Consumer Reports: CCPA Enforcement Must Proceed

Consumer Reports has called on California attorney general Xavier Becerra to reject industry efforts to delay the enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

The law went into effect Jan. 1, but the state has yet to finalize rules to enforce it, rules that are supposed to be in place by midyear. 

Almost three dozen trade associations including the Association of National Advertisers, American Advertising Federation and the Association of Magazine Media, are invoking the coronavirus pandemic in asking California to delay enforcement

Some of the same advertiser groups argued for a similar delay back in January

By contrast, Consumer Reports suggests the pandemic put an exclamation point on the need for the law.  

"This latest effort to avoid complying with the CCPA comes as more and more consumers increasingly rely on online communications to work, stay in communication with healthcare professionals, and obtain access to necessary supplies," Consumer Reports said Monday (March 23). 

“It is more critical than ever for policymakers to ensure fairness, safety, and transparency for consumers in the marketplace," said Justin Brookman, Consumer Reports’ director of privacy and technology policy. "The law has been in effect for over three months. This is a cynical attempt by industry to avoid honoring California consumers’ constitutional right to privacy, and industry shouldn’t exploit the health crisis to ignore consumer requests to companies to stop selling their data. We hope the Attorney General does the right thing and begins enforcement as scheduled.” 

The advertisers said that coming up with "innovative business procedures" to comply with the new law and enforcement regime is a formidable task, and too tall an order when many of those workers are at home and all are "doing their best to manage their personal and professional lives in the face of uncertain times." 

They said they support privacy--though many including ANA was not a fan of how the bill tries to secure it--but want the extra time to "understand and effectively operationalize" the new rules. 

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.