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California Gets Its Very Own GDPR with Statutory Damages

You could almost hear the cheers of plaintiffs’ class action lawyers in California last night, as California’s governor signed the most sweeping privacy law this country has seen to date.  Notably, the law gives consumers the right to statutory damages in the event of a breach if the company holding the consumer’s information failed to implement reasonable security measures.  Those statutory damages are not less than $100 and not more than $750 “per consumer per incident or actual damages, whichever is greater.”

It is clear that the General Data Protection Regulation from Europe inspired many of this law’s other provisions, such as required transparency in how entities collect and share data and the right of individuals to have their personal information deleted.

The new law does not take effect until January 2020, giving organizations time to digest the requirements and providing legislators with the opportunity to refine the hastily drafted language. Corporations and legislators threw the bill together at the last minute to avoid a ballot measure that would have contained even more onerous fines, requirements and protections.  

© Copyright 2020 Murtha CullinaNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 180


About this Author

Dena Castricone, Murtha Cullina Law Firm, Privacy and Cybersecurity Attorney

Dena M. Castricone is a member of the Long Term Care and Health Care practice groups.  She is the Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group and the Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.  Prior to joining Murtha Cullina, Dena served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Frank J. Williams.

Dena’s long term care and health care clients compete in a constantly evolving industry, facing both rising administrative and regulatory burdens and shrinking reimbursement rates. She helps skilled nursing centers, physician groups, home health and...