California considers CCPA changes

The California Consumer Privacy Act is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but legislators are still making changes that can affect Home Furnishings Association members in the Golden State.

There’s positive movement on some fronts. AB 846, addressing customer loyalty programs, passed the Assembly by a vote of 50-1 on May 28. It would strike out a provision in the law that bars retailers from charging customers more if they ask to have their personal data deleted. Under the law’s definitions, that could apply to purchasing history or other information used in loyalty programs that reward regular customers with special deals or other benefits.

“As amended, the bill would add language to the CCPA confirming that a business may charge higher prices or provide a lower level of service to a consumer who exercises rights under the Act, provided that the differential treatment is reasonably related to the value provided to the business by the customer’s data, or is in connection with the customer’s voluntary participation in a loyalty, rewards or discount program,” reports Ashley L. Shively of Holland & Knight, an international law firm with California offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

AB 846 is waiting for action in the Senate.

AB 25, which passed the Assembly unanimously May 29, “clarifies that the definition of ‘consumer’ does not include job applicants, employees, agents of a business or contractors — defined as a natural person providing services to a business pursuant to a written contract — provided that the individual’s personal information is collected and used by the business solely in that context,” according to Shively.

Language in the CCPA would include employees, contractors and others in the category of “consumer,” allowing them to demand that their employers delete their personal information, including records of disciplinary actions. This correction also moves to the Senate for consideration.

Facial recognition requirements

AB 1281 “would require a brick-and-mortar business in California to disclose the use of facial recognition technology with a clear and conspicuous sign at the entrance of the location,” Shively reports. “A business that fails to comply with the provisions shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to $75 per violation but not to exceed $7,500 annually. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.”

Facial recognition technology isn’t widely used yet in furniture retailing, but it is a tool that helps store managers provide positive personal experiences for recognized customers.

HFA members should contact their senators to express support or opposition to these bills.

Doug Clark is content manager and government relations liaison for the Home Furnishings Association. Contact him at 916-757-1167 or dclark@myhfa.org. Read his Policy Matters blog at https://myhfa.org/category/gov-rel/

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