Introduction

On June 10, 2021, China officially passed China’s first Data Security Law, which will take effect on September 1, 2021. Following the introduction of the Data Security Law, together with the Cybersecurity Law, which has been implemented since June 1, 2017, and the Personal Information Protection Law, which is undergoing public comment

On April 29, 2021, the national legislator in China released the second draft of the Personal Information Protection Law (“PIPL”) to collect public comments until May 28, 2021. The updated draft substantially follows the framework of the first draft, which marks China’s comprehensive system for the protection of personal information, sets forth general rules for the processing and transferring of personal information across China’s borders, and echoes certain mechanisms under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), including application of extraterritorial jurisdiction, with which China would use long-arm jurisdiction to regulate the concerned entities across borders. This approach reflects China’s position that privacy law is an important component of China’s long term strategy on the international stage. In fact, the PIPL expressly contemplates China’s engagement with other jurisdictions (at both the country and regional levels) to try to create “interoperability” with these other privacy systems. Below we summarize key terms of the updated draft PIPL.
Continue Reading China Released Second Draft of Personal Information Protection Law

In a long awaited decision, the European Commission (“Commission’) adopted two new sets of standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”) to reflect the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“EU GDPR”) and ‘the realities faced by modern business’ (see the Commission’s press release). These replace the current SCCs that were adopted over 10 years ago under the, now repealed, Data Protection Directive. The EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, cited the SCCs as providing companies with ‘more safety and legal certainty’ and as being ‘user friendly tools’.

It is important to note that the new set of SCCs is significantly different than the previous set. For example, instead of focusing on the status of the parties as “controller” or “processor”, the new SCCs focus on the location of the parties, regardless of status. This is a significant departure from the prior form.
Continue Reading Out With the Old, In With the New: New GDPR Standard Contractual Clauses

Seyfarth Synopsis: Both Portland and New York City have followed the example set by Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), a statute that has spawned thousands of cookie-cutter class action suits regarding the alleged collection of biometric information. Like BIPA, these new ordinances create a private right of action for individuals that could subject local businesses to potentially millions of dollars in liability. Businesses in these cities should carefully review these new ordinances as well as any technology they be using that has the potential to collect biometric information.

Continue Reading Portland, OR and New York City Follow Illinois’ Lead on Private Rights of Action in Biometric Privacy Legislation

Cross-posted from Seyfarth’s Workplace Class Action Blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following in the footsteps of New York, Maryland recently introduced a standalone biometric information privacy bill, House Bill 218, that mirrors Illinois’ highly litigious Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS § 14/1 et seq., “BIPA”) in many respects. Most notably, as presently drafted, Maryland’s proposed bill, like Illinois’ BIPA, provides for a private right of action, statutory penalties, and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees – which has spawned thousands of class actions in the Land of Lincoln. If enacted, the Maryland bill would become only the second biometric privacy act in the United States to provide a private right of action and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees for successful litigants. This represents a significant development for companies and employers operating in Maryland in light of the explosion of class action litigation that has arisen from Illinois’ BIPA in recent years. Moreover, the recent introduction of such bills in Maryland and New York signal that states are increasingly modeling proposed biometric privacy litigation on Illinois’ BIPA. Employers must take notice and monitor such developments to avoid being subject to a class action lawsuit – particularly as the purposes for utilizing such technology continue to expand.
Continue Reading Maryland Joins Growing Number Of States Introducing Biometric Information Privacy Bills With Potential To Spur Class Action Litigation

Cross-posted from Seyfarth’s Workplace Class Action Blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York state legislature recently introduced a standalone biometric information privacy bill, AB 27, that mirrors Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS § 14/1 et seq., “BIPA”), which has spawned thousands of class actions in the Land of Lincoln. If enacted, The New York bill would become only the second biometric privacy act in the United States to provide a private right of action and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees for successful litigants. This represents a significant development for companies and employers operating in New York in light of the explosion of class action litigation over workplace privacy issues.
Continue Reading Employers Take Note – New York Introduces A Biometric Information Privacy Bill Identical To The Illinois BIPA

Monday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted of the Final Regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL).  Under the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the OAL has 30 business days plus 60 calendar days (due to a COVID-related executive order) to determine whether the regulations meet the requirements of the APA.  This final submission comes after various public forums, hearings, commentary, and revisions to the regulations.
Continue Reading The CCPA Regulations Are Finally Here

While a lot of ink has been spilled on the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) over the last 18 months, one of the things which has become quite apparent to those of us who view privacy through a lens which considers both EU and US perspectives is that the CCPA is actually not an EU-style law. Except for the right to delete data, all the consumer rights in the CCPA actually existed (albeit in a much less aggressive form) for many categories of information under prior California law. When one considers the number of carve-outs to the deletion right, the CCPA actually looks a lot like what is the more traditional approach to privacy that is prevalent under US jurisprudence.
Continue Reading Europe’s Privacy Law is Coming – Just Not Via California

While the United States largely hit the brakes as of March in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra made clear his intentions to begin enforcement of the Act on July 1, 2020, as originally planned.  This announcement came despite many organizations’ pleas to defer enforcement in order to relieve the additional stress imposed on organizations as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and continue to work towards ensuring their compliance with the CCPA.  While Becerra has not yet published his final regulations on the Act, there are aspects of the regulations that we expect to be largely intact in their current form once the final regulations are out as a result of reviewing the three drafts General Becerra has already produced.
Continue Reading What We Can Expect from the CCPA Regulations

The rush for California to get all of the “rules of the road” ready for next year has seemed to cause a bit of confusion with California’s privacy law. Draft regulations were published the same day the Governor signed into law a series of amendments to the underlying law. It is all a bit confusing, However, now that the Governor has signed the last raft of amendments, and the dust has somewhat settled, the question on everyone’s mind is: What changed in the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”)? How does this effect the draft regulations that the Attorney General published?

Fortunately, there are a number of significant changes which help clarify the CCPA, as well as materially change the scope of the CCPA – even if the AG didn’t include some of these changes into the initial draft regulations announced earlier this month. The most impactful changes across industries are as follows:

Business employees

To start off, the issue of employee coverage under the CCPA has been a fractious one. On one hand, business has rightly claimed that the relationship with an employee is not the same as the relationship with a customer. On the other hand, privacy advocates have claimed that employees shouldn’t give up privacy rights just because they are employees.
Continue Reading CCPA Amendments – What did California Actually Do?