California Enacts Sweeping Privacy Legislation

Earlier this year, after Facebook was sued in a securities class action following news that it had given access to personal user information to Cambridge Analytica, I questioned whether privacy issues might represent the next big corporate liability exposure. Among other things, in making this suggestion, I was taking into consideration that fact that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was about to go into effect. More recent developments confirm my view that privacy issues likely will represent an area of specific and growing concern and potential liability for companies, their management, and their boards.   Of greatest significance among recent events is the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, the first comprehensive privacy regime in the U.S., which California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on June 28, 2018. As discussed below, the Act imposes on businesses significant privacy obligations, creates a number of privacy…

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