Should putative class members have privacy rights in class action claims under the CCPA?

Privacy Rights in Class Action Lawsuits – Should Putative Class Members Opt-In Before Their Personal Information Is Disclosed in California Consumer Privacy Act Litigation?

[Originally published in Orange County Lawyer Magazine, May 2019, Vol. 61 No.5.,by Lily Li and Matthew Wegner; Image Credit: kmicican from pixabay.com]

In 2020, the nation’s toughest data privacy law will take effect in California. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) imposes harsh restrictions on companies seeking to sell consumers’ data, including statutory penalties for any breaches of data. This legislation was spurred by public outrage against the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and Equifax, Target, and Yahoo data hacks, and reflects a growing trend to protect consumer data privacy.

As with so many legislative and judicial movements in California—for example, the Save-On decision, which ushered in a wave of wage-and-hour class actions in the early 2000s, or Business & Professions Code section 17200, which before Proposition 64 was tacked-on to countless consumer class actions—the CCPA is likely to usher in a host of new class action litigation as plaintiffs (and their attorneys) seek to recover statutory damages for data privacy violations.

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Privacy Law Forecast for 2019

Image Credit: ID 23689850 © Steve Ball | Dreamstime.com

This past year was quite a whirlwind for privacy and cybersecurity watchers. Just to sum up a few of the top events of last year:

  • Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked political headlines
  • Europe introduced the GDPR, the most comprehensive data protection legislation to date in the world
  • California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, becoming the first US state to create GDPR-style rules
  • Google came under fire for allowing app developers to read your email, and track your location (even with location tracking off!)
  • Marriott’s guest reservation system was hacked, exposing the personal information of up to 500 million guests, including passport numbers and payment numbers for some of those hacked

What will happen in 2019? Here are our top 5 predictions:

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California Consumer Privacy Act vs GDPR

California Consumer Privacy Act vs GDPR – How to Maximize Your Privacy Compliance Program

California’s recent passage of the Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 now places the world’s fifth-largest economy under European style data protection rules. Given the new law, US businesses that were previously hesitant to implement GDPR are now reconsidering their position.

Luckily, the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA or CaCPA) share some similarities. Both provide for consumer-facing privacy notices, data access rights, and data portability. As businesses automate their GDPR compliance processes, they should also leverage those same processes under the CaCPA to save significant time and expense.

Below, we have listed five common operational steps that all businesses should take in their GDPR and CaCPA privacy compliance programs:

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Consumer Privacy Act - Right to Opt Out

California Consumer Privacy Act – The Top 5 Things You Need to Know

On June 28, 2018 Governor Brown signed off on the strictest set of data privacy laws to date in the United States – the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (full text here). Learn more about how it compares to the former ballot initiative here.

The Consumer Privacy Act will give Californians unprecedented rights to know what information businesses collect about them, where that information comes from, and control how that information is shared. It applies to all companies that “do business” in California and that exceed one of the following thresholds:

  • Annual gross revenues of more than 25 million dollars
  • Processes the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents, households or devices annually
  • Receives 50% or more annual revenue from selling the personal information of California residents

According to a recent study by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, this means that over 500,000 US companies will be affected by the Consumer Privacy Act – including small to medium sized businesses.

Given the far-reaching effects of the Consumer Privacy Act, here are the top 5 things businesses should know about this new law:

1. The “Right to Know”: California consumers will have the ability to make a request, once every 12 months, to receive the following information about them:

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Keeping up with Privacy Laws: Lily Li on The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast

On July 2, 2018 attorney Lily Li appeared as a guest star on The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast. During the half-hour segment, Ms. Li discussed starting her own dedicated privacy practice, the recent enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation, and growing developments in state privacy regulation.

Listeners may tune into this broadcast on ITunes, Stitcher, and The Gen Why Lawyer website at the links below:

 

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The Gen Why Lawyer is a weekly podcast hosted by California Patent Attorney and Millennial, Karima Gulick. Join Karima each week as she chats with some of the greatest innovators and leaders in the legal profession. Listen in to hear their inspiring stories and learn from their insight on how to build a meaningful life and fulfilling career. For more information, check out their website.