California Privacy Law Creates “Back-Door” Disclosure Requirement

When the California Privacy Law was signed into law on June 28, many businesses began preparing letters, website modifications, privacy policy modifications, and other changes the law requires anticipating the January 1, 2020 implementation date.

What they likely did not consider are other rules, which do not explicitly require a letter or communication to consumers, but which create a “back-door” disclosure requirement for almost all inbound and outbound telephone calls to California residents.

Section 1798.100 of the law requires that:

A business that collects a consumer’s personal information shall, at or before the point of collection, inform consumers as to the categories of personal information to be collected and the purposes for which the categories of personal information shall be used. A business shall not collect additional categories of personal information or use personal information collected for additional purposes without providing the consumer with notice consistent with this section.

Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.100(b) (emphasis added).

This rule is not limited to sales calls and contains only exemptions for very small companies, political speech, and journalism. 

Personal information includes:

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…

§ 1798.140(o)(1).

Examples are: real name, alias, postal address, products or services purchased, browsing history and search history, etc.  The listed examples are not “limitations” so basically you need this disclosure if you store ANY data specific to a given person.  Id.

Thus, almost any inbound or outbound call confirming the person’s name, address, etc. needs to include the disclosure prior to obtaining the information.  This would include inbound telephone calls.

The disclosure obviously could be lengthy depending on the amount and types of information required and the potential uses, e.g. account verification, upsells, etc. a business or its client may use the information for.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss drafting appropriate language for your inbound and outbound telephone calls, chat sessions or any other two way communications with consumers.