A group of Republican senators has proposed a new privacy law to govern the collection and use of certain personal information thought to be both important and at risk during the current coronavirus crisis.

While numerous companies and governments have developed and deployed apps and programs to track individuals and trace contacts between individuals in furtherance of the laudable goal of helping to better understand and address the pandemic, there have been concerns that such data could be collected without proper authorization and/or used for purposes outside of the scope for which the data is willingly provided. Continue Reading Federal “COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act” Proposed

As we are all well aware by now, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) (Cal. Civ. Code Sections 1798.100 et seq.) went into effect on Jan. 1. Through its amendments and regulations (the latter of which have yet to be finalized as of this article’s publication), one aspect of the act has stayed largely consistent: the CCPA grants a private right of action only in limited situations. While the California Attorney General has the ability to impose fines for any CCPA violation, the private right of action is specifically limited (over significant debate and a proposed amendment that failed to pass) to data breach. Moreover, in creating that private right of action, the act specifically notes that violations “shall not be interpreted to serve as the basis for a private right of action under any other law.”

Does that mean there will not be significant litigation concerning the CCPA outside of the data breach realm? The answer is clearly a resounding “no.” Indeed, we have already seen multiple lawsuits filed taking direct aim at the CCPA’s claimed limitations on private enforcement. In those cases, in direct contravention of the stated limitation on private rights of action, plaintiffs have claimed (among other things) that the failure to provide proper notice required by the CCPA predicates a violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (Cal Civ. Code. Section 17200) (the UCL). See, e.g., Burke v. Clearview AI, Case No. 3:20-cv-00370 (S.D. Cal., filed Feb. 27, 2020); Sheth v. Ring, Case No. 2:20-cv-01538 (C.D. Cal., filed Feb. 18, 2020). Whether such claims will fail as expressly barred by the act remains to be seen. Continue Reading Private Rights of Action and the CCPA—Unlimited Limitation?

With all of the business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many worldwide trademark offices have taken steps to recognize the issues caused by the crisis. The offices in which applicants from the U.S. most commonly file – the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) – have provided some relief. Continue Reading Trademark Office Deadlines and Coronavirus-Related Delays

As large portions of society become subject to coronavirus-related quarantines, increasing numbers of people have turned to web-based communications platforms for classes, meetings, events, and socialization. One such platform, Zoom, has become, in some estimations, the most important app in the business world, and the single most downloaded mobile app in all of India.

With such rapid expansion in its user base, there was bound to be increased focus on the company. Over the last few weeks, Zoom has faced questions related to the legality of its privacy and information-gathering practices. In fact, in addition to addressing concerns on social media and national television programs, Zoom must also now defend itself in a new class action lawsuit involving the newly enacted California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which we analyze below. Continue Reading New CCPA Lawsuit Against Zoom: Issues to Watch

With the explosion of COVID-19 cases worldwide, companies and governments have expanded their interest in the use of the vast stores of consumer data. Even where such collection and use of personal data is ostensibly for the public good, the privacy rights and legal requirements applicable to such data must be considered carefully.[i] Continue Reading Public Ends From Private Means: Privacy Rights and Benevolent Use of Personal Data

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that went into effect on January 1, 2020 provided for a grace period to allow companies additional time to come into compliance with the new regulation. That grace period ensured the California Attorney General’s office would not bring enforcement actions until six months after publication of the office’s regulations, or July 1, 2020, whichever came first.  The AG’s office continues to revise its proposed regulations, including revisions as recent as March 11, 2020, so the grace period is still currently scheduled to end July 1, 2020. Continue Reading CCPA Enforcement During COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 11, 2020, California Attorney General Xavier Barrera released a second revision to the draft California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations. The new draft contains a number of important changes to the regulatory landscape under the CCPA. One very specific change—concerning data scraping—caught my eye. Since the CCPA has been discussed and, indeed, even earlier in connection with the GDPR, there has been an open question of whether entities that pull personal data from public sources (e.g., from the publicly available LinkedIn pages) were required to provide notice to the individuals whose data had been collected. The new regulations answer the question, at least in part. Continue Reading Data Scraping Under the Revised CCPA Regulations

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presents challenging medical privacy issues for employers. Employers must observe their employees’ continued legal right to privacy—including under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HIPAA, and/or relevant state and local laws—while maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. Below are some privacy guidelines for employers to consider with respect to the coronavirus outbreak. Continue Reading Coronavirus and Employee Privacy Laws: What Employers Should Know

The cyber insurance markets are beginning to adapt to the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which went into effect on January 1, 2020.

There is great variation in how cyber insurance policies currently address risks under the CCPA. And further developments are expected as the law begins to impact companies under its jurisdiction—that is, companies that, regardless of their location, are for-profit, collect data from California residents, and either have annual revenue of at least $25 million; or collect, store and/or save the data of at least 50,000 California data subjects; or realize at least half of their revenue from the sale of data.

It is critical that companies subject to the CCPA understand the nuances of cyber insurance policies, and how they may be able to negotiate favorable coverage terms when they buy or renew them this year.

I dive into the CCPA’s impact on insurance policies in an article I co-authored with my Farella colleagues Sushila Chanana and Nate Garhart for TAG Cyber Law Journal. Read the full article, here.