This post was also written by Joshua B. Marker.
A proposed amendment to California’s “Shine the Light” law seeks to require companies to disclose more detailed information about their data-sharing practices, while giving consumers the ability to bring class action lawsuits under the legislation.
Presently, Shine the Light requires companies doing business with California residents to make a detailed disclosure, upon the consumer’s request, of how personal information was shared for direct-marketing purposes. For more details on how the current legislation works, click here.
The proposed amendment requires companies to respond to a consumer’s request by providing a copy of all the personal information that they hold about that individual, as well as the names and contact information for all third parties with which the company has shared the information during the previous 12 months. In doing so, it seeks to bring back aspects of the legislation that were included in the original Shine the Light bill, but were omitted prior to its passage in 2005.
Moreover, the proposed amendment also seeks to address failed attempts by the plaintiff’s bar to file lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, under the Shine the Light law by specifically stating that a violation of these obligations would be “deemed to constitute an injury to a customer.” Several class actions brought under Shine the Light have been dismissed based on the plaintiffs’ inability to demonstrate any economic injury. The amendment responds to these rulings and entitles consumers access to specified remedies, including civil penalties.