April was another busy month for legislative activity on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), following a very busy February [see our prior post here]. A proposed sweeping revision to the CCPA, AB 1760, was withdrawn, while three key amendments, AB 25, AB 873, and AB 874, are up for a floor vote. Meanwhile, SB 561, which greatly expands the private right of action under the CCPA, is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File awaiting a May 17, 2019 deadline for a vote as to whether it makes it out of the Suspense File.
AB 1760, introduced on April 4 by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, and now since withdrawn, aimed to replace the CCPA entirely with the “Privacy for All Act of 2019.” Among other things, the proposal sought to augment the already-expansive definition of personal information under the CCPA by including personal information that could be linked to a consumer’s personal devices, such as a serial number. It also required California consumers to affirmatively opt-in to consent to the sharing of their personal data; businesses to disclose the individual pieces of personal information that the businesses share as opposed to categories of information (as is required under the current version of the CCPA); mandated automatic compliance with consumers’ request to delete personal information once none of the exceptions to compliance no longer apply; required businesses to delete all personal information regardless of the source (i.e, not just data collected by the business, as the CCPA currently requires); and exposed businesses to increased liability for CCPA violations by service providers.
AB 25, sponsored by Assemblyman Ed Chau, exempts employee and job-applicant data from the CCPA’s definition of personal information. It was approved unanimously by the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee.
AB 873, sponsored by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, amends the portion of the CCPA’s definition of “personal information” covering “information that is … capable of being associated with” with an individual or household. AB 873 introduces the word “reasonable” into that definition such that the CCPA applies to information that is “reasonably” capable of being so associated. It also amends the CCPA’s definition of de-identified data, which is also not covered by the statute’s definition of “personal information.”
AB 874 provides a full public-record exemption from the CCPA’s definition of “personal information.” This amendment, too, was unanimously approved.
Meanwhile, the most notable amendment that was introduced in February, SB 561, is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File. The amendment, which is supported by California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, makes any violation of the CCPA—not just data breaches, as the current version of the CCPA provides–privately actionable. SB 561 gained momentum when it was approved in a 6-2 vote by the California Senate’s Judiciary Committee on April 10. The bill now awaits a May 17 deadline for a vote on whether it will come out of the committee’s Suspense File, where the committee sends any bill with an annual cost of more than $150,000. Suspense File bills are considered after the state budget is prepared and the committee has a better sense of available revenue. The Suspense File has a reputation as a place where bills that could require a difficult floor vote are sent to disappear. SB 561 faces strong industry opposition.
We certainly expect to see continued efforts to reshape the CCPA as we approach the statutes’ January 1, 2020 effective date .
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