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Website Accessibility for Privacy Policies – California Consumer Privacy Act Regulations

Image Credit: Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

On October 10, the California Attorney General released proposed guidelines to implement the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), which goes into effect in January 2020. One of the provisions that surprised many was a new requirement that privacy notices given to consumers “[b]e accessible to consumers with disabilities” and “[a]t a minimum, provide information on how a consumer with a disability may access the notice in an alternative format.” [Note: the AG’s regulations are not final, and interested parties may submit comments about them before December 6, 2019 at a series of public hearings, by mail, or by email.]

The requirement to provide the privacy notice in a format that is accessible to people with disabilities is consistent with recent trends towards website compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Whether out of a desire to advance equity or to comply with the spirit or letter of accessibility laws, we see more businesses and website operators making earnest attempts to make their websites accessible to the broadest audience possible.

Unfortunately, the AG did not provide very much guidance on how businesses could make their privacy notice or websites more accessible. Luckily, several organizations doing work in this area, including the W3 Web Accessibility InitiativeStanford Online Accessibility Program and Berkeley WebAccess, have put resources online for designers, developers and content creators.

While not exhaustive, the following is a list of fairly straightforward best practices distilled from other lists that businesses and website operators can implement to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities:

1.     Use headings correctly to organize the structure of your content

2.     Pay attention to color contrast

3.     Images should include alternate text in the markup/code; complex images should have more extensive descriptions near the image

4.     Provide transcripts for podcasts

5.     Websites with videos should provide visual access to the audio information through in-sync captioning

6.     Sites should consider using skiplinks

Millions of internet users have special needs, disabilities and impairments that make certain websites difficult or impossible to access and use. By designing your website with these challenges in mind, you can ensure that it is welcoming to as many users as possible.

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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.

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

Continue Reading Privacy Law Forecast for 2019

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

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

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