Businesses subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) are working diligently to comply with the law’s numerous mandates, although final regulatory guidance has yet to be issued. Many of these businesses are learning that AB25, passed in October, requires employees, applicants, and certain other California residents to be provided a notice of collection at least for the next 12 months. These businesses need to think about what must be included in these notices.
A Business Insider article explains that iPhones maintain a detailed list of every location the user of the phone frequents, including how long it took to get to that location, and how long the user stayed there. The article provides helpful information about where that information is stored on the phone, how the data can be deleted, and, perhaps more importantly, how to stop the tracking of that information. This information may be important for users, as well as companies that provide iPhones to their employees to use in connection with their work.
AB25 excepted natural persons acting as job applicants, employees, owners, directors, officers, medical staff members, and contractors of a CCPA-covered business from all of the CCPA protections except two: (i) providing them a notice of collection under Cal. Civ. Code Sec. 1798.100(b), and (ii) the right to bring a private civil action against a business in the event of a data breach caused by the business’s failure to maintain reasonable safeguards to protect personal information. The notice of collection must inform these persons as to the categories of personal information collected by the business and how those categories are used.
The CCPA’s definition of personal information includes eleven categories of personal information, one of which is geolocation data. As many businesses think about the categories of personal information they collect from employees, applicants, etc. for this purpose, geolocation may be the last thing that comes to mind. This is especially true for businesses with workforces that come into the office every day, and which do not have a business need to know where their employees are, such as transportation, logistics, and home health care businesses. But, they still may provide their workforce members a company-owned iPhone or other smart device with similar capabilities, although not realizing all of its capabilities or configurations.
As many who have gone through compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations in the European Union, the CCPA and other laws that may come after it in the U.S. will require businesses to think more carefully about the personal information they collect. They likely will find such information is being collected without their knowledge and not at their express direction, and they may have to communicate that collection (and use) to their employees.