On January 8, 2019, the California Department of Justice hosted the first in a series of six public forums on the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). The forums offer the public an opportunity for comment in advance of the drafting of regulations by the state Attorney General’s office. These regulations are seen as being particularly significant given the rushed legislative process resulting in a perceived lack of clarity in several key provisions of the CCPA.

Based on reports from the initial public forum, while the Department of Justice representatives did not respond to any inquiries or make public comments on the law, they did identify seven areas on which the rulemaking process will focus:

  1. Identifying the categories of personal information subject to the CCPA;
  2. Defining “unique identifiers” under the CCPA;
  3. Exceptions to CCPA where necessary to comply with federal or state law;
  4. Submitting and complying with requests by consumers;
  5. Uniform opt-out logo or button to promote consumer awareness of rights under CCPA;
  6. Notices and information to consumers; and
  7. Verifying consumers requests under CCPA.

In addition to the topics identified above, public comments during the initial forum also focused on the CCPA’s prohibition on discriminating against consumers that exercise their rights under the law, including whether businesses are permitted to offer ad-free services in exchange for higher charges.

Under an amendment to the CCPA passed last year, the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020 and enforcement actions by the Attorney General can commence July 1, 2020 or six months after the final regulations are published, whichever is sooner.