Ad Trades: California Attorney General’s Tweets on Global Privacy Control Standard Create Additional Confusion for Businesses Working to Comply with the CCPA

WASHINGTON D.C. (February 1, 2020)In a series of tweets on January 28, Attorney General Becerra promoted and appeared to endorse a global privacy control standard developed by a small group of browsers and companies purportedly to communicate consumer choices under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Since the enactment of the CCPA, the ANA, 4A’s, IAB, and AAF have encouraged the Office of the Attorney General to issue clear, unambiguous guidance that helps businesses comply with the requirements of the law. These tweets, published in his final days in office, failed to meet these standards. The business community, consumers, and those responsible for enforcing the law after his departure deserve better.

The requirement that businesses honor a global privacy control as a legally valid consumer request to opt out of the sale of personal information was not part of the CCPA and goes beyond the law’s intent and scope. The ANA, 4’s, IAB, and AAF communicated their views about this problematic mandate, including their belief that it is unconstitutional, when it was created by the Office of the Attorney General during the rulemaking process. In addition to the legal shortcomings of this requirement, the trade associations continue to be concerned that there is no means to validate whether a signal from such global privacy controls are a true expression of a consumer’s preference, or set by intermediaries by default that do not align with consumer preferences. While this requirement was added to the implementing regulations of the CCPA, it was not part of the California Privacy Rights Act recently passed by voters, raising additional questions about the validity of the requirement after that law’s effective date.

By stating via Twitter that a newly developed standard satisfies the CCPA’s legal requirement, the Attorney General has created additional confusion for businesses that have been working to comply with the CCPA and the ever-evolving rules his office continues to develop. The Attorney General has provided no justification for his conclusion, no information on the standards applied to his review, and no information on how or when his office intends to enforce this requirement.  

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Dan Jaffe
Group EVP, Government Relations, ANA
Phone: 646.369.4886