Examining the CCPA and Data Privacy Litigation

California data privacy legislation is in effect next year; will litigation spike as a result of the new law?

6/3/2019 9:00 AM

Examining the CCPA and Data Privacy Litigation

California’s data privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), is set to take effect in January 2020. As businesses plan for compliance requirements of the new law before the effective date, the question remains—how will it connect to data privacy litigation?

Squire Patton Boggs Partners Petrina Hall McDaniel and Elliot Golding and Associate Keshia Lipscomb weigh in on the issue in an article “Will the CCPA be the New TCPA for Plaintiffs,” on the firm’s website.

“Almost 30 years ago, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”) was likewise implemented to protect consumers when enacted in 1991, but the law was focused on public concern with telemarketing communications at the time. The amount of litigation, and the number of class actions, under the TCPA has grown exponentially since then, with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform reporting a 1,272% increase in TCPA lawsuits from 2010 to 2016.

Now, with increased public focus on data privacy, both the defense and plaintiffs’ bars are preparing for an expected shift to data privacy litigation. The common consensus is that the CCPA, as the new kid on the block, is likely to create a wave of litigation and class actions, similar to the TCPA,” they write.

Safe harbors in the current version of the CCPA may limit some litigation, but amendments are under consideration by the California legislature.

“In particular, the amendments proposed in SB 561 would have created a private right of action for any consumers whose rights were violated under any provision of the CCPA, essentially allowing private litigation for any breach of the statute,” according to Squire Patton Boggs.

SB 561 will likely not see a vote in the California Senate this session after the Senate Appropriations committee held the bill, but there are other amendments on the table and SB 561 may resurface, according to the article.

It concludes: “The countdown to the effective date of the CCPA is on. Given the similarities between the TCPA and the CCPA, companies would be wise to study the rise of TCPA class actions and successful defense tactics as an instructive harbinger before the enactment of the CCPA.  Though some issues will be unique to the CCPA’s restrictions and requirements, plaintiffs will have similar motivation in bringing CCPA lawsuits, and plaintiffs’ tactics in initiating these suits will likely follow a framework similar to early TCPA litigation.”

Read more insights in the Squire Patton Boggs report, “Will the CCPA be the New TCPA for Plaintiffs?”

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