California Updates Privacy Regulation and Appoints Privacy Protection Agency Board Members

The California Attorney General announced a set of amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations, effective March 15, 2021. The new regulations provide instructions for businesses that collect personal information in the course of interacting with consumers offline. These businesses must inform consumers “by an offline method of their right to opt-out and provide instructions on how to submit a request to opt-out”. For example, a business “that sells personal information that it collects over the phone may inform consumers of their right to opt-out orally during the call when the information is collected”.

The regulations also propose an opt-out icon that businesses may elect to use in addition to posting the notice of right to opt-out, but not instead of any requirement to post the notice of right to opt-out or a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link. Further, the new regulations provide that a business’s “methods for submitting requests to opt-out shall be easy for consumers to execute and shall require minimal steps to allow the consumer to opt-out”.

The regulations go on to state that a business “shall not use a method that is designed with the purpose or has the substantial effect of subverting or impairing a consumer’s choice to opt-out”. Businesses should not use double-negatives and should not collect personal information that is not necessary to implement the opt-out request, among other matters.

Also in March, the Governor of California announced the five appointees that would make up the board of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). The CPPA is a new state agency established by the California Privacy Rights Act approved by voters as a ballot initiative in the November 2020 election. The five appointees are two professors of law at the University of California, Berkeley and the Santa Clara University Law School, an attorney who serves as the Chief Assistant Attorney General of the Public Rights Division, and two attorneys serving in NGOs.

CLICK HERE to read the amendments made to the California Consumer Privacy Act regulations.

CLICK HERE to read California Governor’s press release on Privacy Protection Agency board appointments.