U.S. Consumer Privacy and the CCPA


The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, 2020, which brought an unprecedented change to the U.S. data protection law landscape. Businesses that are not fully compliant with the CCPA’s sweeping restrictions on the handling of consumers’ personal information can face severe financial penalties. The CCPA is the first of what is likely to be a coming wave of consumer data privacy regulations at the state and even federal level, much as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is changing how business is done in the EU.

Our privacy governance attorneys are deeply familiar with the implications of the CCPA and other legislative proposals and we provide clients with customized, practical advice regarding:

  • Compliance readiness assessment
  • Compliance program development and implementation
  • Inventory data and mapping data flows
  • Privacy and data security assessments
  • Risk management
  • Tracking legislative and regulatory developments
  • Vendor contract drafting and review
  • Identifying, engaging and managing IT consultants and solutions

While the California Attorney General cannot commence enforcement actions for non-compliance until July 1, 2020, he has publicly stated that this is not a safe harbor period and that his office is free to bring claims in July for non-compliance in January, and that he takes a narrow view of the right to cure. Companies that missed the January 1 effective date should work expeditiously to provide the transparency and choice that the CCPA requires, even if they have to roll out their compliance programs incrementally. Some aspects of compliance will be dependent on what the final regulations, which have not yet been promulgated, provide. Companies that have not yet completed inventories of personal information and identified all collection, uses, sales and sharing of that information subject to the CCPA’s 12-month lookback (i.e., to January 1, 2019), will need to do so in order to be able to comply with even the most unambiguous requirements of the CCPA.

We provide guidance on the CCPA and other privacy compliance issues for companies across industries, including:

  • Advertising, marketing and digital media
  • Financial services/wealth management
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Human resource services and employee benefit providers
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional services organizations
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Software and Software-As-a-Service providers
  • Technology

We have developed thousands of privacy notices, policies and compliance programs pursuant to various U.S. laws and self-regulatory programs. Our team has counseled more than 175 clients on GDPR compliance, including through the development and implementation of internal programs and policies and we leverage this experience to assist clients as they work through the complexities of complying with the CCPA and other legislation, and has been working with over 100 companies on CCPA readiness.

The CCPA and other proposed state and federal legislation are similar in certain ways to the GDPR, but each has differing provisions that will require even businesses that are already GDPR-compliant to undertake new data privacy efforts.

What You Need to Know about the CCPA
  • CCPA’s protections apply to all California residents, regardless of their relationship with an organization (e.g., employees, customers, business leads) or whether their personal information is collected online or offline, though for calendar year 2020 not all aspects of the CCPA will apply to certain human resources and business-to-business communications data.
  • Companies that handle personal information – any information that identifies a consumer or household – of as few as 50,000 devices, individuals or households annually may be subject to the act.
  • Businesses with revenues of $25 million or more may have compliance obligations no matter how much personal information they collect from Californians.
  • The CCPA provides California residents with a right to be informed of the categories of personal information that a business collects or otherwise receives, sells or discloses about them; the sources of that data; the purposes for these activities; and the categories of parties to which their personal information is disclosed.
  • The Act also grants California residents the right to request detailed information about the personal information a business holds specifically about them, and the right to obtain portable copies of their personal information from the business.
  • The CCPA gives Californians the right to prohibit a business from selling their personal information, and has a very broad definition of “sale,” and to request that a business delete their personal information, subject to certain retention purposes.
  • Violations of the CCPA are enforceable by the California Attorney General, who may bring actions for civil penalties of $2,500 per violation, or up to $7,500 per intentional violation.
  • Notably, the CCPA includes a private right of action with the potential for statutory damages, though as currently drafted this remedy is most likely intended to be limited to certain types of data security incidents. The private right of action provisions of the law became fully effective on January 1, 2020 and are not subject to any enforcement delay.


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Data Counsel
CCPA Final Regulations Published in Advance of July 1 Enforcement Date
By Alan L. Friel, Jeewon K. Serrato
June 10, 2020
On June 1, 2020, the Office of the California Attorney General (OAG) submitted the final proposed regulations (final regs) under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA or the Title) to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL)...
Data Counsel
Three Paths to Final CCPA Regulations by July 1
By Taylor A. Bloom, Kyle R. Fath, Gerald J. Ferguson
May 29, 2020
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires the California Attorney General (AG) to issue regulations to “further the purposes of the title” by July 1, 2020. As that date quickly approaches, various rumors have been circulating...
Data Counsel
CCPA Compliance Meets Trade Secret Protection: A Peaceful Coexistence?
By Alan L. Friel, C. Dennis Loomis, Jeewon K. Serrato, Catrina W. Wang
May 12, 2020
Since the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went live on January 1, 2020, businesses have been working to develop procedures for lawfully complying with requests from California consumers relating to their personal information. Such...
AD-ttorneys Law Blog
The Sky Is Not Falling on Loyalty Programs – CCPA Regs Support Flexibility
By John P. Ferry, Alan L. Friel
April 8, 2020
On March 11, the California Attorney General released revised draft regulations for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This third version of the revised regulations is available here. The comment period for those proposed changes...
Data Counsel
Additional 6-Month CCPA Extension Sought in Wake of COVID-19
By Taylor A. Bloom, Gerald J. Ferguson, Alan L. Friel
March 18, 2020
Today we filed a request to the California Attorney General, as part of the CCPA rulemaking process, seeking an additional six month delay in the enforcement of the CCPA to allow our clients time to better focus on business continuity and...