At its heart, the California Legislature drafted the California Consumer Privacy Act to establish standards for the collection, security of, and use of the personal information of California consumers. The average person would likely consider “personal information” to include a person’s name, email address, and location? The latest privacy laws, however, apply a personal information definition that is shockingly broad. The California Consumer Privacy Act is no different:
Personal Information Definition
Section 1798.140(o) (1) ‘Personal information’ means information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household. Personal information includes, but is not limited to, the following if it identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could be reasonably linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household:
(A) Identifiers such as a real name, alias, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, Internet Protocol address, email address, account name, social security number, driver’s license number, passport number, or other similar identifiers.
(B) Any categories of personal information described in subdivision (e) of Section 1798.80.
(C) Characteristics of protected classifications under California or federal law.
(D) Commercial information, including records of personal property, products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies.
(E) Biometric information.
(F) Internet or other electronic network activity information, including, but not limited to, browsing history, search history, and information regarding a consumer’s interaction with an Internet Web site, application, or advertisement.
(G) Geolocation data.
(H) Audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information.
(I) Professional or employment-related information.
(J) Education information, defined as information that is not publicly available personally identifiable information as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. section 1232g, 34 C.F.R. Part 99).
(K) Inferences drawn from any of the information identified in this subdivision to create a profile about a consumer reflecting the consumer’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes.”
I must admit I am dying to meet the client who collects olfactory data from consumers in California. The jokes almost write themselves.
Could we see further amendments to the new California privacy law modifying the definition? Yes. Everything is on the table given the odd origins of the CCPA. I’ll post a video for any updates.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.
More Articles On The California Consumer Protection Act: