SB 561 Clarifies Attorney General’s Advisory Role, adds Private Right of Action, and Eliminates so-called “Right to Cure”
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson in February unveiled SB 561, legislation to strengthen and clarify the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The CCPA is landmark legislation passed in 2018 that provides groundbreaking protections for consumers in their ability to control the use of their personal data. California is the first in the nation to pass a law giving consumers this right. SB 561 helps improve the workability of the law by clarifying the Attorney General’s advisory role in providing general guidance on the law, ensuring a level playing field for businesses that play by the rules, and giving consumers the ability to enforce their new rights under the CCPA in court.
“California, the nation’s hub for innovation, has long led the way to protect consumers in the digital age. And as we work to strengthen data privacy law, the world is watching. It’s essential that we get this right,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We thank Senator Jackson for her commitment to data privacy and for introducing SB 561, a critical measure to strengthen and clarify the CCPA. We will continue to work together to protect all Californians and their constitutional right to privacy.”
“Our constitutional right to privacy continues to face unprecedented assault. Our locations, relationships, and interests are being tracked, bought and sold by corporate interests for their own economic gain and in order to manipulate us,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “With the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act last year, California took an important first step in protecting our fundamental right to privacy. SB 561 will ensure that the most significant privacy protections in the nation are robustly enforced.”
SB 561 removes requirements that the Office of the Attorney General provide, at taxpayers’ expense, businesses and private parties with individual legal counsel on CCPA compliance; removes language that allows companies a free pass to cure CCPA violations before enforcement can occur; and adds a private right of action, allowing consumers the opportunity to seek legal remedies for themselves under the act.
The CCPA was enacted in 2018, and grants consumers new rights with respect to the collection and use of their personal information. As part of the law, businesses are prohibited from discriminating against consumers for exercising their rights under the CCPA. As required by the CCPA, the Attorney General must adopt certain regulations on or before July 1, 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, businesses must comply with the CCPA’s key requirements:
- Businesses must disclose data collection and sharing practices to consumers;
- Consumers have a right to request their data be deleted;
- Consumers have a right to opt out of the sale or sharing of their personal information; and
- Businesses are prohibited from selling personal information of consumers under the age of 16 without explicit consent.