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Category Archives: Consumer Privacy

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Posted in Consumer Privacy

CCPA Amendments Advance through California Assembly

A number of legislative proposals seeking to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act are moving forward following an April 23 hearing before the California Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection in which the bills were approved. The bills will now advance to the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee before being voted on by the full Assembly and potentially advancing to the California Senate for consideration.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

Consumer Horizons 2019: Hogan Lovells’ Cross-Practice Publication Highlights Key Privacy and Data Protection Considerations in the Consumer Industry

The consumer industry is evolving at lightning speed, and the way consumer businesses operate is shifting. In this year’s edition of Consumer Horizons, the Hogan Lovells global Consumer team identifies trends that will impact food and beverages companies, fashion and luxury goods producers, retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and other consumer businesses throughout 2019. Members of Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Cybersecurity team contributed to Consumer Horizons 2019 to highlight some key privacy and data protection issues that businesses in the consumer industry should take note of.

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Efforts to Expand CCPA’s Private Right of Action Remain in Question

The California legislature is considering significant amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act ahead of the law’s January 1, 2020 implementation date. Of particular note has been the potential for CCPA amendments to expand the private right of action beyond violations of businesses’ duty to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures to instead cover violations of any CCPA rights.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

Beyond FERPA: The California Consumer Privacy Act’s New Rules for Privacy in the Education Sector

In June of 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, which seeks to give consumers additional safeguards regarding their personal information. The CCPA will become effective January of 2020 and may impact companies in the education sector, including the larger education technology companies. While the CCPA does not apply to nonprofit educational institutions, it may apply to certain for-profit educational institutions, third-party service providers, and others in the education space. If an educational entity meets the threshold requirements below or it processes information on behalf of such an entity, it should prepare for CCPA implementation by January 2020.

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FTC Obtains Record COPPA Settlement

On February 27, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it settled with the operators of a video social networking app for a record civil penalty of $5.7 million under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). This FTC COPPA action was notable not just for the size of the penalty, but also because of the joint statement by the two Democratic Commissioners, Rebecca Slaughter and Rohit Chopra, that future FTC enforcement should seek to hold corporate officers and directors accountable for violations of consumer protection law.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

CCPA Update: CA AG Backs Bill to Expand Private Right of Action and Remove Cure Period

A bill introduced to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA” or the “Act”) could greatly expand the risks to businesses that collect the personal information of California consumers. Senate Bill 561 (“SB 561”) would expand the CCPA’s private right of action to any violation of a consumer’s CCPA rights, remove the existing 30-day cure period, and eliminate businesses’ right to consult the AG’s office regarding compliance. SB 561 would not impact the CCPA’s current effective date of January 1, 2020.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The CCPA’s “Reasonable” Security Requirement

Much of the focus on the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) has been on the new rights that it affords California consumers, including the rights to access, delete, and opt out of the sale of their personal information. But arguably the greatest risk to covered businesses involves data security, as the CCPA creates for the first time a private right of action with substantial statutory penalties for breaches involving California consumers’ personal information. This installment of the Hogan Lovells’ CCPA series explains the CCPA’s security requirement and consequences for non-compliance, and describes security controls that most organizations can implement to mitigate this risk.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California DoJ Sets March 8 Deadline for CCPA Pre-Rulemaking Comments

The California Department of Justice has announced a March 8, 2019 deadline for submitting written pre-rulemaking comments on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The March 8 deadline is an extension from the previously set end-of-February deadline. Pursuant to section 1798.185(a) of the CCPA, the California Attorney General (AG) is obligated to solicit broad public participation and adopt regulations to further the purposes of the CCPA. The CCPA sets out seven specific areas for AG rulemaking.

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Illinois Supreme Court Says Infringement of Rights Under Biometric Act Is Sufficient for a Claim, Even Absent Additional Harm

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on January 25 in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. that a plaintiff can allege a violation of rights under the state’s Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) even without alleging “injury or damage beyond infringement of the rights afforded them under the law.”  The court decided the issue solely as a matter of statutory construction under Illinois law.  This decision will have a major impact on a number of pending BIPA lawsuits and is likely to result in increased BIPA litigation given the availability of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees under the law.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Department of Justice to Hold Six Public Forums on the CCPA

The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Department of Justice will hold six public forums about the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that are open to all members of the public. These public forums are being held pursuant to Section 1798.185 of the CCPA, which requires the Attorney General to “solicit broad public participation and adopt regulations to further the purposes” of the CCPA.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The CCPA’s Anti-Discrimination Clause

One of the most controversial elements of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) is the establishment of an “anti-discrimination” right – businesses may not “discriminate” against consumers for exercising certain rights under the CCPA, and they will need to assess whether and how they can require consumers to accept certain data practices as a condition of service.  Compliance would be challenging even if the provision were articulated clearly, but as we have discussed in this blog series, the accelerated drafting process and passage of the CCPA earlier this year left little time for public comment and responsive amendments.  As a result, the law includes a series of ambiguities that complicate compliance, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the anti-discrimination provision.

This entry in Hogan Lovells’ ongoing series on the CCPA focuses on the law’s anti-discrimination clause, its ambiguities and potentially contradictory provisions, and impact on businesses.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

Digital Media Company Agrees to $4.95 Million COPPA Penalty in Settlement with NYAG

On December 4, 2018, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) announced that Oath Inc., which was known until June 2017 as AOL Inc. (AOL), has agreed to pay a $4.95 million civil penalty to settle allegations that AOL’s ad exchange practices violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The $4.95 million penalty is the largest ever assessed by any regulator in a COPPA enforcement matter.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The Interplay Between the CCPA and Financial Institutions

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) exempts information that is collected, processed, sold, or disclosed pursuant to the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), and its implementing regulations (the “Privacy Rule”), or the California Financial Information Privacy Act (“CFIPA”).  It does not exempt financial institutions altogether from its requirements where a financial information is processing information not subject to these regimes.  In such situations, a financial institution must comply with a wide array of CCPA obligations, including requirements to make certain disclosures to consumers and to provide certain rights to consumers, such as the right to stop “sales” of their personal information and the right to access data that a business has collected about them. Determining whether information a financial institution processes is covered by the exemption or not can be challenging and is something that financial institutions will need to analyze for their operations.

This blog post provides background on the scope of the exemption and an overview of key considerations for financial institutions developing CCPA compliance programs.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – The Impact of the CCPA on Data-Driven Marketing and Business Models

In the digital age, data is everything. “Big Data” feeds countless business processes and offerings. Businesses rely on data to enhance revenue and drive efficiency, whether by better understanding the needs of existing customers, reaching new ones in previously unimagined ways, or obtaining valuable insights to guide a wide array of decisions. Data also drives developments in artificial intelligence, automation, and the Internet of Things. Come 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) may significantly impact businesses’ data practices, with new and burdensome compliance obligations such as “sale” opt-out requirements and, in certain circumstances, restrictions on tiered pricing and service levels. This entry in Hogan Lovells’ ongoing series on the CCPA will focus on implications for data-driven businesses–the rapidly increasing number of businesses that rely heavily on consumer data, whether for marketing, gaining marketplace insights, internal research, or use as a core commodity.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

FTC Release Staff Recap of Informational Injury Workshop

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published a paper recapping its December 2017 Informational Injury Workshop.  Workshop participants, including academics, industry experts, consumer advocates, and government researchers, discussed what types of consumer harm might qualify as “substantial injury” under the FTC Act and what factors should be considered.  The paper noted that several important points emerged from the workshop.

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The Internet of Things Webinar Series: Overcoming IoT Litigation Challenges

Hogan Lovells hosted the most recent installment in its Internet of Things Webinar (IoT) Series. Christine Gateau in Paris and Michelle Kisloff in Washington DC, discussed current regulatory actions and cutting-edge IoT litigation debates in the U.S. and Europe, as well as litigation risks to keep in mind when designing IoT products. In this post, we provide a link to the recorded webinar and slide deck.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Passes First-Of-Its-Kind Law Focused on Internet of Things Cybersecurity

Late last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the first US Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity legislation: Senate Bill 327 and Assembly Bill 1906. Starting on January 1, 2020, manufacturers of regulated connected devices are required to equip such devices with “reasonable security features” designed to protect a connected device and any information it holds from “unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.” This legislation was prompted by what the bill’s sponsor viewed as a “lack of security features on internet connected devices undermin[ing] the privacy and security of California’s consumers.”

Posted in Consumer Privacy

FTC’s Privacy Shield Enforcement Actions Show Broader Enforcement Lens

On September 27, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced proposed settlement agreements with four companies it alleges violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by misrepresenting their certification status and compliance with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. This latest set of enforcement actions brings the FTC’s Privacy Shield related enforcement to settlements with eight defendants since the framework was adopted in July 2016 and it also introduced a couple of new FTC models of Privacy Shield enforcement.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – A Comparison of 10 Key Aspects of The GDPR and The CCPA

As the most comprehensive privacy law to be enacted in the United States thus far, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has inevitably invited comparisons to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). At first glance, it is clear that the drafters of the CCPA (and the ballot measure that spurred its passage) drew inspiration from the GDPR. However, the CCPA is not a carbon copy of the GDPR, and a GDPR compliance program will not automatically meet the requirements of the CCPA. As businesses begin their CCPA compliance efforts, awareness of these laws’ similarities and differences will be key to creating efficient and effective compliance programs that capitalize on prior GDPR compliance work but also address the unique nuances of the CCPA.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – Consumer Litigation and the CCPA: What to Expect

This post discusses litigation exposure that businesses collecting personal information about California consumers should consider in the wake of the California Legislature’s passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). The CCPA creates a limited private right of action for suits arising out of data breaches.  At the same time, it also precludes individuals from using it as a basis for a private right of action under any other statute.  Both features of the law have potentially far-reaching implications and will garner the attention of an already relentless plaintiffs’ bar when it goes into effect January 1, 2020.

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National Science Foundation Seeks Comments on Artificial Intelligence, Continuing Policy Makers’ Focus on AI

The National Science Foundation is seeking public comment on US policy for artificial intelligence, according to the Federal Register Notice of Request for Information (RFI) filed in September 26, 2018.  Specifically, the RFI requests input from the public as to whether the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan (AI Strategic Plan) should be updated or improved.  Comments to the RFI are due to the National Science Foundation by October 26, 2018.

Posted in Consumer Privacy

NTIA Seeks Comment on New, Outcome-Based Privacy Approach

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Request for Comments (RFC) on a new consumer privacy approach that is designed to focus on outcomes instead of prescriptive mandates. The RFC presents an important opportunity for organizations to provide legal and policy input to the administration, and comments are due October 26.

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California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead — Data Mapping and the CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) provides a series of new compliance obligations and operational challenges for companies doing business in California. A vital first step for any company subject to the CCPA and looking to forge a practical path forward is to inventory the personal information (“PI”) that the company collects, stores, and shares with others. As part of our ongoing series on the CCPA and its implications, this post sets out key issues and questions to consider when contemplating a data mapping exercise.