Another potentially groundbreaking California ballot initiative has been announced, just as companies began to digest and incorporate the amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) into their compliance plans and learned the draft CCPA regulations will be issued by the California Attorney General in October. Last week, the primary advocate for and co-architect of the CCPA announced a new privacy initiative for California’s November 2020 ballot – the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020 (CPREA), which would revise and expand upon the CCPA.

The new law would:

  • Create new rights around the use of sensitive personal information including race, ethnicity, geolocation, health and financial information.
  • Provide enhanced protection for children’s privacy by requiring opt-in consent to collect data from individuals under 16 and tripling CCPA fines on children’s privacy violations.
  • Require transparency around automated decision-making and profiling regarding employment, housing, credit, and politics.
  • Establish a new authority, the California Privacy Protection Agency, to enhance enforcement of the law and provide guidance to consumers.
  • Require corporations to disclose whether and how they use personal information to influence elections.
  • Require that future amendments are limited to furthering the law.

The new initiative will need more than 623,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot. Without commenting on CPREA’s likelihood of success, we note that the CCPA qualified for the ballot with 629,000 signatures in June 2018.

The CCPA prompted nearly two years of intense legislative negotiation as well as major changes to how businesses will collect, use, transfer, and secure personal information. The introduction of the CPREA may produce similar results. The new proposed legislation may also spur legislators to agree on a federal privacy law, which, despite bipartisan support, has thus far stalled in Congress.

As data privacy rights continue to expand and evolve, companies are encouraged to continuously evaluate their data processing and security measures and always operate with privacy in mind. To assist businesses in CCPA compliance efforts, Reed Smith is hosting another session of its CCPA webinar series focusing on the latest CCPA amendments in its countdown to the CCPA’s effective date of January 1, 2020. Readers can learn more about the webinar and register by clicking here.