Online Privacy

Proposed Amendment to California Consumer Privacy Act Would Expand Private Right of Action

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On February 25, California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced new legislation to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).  The CCPA as currently enacted establishes a private right of action for consumers impacted by cyber security breaches.  The amendment, known as SB-561, would expand the private right of action to cover any violation of a consumer’s rights under the CCPA.  This would materially increase the risk to businesses of class action litigation from failures to comply with the privacy standards in the new law. The amendment [...] Read more

Google-Style GDPR Fines for Everyone? Bavarian DPA Conducts Website Cookie Practices Sweep, Announces Fines under Consideration

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As has been widely reported, in late January the French privacy supervisor CNIL fined Google €50 million for privacy violations relating to targeted marketing using Android user data.  One of the core violations the CNIL found was that Google’s Android user interface did not obtain effective, GDPR-compliant consent to targeted marketing from users.  The amount of the Google fine startled many companies, but with time the shock faded.  Google was seen as a special case, and a number of companies began to presume that, while scrutiny of targeted online marketing may pick up, “we’re not […] Read more

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Amendment to the California Consumer Privacy Act

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On September 23, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1121, the amendment to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).  SB 1121 attempts to clean up some drafting errors and ambiguities in the original legislation (AB 375), but it also effectively reduces the procedural obstacles to the CCPA’s private right of action by removing the requirement that a plaintiff first notify the Attorney General before filing a lawsuit pursuant to the CCPA, which would have provided the Attorney General the opportunity to order a plaintiff not to proceed.  For a more in-depth analysis of the private right of […] Read more

Alston & Bird Hosts Sept. 12 Webinar on California Consumer Privacy Act

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Save the date! On Sept. 12, 1 – 2 PM ET, Alston & Bird will host a webinar to analyze the new California Consumer Privacy Act. (You can read our prior advisory.) The California Consumer Privacy Act has been compared to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation due to its creation of important new privacy rights likely to require significant compliance activity by many companies. Partners Jim Harvey, David Keating, and Senior Counsel Peter Swire will lead discussion of this comprehensive new legislation currently slated to enter into force in less than 18 months.   Registration [...] Read more

Landmark New Privacy Law in California to Challenge Businesses Nationwide

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Following our June 4 and July 2, 2018 blog posts tracking California's November 2018 ballot measure turned hastily enacted new California privacy law titled The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), Alston & Bird's Privacy & Data Security Group released a more detailed "first look" review of California’s sweeping new law.  The advisory provides an overview of the new law, which establishes an array of privacy rights for state residents and worries for businesses nationwide, and concludes with key initial takeaways for business. Read the advisory here. [...] Read more

California Approves the California Consumer Privacy Act in Response to Consumer Privacy Ballot Initiative

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As discussed in this blog’s June 4, 2018 blog post, a group called Californians for Consumer Privacy gathered enough signatures for a new measure called the Consumer Right to Privacy Act to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.  With momentum building for passage of that ballot measure, various stakeholders met with California legislators to devise a bill that could be passed in place of the measure (and to the satisfaction of the measure’s backers).  The legislature and governor had until last Thursday, June 28 – the deadline for the measure’s backers to remove it from the November’s [...] Read more

Privacy Activist Challenges Data Collection for Internet Businesses

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Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems’ organization, NOYB – Center for Digital Rights, filed complaints against Google (Android), Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook on May 25th, the same day on which the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective. NOYB filed the complaints based on the GDPR with supervisory authorities in France, Belgium, Germany and Austria.  These “Day 1” complaints could have a definite impact on ad-supported online businesses. The complaints reflect similar criticisms of each company. Assuming that each company processes personal data on the basis [...] Read more

Momentum Building for California’s Consumer Right to Privacy Act Ballot Initiative

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In early May, a group called Californians for Consumer Privacy gathered enough signatures for the Consumer Right to Privacy Act (CRPA) to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. The ballot initiative builds on existing California laws directed at protecting the privacy of California consumers’ personal information, including the Shine the Light law (Civil Code §1798.83) and the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA, Business & Professions Code §§22575-22579).    The CRPA sets forth a statutory framework that: 1) gives consumers the right to know what categories of personal [...] Read more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in the Microsoft Ireland Case

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On Tuesday, February 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Microsoft Corp. on whether a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) can compel the production of data stored outside the United States. Where Microsoft argues that the emails stored outside the United States also lie outside the reach of the SCA, the government contends that the SCA focuses on “classically domestic content,” and that Microsoft can be compelled within the U.S. to turn over records it controls regardless of where the data sought is stored. This case began in December [...] Read more

In Order, FTC Recognizes Lower Notice Requirements for “Consumer-Expected” Data Collection

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Last week, the Federal Trade Commission granted a petition by Sears Holding Management seeking modification of a 2009 Commission Order. The notable 2009 Order settled allegations that Sears had improperly failed to provide notice regarding data collection by certain software the company offered to consumers. Sears argued that the 2009 Order placed it at a “competitive disadvantage” in the mobile application marketplace. The now-modified Order enables Sears to conduct certain “consumer-expected” forms of data collection and use without requiring heightened notice or consent under the 2009 [...] Read more