Trade Associations seek Suspension of CCPA Enforcement during COVID19 Crisis

Following the declaration of a state of emergency by California Governor Gavin Newsom in a bid to stem the surge of COVID-19, trade associations have issued a plea to have CCPA enforcement suspended until 2021.

The pleas was directed towards California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a letter issued on March 17 letter from entities including the Association of National Advertisers, the Cemetery and Mortuary Association of California, and the United Parcel Service (UPS).

The letter stated that “given current events and the presently unfinished status (of CCPA regulations) businesses will not have the operational capacity or time to bring their systems into compliance” before the July 1 2020 go live date for the legislation. There has already been a delay of six months to the enforcement date as it was originally intended to be January 1 2020, an amendment to the legislation necessitated the need for a delay.

Needless to say consumer groups are not happy with the request for the additional delay.  Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at Consumer Reports referred to the request as “a cynical attempt by industry to avoid honoring California consumers’ constitutional right to privacy, and industry shouldn’t exploit the health crisis to ignore consumer requests to companies to stop selling their data.”

Meanwhile, Maureen Mahoney, a policy analyst at Consumer Reports, said: “Now that more consumers are working from home and relying on tech companies for crucial communications, the attorney general needs to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place.”

Other security experts have questioned the need for the request to be issues as it was considered quite unlikely that sanctions would begin in relation to breaches of the legislation in the initial six months after the go live date.

Laura Jehl, global head of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice at law firm McDermott Will & Emery said: “It’s unlikely that we will see a significant CCPA enforcement action this year. The major provisions of the law have been reasonably clear for some time. The AG earlier warned that he expected companies to come into compliance by January 1.”

There has been no comment made by the office of the California attorney general in relation to the request as of yet and no timeline has been released for it (the request) to be considered.