Recent CCPA Enforcement Actions Highlight the Importance of a CCPA-Compliant Privacy Policy

Robinson+Cole Data Privacy + Security Insider

This is the time of year for thought pieces reflecting on the past year or so to speculate on the hot topics for next year. I began to wonder about California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) enforcement actions over the past year as this was something that we speculated about not that long ago. The California Attorney General’s office has been busy and has even posted a list on its website of 27 examples of recent California Consumer Privacy Act enforcement actions.

The most common violation on the list is that a company’s privacy policy was non-compliant with CCPA requirements. Of the 27 cases cited, at least 16 had some form of privacy policy violation. Some of the privacy policies failed to provide consumers with the required CCPA rights, failed to state whether the company sold personal information, or failed to provide a method for consumers to submit requests about their data. Other violations included failure to provide notice to consumers of opt-out processes and the failure to include a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link. One company even tried to charge consumers for making CCPA requests.

All the cases cited appear to have begun with consumer complaints that resulted in a notice of alleged non-compliance. That notice provided the companies the opportunity to correct their deficiencies. In one privacy policy violation, the company updated its privacy policy in response to a complaint that it failed to provide notice of the required CCPA consumer rights and also failed to state whether it had sold personal information within the past 12 months. The company updated its privacy policy, however it was “not easy to read or understandable to the average consumer, e.g. contained unnecessary legal jargon.” The company received a second notice of non-compliance and then revised its privacy policy accordingly.

Enforcement actions will no doubt continue in 2022, but the lesson learned from 2021 is that for companies that must comply with CCPA, having a CCPA-compliant privacy policy will be a great way to start the new year.

[View source.]

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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