The California Senate Appropriations Committee recently blocked a bill that would expand a private right of action under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). As we reported, in late February, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced Senate Bill 561, legislation intended to strengthen and clarify the CCPA. Then in April, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6-2.
If SB 561 became law, it would make a number of significant changes to the current law. In particular, SB 561 would significantly expand the scope of the private right of action presently written into the CCPA. The CCPA provides consumers a private right of action if their nonencrypted or nonredacted personal information is subject to an unauthorized access, exfiltration, theft, or disclosure because the covered business did not meet its duty to implement and maintain reasonable safeguards to protect that information. SB 561 proposed to broaden this provision to grant consumers a private right of action if their rights under the CCPA are violated.
This week however, the Senate Appropriations Committee blocked the bill, which is likely to end its legislative process, at least for this year, as in order for a bill to advance in the legislature during 2019, it must pass at least one chamber by May 31.
The bill’s blockage is considered a win for businesses, as expansion of the private right of action would only increase what is already anticipated to be a flood of litigation once the CCPA takes effect.