Southern California Record

Sunday, February 16, 2020

CALA director: Privacy act is setting up businesses for 'shakedown' lawsuits


By Rich Peters | Aug 24, 2019


SACRAMENTO – Businesses are making last-ditch efforts to get lawmakers to amend the groundbreaking California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) due to concerns of what impact the bill may have across the state when it goes into effect Jan. 1.

When the CCPA kicks in, companies must tell their customers what data they collect and who they share it with. At consumers’ requests, companies must delete their data, provide access to their information or stop selling it altogether.

While some believe the CCPA will serve to protect consumers, others believe that it was rushed through and puts Californians and businesses at risk of lawsuits. In response, business interests are pushing for limits on what data the law applies to.

California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Regional Director Maryann Marino | Photo courtesy of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

“Instead of the California legislature making it easier to be in business in California, and grow their business, and hire new employees and do all the right things and pay taxes, they’re looking to set them up as a shakedown lawsuit,” Maryann Marino, regional director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, said.

The more than 10,000-word bill was passed last year in just one week and the business community was given a year to comb through it and propose amendments.

“We did our homework. All of it,” said Sarah Boot, representing the California Chamber of Commerce in a recent Capitol Insider article. “Coming out of the Assembly we had six bills – all of which had been narrowed significantly over the course of negotiations in the Assembly – and all but one of them passed the Assembly with near unanimous votes.”

Business owners are fearful that the CCPA will only make operations more difficult in an already unsteady political, legal and business climate and that a lack of resources will crush small businesses in particular.

“We advocate most for small businesses, but big businesses too,” said Marino. “But certainly small businesses aren’t going to be able to respond as quickly or have the wherewithal or the expertise on getting some of the information.”

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California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

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