On April 9, 2019, the California Senate Judiciary committee voted to advance SB 561, which would expand the private right of action to any violation of the CCPA (not just for negligent breaches) and would eliminate a business’s 30-day right to cure. (Video available here.) During the hearing, several senators expressed serious concerns with the bill as currently drafted and made clear they expect to see changes to the bill or will not vote to move the bill forward. The bill will next be heard by the appropriations committee, followed by a Senate floor vote, before it moves on to the House.
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The GDPR and the CCPA have made headlines for their wide scope and impact on privacy practices. On the issue of data security, they take somewhat different approaches, but the bottom line for companies is quite similar: data security measures tailored to the company’s risk profile and actual practices are essential for both legal compliance and the protection of the company and its customers.

The GDPR makes data security a general obligation for all companies processing personal data from the European Union (EU) by requiring controllers and processors to implement “appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk” (Article 32). As stated in the GDPR, such measures include: pseudonymization and encryption; ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability, and resilience of systems and services; ability to timely restore availability and access to personal data in the event of a physical or technical incident; and processes for regularly testing, assessing, and evaluating the technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of processing. Comprehensive internal policies and procedures are thus crucial for all companies controlling or processing EU personal data. Recent enforcement brings home this point, as the Portuguese supervisory authority (CNPD) fined a hospital for using software that provided inadequate patient protections, even though the hospital asserted that it used the software provided by the Portuguese Health Ministry.
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I wanted to take this opportunity to share the key takeaways from yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on The State of Data Privacy Protection: Exploring the California Consumer Protection Act and its European Counterpart (see video), where I presented my thoughts regarding a path forward for data management that involves transforming our view of data and reimagining data as a pre-tangible asset in this post-data world. Here are my takeaways from the hearing:
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To comply with the CCPA, you need to know your data. You need to know what personal information you collect, where it is collected and stored, and whether, to whom, and for what purpose, it is shared or sold. And to know your data, you need to conduct a thorough data inventory.

The process of creating and maintaining a data inventory differs from company to company; however, several key steps are common across industries. First, you need to identify all personal information your company is collecting and where, or from whom, such information is obtained. You also need to identify where the personal information is stored and whether it is shared or sold to others. If personal information is shared with or sold to others, you need to know to whom and for what purpose. In addition, the inventory should have a mechanism to track the 12-month “lookback” period for responding to consumer data requests. If you had prepared a data inventory for GDPR, that would be helpful, but it would not be the end-all for CCPA compliance, as GDPR inventories (or Article 30 reports) are typically limited to personal information flowing from the European Union and to the data elements contained within GDPR’s definition of “personal data.”
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On February 20, 2019, the Privacy & Consumer Protection Committee of the California State Assembly held an informational hearing where panelists representing different interests spoke on changes and clarifications to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Panelists included Alastair Mactaggart, the founder of the ballot initiative of the bill, Stacey Schesser of the California Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Sarah Boot from the California Chamber of Commerce, as well as other interested parties including industry representatives, attorneys, consumer privacy advocates and professors.

Assembly member Ed Chau opened the hearing by noting that even with the passage of SB 1121, which amended the CCPA, there is more work to be done and more “cleanup” bills expected. Assembly member Chau emphasized that the law should be refined so that it is true to its legislative intent and workable for both consumers and businesses.
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The California Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will be promulgating regulations to further and provide guidance regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). You can participate in the rulemaking process.

The OAG is holding public forums where all members of the public are invited to speak (RSVP) or simply attend. We reported on the first two forums in San Francisco and San Diego here.
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The California Office of the Attorney General (OAG or Office) held the first two of its six public forums on January 8, 2019 in San Francisco and on January 14, 2019 in San Diego to solicit public comments and feedback in preparation for its rulemaking efforts under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The OAG specifically welcomed comments across seven rulemaking categories that are included in the responsibility of the OAG:

  1. Categories of “personal information”
  2. Definition of “unique identifier”
  3. Exceptions to the CCPA
  4. Submitting and complying with requests
  5. The uniform opt-out logo or button
  6. What notices and information should businesses be required to provide to consumers
  7. Verification of consumers’ requests

In San Francisco, 14 speakers from businesses, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, universities, Perkins Coie and individual consumers sought clarifications to definitions in, and scope of, the statute and provided specific suggestions. In San Diego, a total of five speakers, including representatives from a trade association and a cybersecurity consulting firm, shared their input.
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Since the passing of the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), several states have introduced or passed privacy and data protection legislation. In addition to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), the following state laws should be on your radar in 2019.

New Laws

  • Colorado’s H.B. 18-1128 “concerning strengthening protections for consumer data privacy,” which became effective on September 1, 2018, imposes strict obligations on businesses that maintain, own, or license personal information. Such businesses must have written policies governing the disposal of paper and electronic records containing personal information, take reasonable steps to protect such information, and provide detailed notice of a data breach to consumers and, in certain circumstances, the Attorney General.
  • Vermont’s data broker privacy law (H.B. 764), effective January 1, 2019, is the first of its kind in the United States. It regulates businesses that buy and sell personal information about consumers with whom the business does not have a relationship. The law requires data brokers to disclose what data they collect and allow customers to opt out. It also imposes registration, reporting, and security obligations on data brokers and provides for a right of action for consumers.


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Businesses, governmental agencies, and consumers are closely watching the direction the California Office of the Attorney General (“OAG” or “Office”) will take in promulgating regulations clarifying and implementing the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). Eleanor Blume, the Special Assistant to the OAG, spoke last week with Perkins Coie and many of its clients to provide insights into the OAG’s approach. Here are some key takeaways:

Start Now. While the CCPA does not go into effect until January 1, 2020 and the deadline for the OAG to issue the regulations is not until July 1, 2020, the Office strongly urges companies to start planning for compliance now. Ms. Blume stressed that the OAG’s task is to clarify the law, not to add or eliminate any provisions, and therefore encouraged companies to familiarize themselves with the statute and begin the process of developing policies, procedures, and structures to comply with its requirements.
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