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Senate Appropriations Committee holds bill that would have expanded privacy lawsuits

Legislation that would have allowed any consumer to sue a business that used the consumer’s personal information without his or her consent was held on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s suspense file yesterday.

SB 561 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is sponsored by California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.

SB 561 would have allowed individuals to bring lawsuits if they believed that their rights under the CCPA have been violated, rather than relying on the Attorney General to enforce the law.

The bill was opposed by CNPA, the California Chamber of Commerce and almost every business group with a lobbyist in Sacramento.

The CCPA in its current form places many new requirements on businesses that collect and use consumers’ personal information, including giving consumers the right to request what information a business has about them, to require the business to delete their information, and to prohibit businesses from selling their personal information.

Part of the deal struck between business groups and privacy advocates when the law was passed last year was that in exchange for these broad new rights, the emphasis on enforcement of the law would be through compliance done by the Attorney General – rather than allowing lawsuits by individuals – except in the case of a data breach.

The Attorney General has argued that he does not have the resources to carry out all of the new duties that the CCPA imposes on his office.

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