ANA Again Pushes for California Privacy Law Enforcement Delay

The Association of National Advertisers has again asked the California attorney general to delay implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) until January of next year, this time based on a new set of modifications to the law plus the argument that "COVID-19 has substantially encumbered businesses’ ability to operationalize the draft rules implementing the CCPA prior to July 1, 2020. 

Enforcement of the bill is currently scheduled to begin on that July date. 

ANA and other ad associations have previously asked for a delay, first citing the complexity of compliance with a moving target, more recently citing the combination of that moving target and the coronavirus. 

The office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra sought comment March 11 on the second set of modifications to the bill. 

Related: Consumer Reports Says CCPA Enforcement Must Proceed

ANA provided that comment this week, again combining the new complexity of the modifications with the ongoing challenge of COVID-19. 

Among the drafts modifications is one they say would turn an opt-out data collection regime (by requiring adherence to global browser privacy controls) into an opt-in one, subverting the authority of the legislature's opt-out approach and rendering the law unconstitutional. 

ANA is also concerned about the impact of the language prohibiting small businesses from using opt out methods "designed with the purpose or has the substantial effect of subverting or impairing a consumer’s decision to opt out.” It says that working will "[increase] the likelihood that businesses could be punished for effects of opt-out mechanisms they do not intend or reasonably expect." 

Those and other issues are things ANA argues need a resolution that won't be achieveable amidst the current crisis. 

"[W]e believe that because of the very limited time for companies to come into compliance with the rulemaking effort before the CA AG’s enforcement authority is launched and the virtually unprecedented disruption caused by the current global COVID-19 pandemic it would be appropriate to forbear from enforcement until January 2, 2021," ANA said in its comments. "During these extraordinarily turbulent times, we ask that your office provide the business community the ability to focus its resources on addressing the global health and economic challenges facing all of us." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.