on the collection and use of such information.

Businesses subject to the CCPA and that have California employees or deal with other California companies will need to engage in substantial efforts to update their privacy programs. We outline some of the necessary steps below.

Continue Reading California Legislature Fails to Extend CCPA Employee and B2B Data Exemptions

Keypoint: The thirteen new enforcement case examples – released just a few months before the CCPA’s right to cure sunsets – provide further insight into the Attorney General’s enforcement priorities.

As we previously reported, last week the California Attorney General’s Office announced its first public settlement for alleged non-compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), consisting of a $1.2 million penalty as well as injunctive relief. Although much of the discussion since the announcement has been appropriately focused on the contours of the settlement agreement, the Office contemporaneously published thirteen new CCPA enforcement case examples. The new examples add to the twenty-seven examples the Office published in July 2021.

Because the Office does not generally release information to the public about its investigations, the new case examples provide a rare glimpse into the Office’s past year of CCPA enforcement activities. With the CCPA’s thirty day right to cure sunsetting on January 1, 2023, businesses should review these case examples as part of their ongoing compliance efforts.

Below is an overview of the new enforcement case examples.

Continue Reading CCPA Update: Cal. AG Releases Thirteen New Enforcement Case Examples

Keypoint: The Attorney General’s announcement of a $1.2 million penalty sends a “strong message” to companies to come into compliance.

On August 24, 2022, California Attorney General Bonta announced the first public enforcement action under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as well as a new round of investigative sweeps and more enforcement case examples.

During an online press conference, Attorney General Bonta announced a $1.2 million settlement with a company over allegations it illegally sold data in violation of the CCPA. Bonta stated the enforcement action should send a “strong message” to companies to comply with the CCPA. The enforcement action arose out of a prior investigative sweep in which the Attorney General’s office sent over one-hundred (100) notices of violation.

Continue Reading California Attorney General Announces First Public CCPA Enforcement Action

Keypoint: As currently drafted, the ADPPA’s private right of action provides U.S. citizens with the opportunity to enforce their privacy rights but limits lawsuits to federal court and provides covered entities and service providers with mechanisms to mitigate the risk of such claims, including through the use of arbitration provisions and class action waivers.

As we previously reported, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) (H.R. 8152) is eligible for a full House vote after the House Committee on Commerce & Energy (House Committee) reported out an amended version on July 20, 2022. Prior to reporting out the ADPPA, the House Committee adopted an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (AINS) that made numerous changes to the bill, including modifications to the bill’s private right of action (PRA).

The contours of the ADPPA’s PRA are crucial.

Privacy advocates point to the inclusion of the PRA as one way in which the ADPPA is stronger than the California Consumer Privacy Act. However, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) – whose support is necessary to pass the bill because she chairs the relevant Senate committee – stated that the ADPPA contains “major enforcement holes” and does not have her support. Recently, Senator Cantwell stated that “she couldn’t support the bipartisan framework unless House lawmakers add tougher enforcement measures, including limits on forced arbitration and a broad right for individuals to sue companies that violate the law.” According to Cantwell, “The problem is it’s taking the House a long time to come to reality about what strong enforcement looks like.” “If you’re charitable, you call it ignorance. If you think that it’s purposeful, it literally won’t pass the House because they just won’t meet the test of what a strong federal bill looks like.” Meanwhile, business advocates such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are adamantly opposed to any bill “that creates a blanket private right of action.”

Given how important this issue is to passing a federal privacy bill, the below article contains a detailed analysis of the ADPPA’s current PRA as the House Committee passed it on July 20. The article then outlines the PRA contained in Senator Cantwell’s 2019 bill, the Consumer Online Privacy Right Act for comparison purposes.

If you are interested in learning more about the ADPPA, we are hosting a webinar on it on August 18, 2022. Click here for more information and to register. We also would like to thank the Future of Privacy Forum and the IAPP’s Cobun Zweifel-Keegan whose redline of the latest version of the ADPPA was instrumental in the drafting of this article.

Continue Reading Analyzing the American Data Privacy and Protection Act’s Private Right of Action

Keypoint: The comments focus on identifying areas in which the Attorney General’s Office may provide additional clarity to consumers and businesses and to ensure, where appropriate, the interoperability of the Colorado Privacy Act with state and international privacy laws.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is currently accepting pre-rulemaking input on the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA). It also will host public listening sessions on June 22  and June 28 for those interested in providing oral comments.

Given the importance of these forthcoming regulations to the development of U.S. privacy law, members of Husch Blackwell’s data privacy practice submitted extensive comments to the Office. The purpose of the comments is to identify areas in which the Office may provide additional clarity to consumers and businesses and to ensure, where appropriate, the interoperability of the CPA with other state privacy laws enacted in California, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia and international privacy laws such as GDPR.

Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Submits Comments on Colorado Privacy Act Pre-Rulemaking

Keypoint: Last week, the FTC signaled an increased focus on COPPA enforcement, targeting education technology companies while California and federal lawmakers consider enacting new laws to regulate the processing of children’s data.

Over the past few months there has been a growing bipartisan consensus among lawmakers and regulators of the need for increased regulation around the processing of children’s data. In a sign of the significance of the issue, President Biden specifically addressed children’s data privacy in his State of the Union Address. As discussed below, recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission”) and lawmakers signal that companies processing children’s data should expect to see increased scrutiny.

Continue Reading U.S. Children’s Privacy Law Update

Keypoint: Organizations that collect personal data from children under 16 will need to ensure compliance with additional requirements once the laws go into effect.

This is the ninth post in our ten-part weekly series comparing key provisions of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), and Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). With the operative dates of these laws drawing near, we are exploring important distinctions between them. If you are not already subscribed to our blog, consider subscribing now to stay updated.

In this article, we examine how the three laws treat children’s personal data. The CPRA divides children into two groups, children under 13 and children the ages of 13-15. While both groups require consent to sell or share information, the latter may do so without a parent or guardian. In comparison, the VCDPA and CPA handle children’s data similar to each other by both defining a child as under 13 years old and including personal data of a child under the definition of sensitive data (for which consent is required to process). The VCDPA and CPA do not address the treatment of data for children ages 13-15.

In addition to these three state laws, California recently introduced a bill that would further regulate children’s personal data by creating additional obligations for companies collecting data of consumers under the age of 18. Momentum is also gathering for federal legislation that further regulates children’s online personal data, with several bills aiming to update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In March, President Joe Biden addressed the importance of protecting children’s data in his State of the Union address. We provide an overview of these new bills in this article as well.

Continue Reading How do the CPRA, VCDPA & CPA treat children’s data?

Keypoint: In its first CCPA interpretive opinion, the Attorney General’s office confirmed that businesses responding to requests to know must disclose internally generated inferences they hold about a consumer from either internal or external information sources.

On March 10, 2022, the California Attorney General’s office issued a first-of-its-kind interpretive opinion on the California Consumer Privacy Act’s (CCPA) application.

The Opinion states that, unless an exception applies, a consumer “has the right to know internally generated inferences about that consumer” held by the business from either external or internal sources. The Office reached this Opinion based on a plain reading of the CCPA’s text. A few questions result, including whether inferences based on otherwise exempt information must be disclosed.

Below is a further analysis of the Opinion.

Continue Reading CCPA Update: California Attorney General Issues Opinion on Disclosure of Inferences

Keypoint: Organizations subject to these laws will need to determine whether they are engaging in “sales,” which can be a complex and multifaceted analysis given the statutes’ varying definitions and exemptions.

This is the fifth post in our ten-part weekly series comparing key provisions of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), and Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). With the operative dates of these laws drawing near, we are exploring important distinctions between them. If you are not already subscribed to our blog, consider subscribing now to stay updated.

In this article, we analyze how each of these laws treat “sales” of personal information/data. The CPRA, CPA, and VCDPA all give consumers the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information/data by businesses/controllers. Whether organizations need to provide this right is obviously dependent on whether they are selling personal data. That analysis, however, is complicated by the fact that the laws define “sale” differently and contain different exemptions. Reconciling the definitions and exemptions will be an important step for any organization complying with these laws.

In the below article, we analyze these issues by first comparing the definitions of sale under the three laws and then analyzing the various exemptions.

Continue Reading How do the CPRA, CPA & VCDPA treat sales?

Keypoint: The CPRA, CPA and VCDPA require data protection assessments for certain processing activities; however, when and how entities must conduct and prepare assessments varies.

This is the third article in our ten-part weekly series comparing key provisions of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), and Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). With the operative dates of these laws drawing near, we are exploring important distinctions between them. If you are not already subscribed to our blog, consider subscribing now to stay updated.

In this article, we examine how the three laws approach data protection assessments. At first glance, Virginia and Colorado’s provisions appear similar; however, definitional differences of key terms result in potentially significant variances. Further, the Colorado Attorney General’s office has identified this as a potential topic for rulemaking, which could lead to more differences given that the VCDPA does not authorize such rulemaking. California does not have this concept under the current California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and takes a different approach than Virginia and Colorado in the CPRA. The CPRA charges the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) with issuing regulations on when and how businesses must prepare cybersecurity audits and risk assessments. The CPPA is still drafting those regulations.

Below is a further analysis of this topic.

Continue Reading How do the CPRA, CPA & VCDPA approach data protection assessments?