California Attorney General Sees “Great Progress” With CCPA Enforcement

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On July 19, and just over one year after his office began enforcing the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that he is “seeing great progress” with CCPA enforcement, even while he urged Californians to take advantage of their new rights under the CCPA.

“Enforcement of the CCPA marks an enormous step for privacy protection in California, particularly at this time after the COVID-19 pandemic moved so much of our lives online. We’re happy to announce that we are seeing great progress with our CCPA enforcement, but there’s more work to be done,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Plain and simple: Exercise your rights under the CCPA.”

The California Department of Justice began enforcing the CCPA in July 2020 by sending notices to a variety of businesses that were not complying with the law. The notices informed the businesses that they had 30 days to cure or fix the alleged violations. The businesses that received the notice-to-cure letters included data brokers, marketing companies, businesses handling children’s information, media outlets, and online retailers.

According to Attorney General Bonta’s year-one enforcement update, 75% of the businesses that have received a notice-to-cure letter have acted within 30 days to come into compliance with the CCPA, and the remaining 25% of the businesses are either within their 30-day statutory cure period or under active investigation by his office.

To mark year one of CCPA enforcement, Attorney General Bonta also launched a new online Consumer Privacy Tool that allows consumers to directly notify businesses that do not have a clear and easy-to-find “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on their homepage. The tool asks guided questions about the business before generating a notice-to-cure email that a consumer can send directly to the business. And, important here, Attorney General Bonto’s year-one announcement expressly noted that a notice-to-cure letter sent by a consumer “may trigger the 30-day period for the business to cure their violation of the law, which is a prerequisite to the Attorney General bringing an enforcement action.”

Our Take. Attorney General Bonta’s announcement is part of a broader trend. Federal and state regulators are eager for new privacy laws, eager to enforce the privacy laws that are already on the books, and eager to talk up their privacy-law successes. And that’s not going to change any time soon. Because consumers (i.e., voters) care about privacy. So, the question for the day: Are you well ahead of the broader trend or about to be hit by it?

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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