The Virginia legislature has introduced several bills that would amend Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (“CDPA”) that was enacted last year. These bills are largely in response to the November 1, 2021 Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act Work Group report (the “Report”), which outlined 17 “points of emphasis” related to the CDPA. The Report includes recommendations regarding administrative items, permitting the Attorney General to seek actual damages based on consumer harm, implementing a right (that would sunset) to cure violations of the CDPA, amending the right to delete, amending the definition of sensitive data, implementing global privacy control, and providing resources to consumers and small business, among other topics.

The following is a high-level summary of the relationship between the introduced bills and the Report:

I.     HB 381 and SB 393

In the Report, the work group specifically called for the “right to delete” provision in the CDPA to be a “right to opt out of sale” as well. This change is meant to address the scenario where the benefit of deleting data may be undone if there is indirect collection at a later date. These bills would permit a business to satisfy a consumer’s request to delete by opting the consumer out of processing of their data for targeting advertising, sale, or profiling. Note that the opt out in HB 381 is more broad and would opt the consumer out of processing for any purpose (with certain exceptions).

II.     HB 714 and SB 534

The work group also outlined that there is a need to employ an “ability to cure” option for violations, should a potential cure exist, as well as permitting the Office of the Attorney General to pursue actual damages based on consumer harm.

Accordingly, these bills add a 30-day cure period that would only apply to violations that the Attorney General deems curable. Additionally, these bills would allow the Attorney General to seek actual damages in addition to existing remedies (injunctive relief and statutory damages of $7,500.00 per violation).

III.     HB 1259

The Report also mentioned the need to consider whether the definition of “sensitive data” should exclude general demographic data used to promote diversity and outreach to underserved populations.

This bill proposes to address this by removing consent requirements for processing sensitive data when such processing involves “racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, mental or physical health diagnosis, sexual orientation, or citizenship or immigration status” if the data is used solely for marketing, advertising, fundraising, or similar outreach, communications or information sharing that does not result in decisions that could produce legal or similarly significant effects concerning the consumer.

Virginia is not the only state working to change its existing privacy framework. Colorado’s Office of the Attorney General will begin rulemaking activities shortly and the California Privacy Protection Agency recently held a public meeting to discuss updates to its rulemaking process. More details available on CPW’s blog covering these announcements.

Updates: California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”)

Last month, we reported on the California Privacy Protection Agency’s (“CPPA”) engagement of an Executive Director and its proposal for a rulemaking framework. The CPPA’s efforts are assisted by provisions of Assembly Bill 694 (“AB 694”), which California Governor Gavin Newsom signed last month. AB694 includes changes to California’s consumer privacy law and clarifies the CPPA’s rulemaking process. You can find the changes here. Continue Reading CPRA Amended and Updates Regarding the CDPA

As Ann LaFrance, Alan Friel, Elliot Golding, Kyle Fath, Glenn Brown, Kyle Dull, Niloufar Massachi, and Gicel Tomimbang explain in a comprehensive expert analysis, recent changes in US consumer privacy laws that will require most US businesses to make material changes to their privacy compliance and information governance programs by January 1, 2023 (July 1, 2023, in the case of Colorado), and include infographics that compare and contrast the applicable laws.  Besides discussing these changes, they make recommendations on what to do during the remainder of 2021 and throughout 2022 to ensure business readiness by 2023.

You can read their breakdown here or below.

CPRA/CDPA/CPA Unpacked: Develop a Preparedness Plan Now

In a must-read, CPW’s Glenn Brown provides a detailed breakdown of the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (the “CDPA”) and how it stacks up relative to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), which amends and will essentially replace the CCPA on 1 January 2023, and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (“GDPR”).  Check out his article available at One Trust’s Data Guidance.

Just this week Virginia joined California as being one of the few states where consumers have a “right to delete” under applicable state privacy laws.  This loosely follows the approach in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) that also contains a right to delete which is quite broad (“right to obtain . . . erasure of personal data concerning him or her”), though subject to a number of exceptions.  State approaches to consumers’ “right to delete” are not uniform, however, which makes understanding the nuance in the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), the California Privacy Rights Act, which amends and will essentially replace the CCPA on January 1, 2023 (the “CPRA”), and the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (the “VCDPA”) all the more important.

CPW’s Glenn Brown has prepared a detailed analysis that is a must-read in light of the VCDPA’s passage that compares the “right to delete” under the CCPA, CPRA and VCDPA.  As he explains, the CCPA, CPRA and VCDPA each provide that a consumer has the right to request that a business delete their personal information, but they differ in certain respects, including their scope. The CCPA provides that consumers “… have the right to request that a business delete any personal information about the consumer which the business has collected from the consumer.”  (emphasis added).  Notably, the CPRA does not amend the wording of this right.  By comparison, the VCDPA provides that consumers “… have the right to delete personal data provided by or obtained about the consumer.”  (emphasis added).  The VCDPA’s deletion right is therefore broader than that provided by the CCPA and CPRA, in that it applies to personal information that a business has collected from a consumer or that the business has collected about a consumer from another source.

Glenn provides a fantastic breakdown discussing the relevant exceptions to the “right to delete” under each of these laws, including a chart describing the various uses of personal information that will allow a business to retain the relevant personal information subject to these laws, even when a consumer has requested the business to delete it.

*The CCPA and CPRA provide that the exception is available only if: (a) deletion of the information is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the ability to complete such research; and (b) the consumer has provided informed consent.

**The VCDPA requires that the research be approved, monitored, and governed by an institutional review board, or similar independent oversight entities, that determine whether: (i) the deletion of the information is likely to provide substantial benefits that do not exclusively accrue to the controller; (ii) the expected benefits of the research outweigh the privacy risks; and (iii) the controller has implemented reasonable safeguards to mitigate privacy risks associated with research, including any risks associated with reidentification.

The CPRA also requires that such uses be compatible with the context in which the consumer provided the information in order to qualify for the exception.

Be sure to check out Glenn‘s complete analysis here.

Online privacy and safety of children and teens are hot legislative topics this year. In a companion post we provide an update of federal and state legislative efforts to fundamentally change how online content and advertising are delivered to children and teens. We have previously discussed legislation in California and Connecticut to require assessments of online privacy impacts on minors. In this post we focus on proposed regulatory and legislative changes to the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) (effective in 2000) and its corresponding regulations (COPPA Rule), which were last updated in 2013.

Continue Reading Federal Children’s Privacy Requirements to Be Updated and Expanded

Until late August 2023, California’s data protection law, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or “CCPA,” only provided for future rulemaking on automated decision-making, including profiling, on risk assessments, and on cybersecurity audits. However, during a board meeting it held this past Friday, September 8th, the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA” or “Agency”), which shares enforcement authority of the CCPA with the California Attorney General, discussed a new set of draft regulations (“Regs”) it released for Agency discussion purposes in late August 2023. While not yet part of the official rulemaking, the draft and the discussions around it provides direction on its upcoming rulemaking on these topics. We will refer to the draft and related commentary as the “Roadmap.” Most notably, the Roadmap proposes that condensed versions of assessments and audits completed by businesses pursuant to their CCPA obligations be filed with the CPPA and sets forth detailed obligations surrounding such assessments and audits. The implication of this is that it may become obvious to the Agency which companies are or are not conducting assessments or audits and thus complying with their CCPA obligations. It may also provide the Agency an easily accessible way to review the evaluate businesses’ practices, especially with regard to higher risk processing activities. Furthermore, the Agency’s Roadmap suggests assessment requirements that not only incorporate, but exceed, what is required in the Colorado regulations, including risk / harm assessments of any monitoring of personnel or students, or monitoring of consumers in public places. We will be co-hosting a webinar with Ankura to take a deeper dive into what companies should be doing regarding assessments and audits. Register here to join us on October 18 to learn more.

Continue Reading California’s Potential Approach to Regulations on Risk Assessments and Cybersecurity Audits Could Be a Game Changer

Originally posted on Squire Patton Boggs’ Global IP and Technology blog by Carlton DanielJoseph Grasser and James Collis.

The use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is growing, but whether AI-generated works can be protected by copyright remains unclear and the position is inconsistent across different jurisdictions including the UK and USA. A recent US case, concerning a comic book which included AI-generated images, offers an opportunity to contrast the two countries’ approaches to AI-generated work in more detail.

Continue Reading Copyright Protection for AI Works: UK vs US

Privacy teams have more to do with Gov. Abbot signing the Texas Data Privacy and Security Act, also known as TX HB 4 (the “Act”), after several last minute amendments. This is in addition to new comprehensive privacy laws from Tennessee (also amended late in the game before submission to the Governor), Indiana, Iowa, Montana and Florida that have passed this spring alone.

Importantly, there is not a minimum number of records processed or annual revenue threshold for businesses to be in the scope of the law. It has broad applicability to companies who do business in the state and who process or sell personal data. It does contain the usual entity and data level exceptions (e.g., GLBA, HIPAA, FCRA, etc.) and explicitly excludes data collected in the human resources or business-to-business context. Continue Reading Don’t Mess with Texas: The Lone Star State Enacts Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Law

In 2020, when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) came into effect, the privacy landscape in the US changed forever. Fast forward three years, we now have close to a dozen states that have passed consumer privacy laws, with the second generation of consumer privacy laws giving particular attention to sensitive data. In particular, there is an emerging trend, in both new legislation and enforcement of existing privacy and consumer protection regimes, towards a focus on the collection, use, and sharing or selling of health-related personal information, specifically information that is outside the scope of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).[1] The effect is a restriction on what publishers, advertisers, and other commercial enterprises can do with consumer health information, often broadly defined to include any past, present or future health status or inference regardless of sensitivity (e.g., acne or a headache). These developments include: Continue Reading Health (and Health-ish) Data and Advertising Under Scrutiny