Government officials proposed a new amendment to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Monday that would allow consumers to suck companies that violate the new law. Currently, consumers can only file lawsuits if they are victims of a data breach and only when the State Department has decided not to sue for the consumer.
The CCPA, which was implemented in 2018 and enters into force in 2020, is the toughest privacy law in the United States. It is also the first law in the country that gives people control over the use of their personal data.
Key elements of the law include the prohibition of discriminating against consumers exercising their rights and requiring businesses to disclose how they collect and share consumer data. It also allows consumers to request that their data be deleted and enable people to opt out of the sale or sharing of personal information.
The proposed change would give people more opportunities to pursue their own decision in court for any breach of CCPA.
California lawyer Xavier Becerra and state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson revealed the change at a press conference in Sacramento on Monday afternoon.
"If [companies are] breaks your right, they are probably violating the rights of many other people," Jackson said. "The purpose of this trial is not to punish this behavior, it is to deter it. It is to get these companies to comply with the law. If there is no punishment, if there is no liability, they will continue to do so because it Make them money. "
James P. Steyer, CEO of Common Sense, a nonprofit organization that promotes secure technology usage, said the change would take some of the burden of enforcing and monitoring violations of the lawyer's generic record.
"Companies with endless resources will do everything they can to make it difficult for AG," Steyer said in a statement. "By giving consumers their own right to take action to keep bad actors accountable for violating their privacy, this law facilitates enforcement of the CCPA's teeth and Common Sense stands firmly in support."
The change will also remove the current latency that allows businesses 30 days to attempt a breach and withdraw any vulnerable data from public viewing to avoid penalties.
In addition, companies will no longer be able to ask the state DOJ for "free" legal advice to comply with the Privacy Act ̵
"The California Department of Justice serves the state of California and its 40 million people collectively," Becerra said. "We protect them and their rights. We do not provide free legal advice, which this will translate into. It would be free legal advice to the business at the expense of the taxpayer."
Instead, the change will allow the law firm to issue general guidance for companies that comply with CCPA that everyone could access.
California is the first state to have legislation like CCPA, but other states use it as a potential framework to adopt their own privacy laws.
Congress also considers a national law that will address the consumer's right to protect their data. While companies have lobbied for a law that would persuade the CCPA, state lawmakers have urged Congress not to void consumer protection achieved by law.