This week, the California Superior Court ruled that the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) cannot begin enforcement of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) until March 2024. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the California Chamber of Commerce which argued that state businesses would not have enough time to prepare for the upcoming changes and enforcement thereof.

Judge James P. Arguelles held that the CPRA included plain language requiring the CPPA to have final regulations in place by July 1, 2022, with enforcement allowed to begin a year later. The final rules, which outline how businesses should handle consumer requests to exercise their privacy rights and various other compliance standards, were not issued until March 29, 2023. Judge Arguelles said in his ruling that “[t]he very inclusion of these dates indicates the voters intended there to be a gap between the passing of final regulations and enforcement of those regulations.”

A recent report issued by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization focused on supporting high quality media and digital resources, found that almost half of the products or apps used by consumers are not in compliance with these California privacy laws.   

Ashkan Soltani, Executive Director of the CPPA, noted in a statement after the ruling that “significant portions” of the privacy protections established by Proposition 24, nevertheless, can be enforced as of July 1.  Soltani said, “Although we’re disappointed the court granted the Chamber’s request to delay enforcement of portions of the regulations enacted earlier this year [i.e. CPRA], the Agency remains committed to advancing the privacy rights of Californians and will take the appropriate next steps to safeguard the protections Californians overwhelmingly supported at the ballot box” pursuant to the California Privacy Protection Act passed before the CPRA. While businesses have some additional time to get a handle on CPRA requirements, the CPPA will begin enforcement of the Privacy Act which has been in effect since 2020.

Other states continue to follow California’s lead. On June 30, 2023, the Delaware General Assembly passed HB 154, which is a CCPA-like comprehensive privacy law that will take effect on January 1, 2025, and applies to businesses that process personal data of more than 35,000 consumers and does not exempt non-profit organizations. Also note that the consumer privacy laws in Colorado and Connecticut took effect on July 1.