AB-25 Proposes CCPA Amendment to Exclude Employees from New Privacy Law
AB-25, a bill in the California State Assembly, has been amended to exclude employees, contractors and agents from the definition of consumer in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The bill has been referred to the Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection for consideration.
The potential for the CCPA to give employees of businesses privacy protections in addition to the people traditionally thought of as consumers has been an area of frequent criticism by business groups lobbying for changes in the new privacy law. The Washington Privacy Act, which passed with only one dissent in the Washington state Senate and is under consideration in the House, excludes employees from the protections in the bill.
AB 25 in California was one of the placeholder bills introduced by Assembly Member Chau at the start of the legislative session in order to beat the legislative session’s filing date for any CCPA Amendments. Senators Dodd and Hertzberg are listed as coauthors. Prior to its amendment this week, AB25 merely expressed the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.
The CCPA currently defines a consumer as “a natural person who is a California resident, as defined in Section 17014 of Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations, as that section read on September 1, 2017, however identified, including by any unique identifier.”
AB-25 adds a subsection to the definition which provides for the exclusion of certain employee data:
“(2) ‘Consumer’ does not include a natural person whose personal information has been collected by a business in the course of a person acting as a job applicant or as an employee, contractor, or agent, on behalf of the business, to the extent their personal information is used for purposes compatible with the context of the person’s activities for the business as a job applicant, employee, contractor, or agent of the business.”
By excluding employees and prospective employees from the law, they would not be able to ask for the information the business has collected about them or request deletion of their personal information. It would also mean that they were not able to bring a private right of action against the company if it suffered a data breach after it did not take reasonable security measures.
The bill makes a few other minor technical changes to the new CA privacy law. The other area of interest is the addition of Section 2 to the bill, which reads:
“SEC. 2. It is the intent of the Legislature to clarify how a business shall comply with a consumer’s request for specific pieces of information in a privacy protective manner.”
This addition suggests at least one other change is being considered for the CCPA through the bill. However it is unclear based on that language alone how broad the change will be. The consumer organization Californians for Consumer Privacy, which proposed and supported the ballot initiative, has previously suggested a technical amendment to the CCPA to clarify language which inadvertently suggests in Section 110(c)(5) that a business publicly display specific pieces of personal information collected about a particular consumer. They have proposed striking this subsection in its entirety to remove the reference.
However, there has also been concerns expressed around several different areas of the right to access and the authors may be foreshadowing additional discussions in these areas rather than leave the process up to the California Attorney General to clarify as part of the regulatory process.
Also upcoming in April is the first public hearing on SB 561, which is supported by the California Attorney General and would expand the CCPA private right of action, in the California state Senate Judiciary Committee.
Other Relevant Posts:
Next Stop for CCPA Amendments AB-25 and AB-874 is an Assembly Floor Vote
Highlights of the CA Privacy Committee Hearing Yesterday on CCPA Amendments
How to Prepare for CCPA Compliance Given the Uncertain Amendments and Regulations
CCPA Amendments to be Heard in April 23rd California Assembly Privacy Committee Hearing
Senate Judiciary Committee Recommends SB 561, the Expanded CCPA Private Right of Action
Latest on the Proposed CCPA Amendments
CCPA Regulation Recommendations by EFF to CA Attorney General
Highlights of CCPA Rulemaking Comments by IAB and ANA
CCPA Amendment & Consumer Privacy Bills in California legislature in Feb. 2019
California AG Supports Proposed CCPA Amendments in SB 561
CA Dems Defend CCPA Against Preemption; California Holds CCPA Hearing on Changes
California GOP Defend CCPA Against Federal Preemption
More Technical Amendments Suggested for CCPA; CA GOP Introduce Another Privacy Bill
Advertising & Marketing Groups Send AG Letter Seeking Flexibility on CCPA