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Seven Amendments to CCPA Answer the Statute’s Open Questions – Sort of

The California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), as initially passed, was the hastily-drafted alternative to an even more stringent ballot initiative, resulting in a seemingly endless list of open questions about how it would be interpreted and enforced. Since its passage on June 28, 2018, privacy pundits around the nation have opined about the meaning of the first domestic privacy regulation reminiscent of its European cousin, the GDPR.

In response, the California legislature entered its 2019 session considering a whopping 19 possible amendment bills to the CCPA. When the dust settled, seven of those bills were signed into law.

  • AB-25. This amendment temporarily excludes employment (and similar) information from its scope, only until January 1, 2021. While in effect, this exclusion narrows the scope of the CCPA in a way that the GDPR does not. This is a particularly important amendment for business-to-business companies that do not interact with the personal information of California consumers.

  • AB-874. This amendment also narrows the scope of the CCPA by excluding “publicly available information” from the definition of “personal information,” and clarifying that deidentified or aggregate information is “not personal information.” Similar carve-outs also exist in the GDPR.

  • AB-1130. Though not a direct amendment to the CCPA, this bill follows the trend of a handful of other states to include biometric information in the definition of “personal information” with respect to a security breach. In other words, it requires businesses that incur a data breach impacting biometric data (such as fingerprints or facial recognition data) to notify such individuals and the California Attorney General of such a breach. In addition, any California consumers whose biometric data is compromised as a result of a data breach may be able to bring suit pursuant to the CCPA. Effectively, this bill expands a California consumer’s right to suit as provided by the CCPA.

  • AB-1146. This amendment exempts vehicle and ownership data from a California consumer’s right to opt-out (AKA the ability for a consumer to limit the “sale” of personal information), and the right to deletion for the purpose of vehicle repair relating to a warranty or recall.

  • AB-1202. This amendment requires data brokers to register with the California Attorney General.

  • AB-1355. This amendment permits the differential treatment of a consumer if such treatment is reasonably related to the value of the consumer’s information to the business. Previously, the CCPA provided that businesses could offer a different rate, price, level or quality of goods or services if such treatment was reasonably related to the value to the consumer by the consumer’s data. The amendment also requires a business to make specific disclosures regarding a consumer’s right to access and right to deletion.

  • AB-1564. As initially enacted, the CCPA required all businesses to provide two designated methods for a consumer to specify a request to access the personal data the business processes about the consumer, including, at a minimum, a toll-free telephone number and a website address if the business has one. This amendment clarifies that a business operating exclusively online is only required to provide an email address for submitting requests for information.

Through the seven bills signed into law, the California legislature addressed some but not all of the open questions resulting from the CCPA. The ways in which this law will be interpreted and enforced remain largely in flux, and additional amendments and clarifications can be expected. The California Attorney General will hold a series of hearings on December 3–5, 2019 and accept public comment until December 6, 2019. In addition, a new ballot measure called the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act has been proposed, which could significantly expand the scope of the CCPA.

© 2020 Vedder PriceNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 303


About this Author


Cecilia Jeong is an Associate at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Finance and Transactions group in the New York office.

Ms. Jeong’s practice is focused on transactions involving secured and unsecured debt and equity financings, stock and asset acquisitions and mergers, as well as corporate governance matters. Ms. Jeong is also a certified privacy professional in the U.S. private sector (CIPP/US) and the European sector (CIPP/E) and has experience advising clients on compliance with various privacy...

Bryan Clark Media & Privacy Law  litigation Vedder Price Law Firm Chicago

Bryan Clark is an Associate at Vedder Price and a member of the Litigation group in the firm’s Chicago office.  He has an extensive media and privacy practice that includes privacy class action defense, mobile-marketing litigation, class action TCPA litigation, copyright litigation, right of publicity litigation, data breach response, FOIA issues, reporter’s privilege issues and prepublication review.

Mr. Clark’s other representative work includes drafting successful dispositive motions in right of publicity and invasion of privacy cases, arguing successful motions to quash on behalf of media entities facing subpoenas, defeating motions for preliminary injunction in intellectual property litigation, and advising advertising and marketing clients on compliance issues. He presents on issues related to digital privacy and data breach before a national audience, such as the ABA Annual Meeting in 2013.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois and has first-chair trial experience in federal court. As a litigator, Mr. Clark has been involved in a broad range of matters in addition to media and privacy, including topics as diverse as loan enforcement and foreclosure, consumer fraud, environmental, construction, and insurance law. He also has handled a variety of pro bono engagements, including work for nonprofit media entities, representation of an Illinois prisoner with multiple sclerosis, and Section 1983 civil rights litigation

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