October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

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Proposed Expansion of CCPA’s Private Right of Action Defeated in State Senate

In April 2019, the California Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee rejected a proposal known commonly as the “Privacy for All Act” (AB-1760), which among other things would have provided a private right of action for all violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The rejection of AB-1760 was a blow to consumer privacy advocates. A similar measure, SB-561, would also have provided a private right of action for all privacy violations. That bill has also been defeated, meaning that the CCPA’s private right of action provisions will not be expanded this year.

SB-561 would have provided consumers a private right of action to sue companies on their own behalf for any violation of the CCPA. Presently, the CCPA provides that the consumer private right of action is limited to violations of the law’s data security requirements, where those violations lead to unauthorized access and exfiltration, theft or disclosure of personal information. Additionally, SB-561 would have provided companies with a mechanism to seek the California Attorney General’s opinion on CCPA compliance. The proposed bill would also have removed the CCPA’s “cure” provision, which provides that companies have a 30-day period to cure the alleged violations of the CCPA prior to initiation of a civil lawsuit.

For procedural reasons, the California Senate Appropriations Committee’s failure to advance SB-561 means that the Bill will not advance to a vote by the California Senate or Assembly prior to the May 31, 2019 legislative deadline, effectively killing any chance the bill will advance in 2019.

As such businesses can take some comfort that the private right of action will not be expanded – at least not this year. Whether the Legislature takes the issue up again in 2020 is one of the many unknown features of this fast-evolving law.

Copyright © by Ballard Spahr LLP

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About this Author

Philip Yannella, Ballard Spahr Law Firm, Philadelphia, Data Security Attorney
Partner

As Co-Practice Leader of Ballard’s Privacy and Data Security Group, and Practice Leader of the firm’s E-Discovery and Data Management Group, Philip N. Yannella provides clients with 360-degree advice on the transfer, storage, and use of digital information.

Mr. Yannella regularly advises clients on the Stored Communications Act (SCA), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), EU-US Privacy Shield, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Defense of Trade Secrets Act, PCI-DSS, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), New York Department of...

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Gina M. Pickerrell Lawyer Ballard Spahr Real Estate Law Washington DC
Associate

Gina M. Pickerrell is an associate in the Real Estate Department, and is a member of the firm's Privacy and Data Security Group. As a law student, Gina participated in the full-year Harrison Institute Public Policy Clinic researching and drafting strategies for a cross-sector approach to school and hospital food procurement. Gina also interned at an educational technology company researching student data privacy on the federal and state levels. She analyzed data ownership rights, conducted privacy agreement reviews, and drafted notification letters relating to corporate compliance and regulatory matters.

Prior to law school, Gina worked at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection where she investigated consumer complaints, drafted declarations, and conducted document review and exhibit preparation for litigation before various federal courts. She worked with the Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection in litigation before the Administrative Law Judge, following a data exposure of patient information over an unsecured peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Additionally, she investigated the fraudulent business practices of a mortgage relief and telemarketing scam, which resulted in a judgment of more than $5 million.

Gina also was a Ballard Spahr summer associate in 2017. She assisted with legal research and writing in federal litigation involving computer hacking and theft of intellectual property, drafted a memorandum analyzing privacy rights in smartphones under the Fourth Amendment, and researched zoning regulations as they related to litigation and appellate procedures.

Military Experience

Before entering law school, Gina served as a Military Police Officer in the Indiana Army National Guard. She was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Iraqi Endurance, and she was promoted to staff sergeant and squad leader in command of twelve soldiers.

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