By signing AB 1281 into law on September 29th, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) to extend until January 1, 2022, not only the current exemption on employee personal information from most of the CCPA’s protections, but also the so-called “B2B” exemption. Welcomed by many “B2B” (business to business) organizations, this exemption originally enacted under AB 1355 removed significant amounts of personal information from the CCPA’s reach. Note, however, this exemption could be further extended until January 1, 2023, if the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) is approved by voters on Nov. 3, 2020.
The “B2B” exemption applies to the following:
Personal information reflecting a written or verbal communication or a transaction between the business and the consumer, where the consumer is a natural person who is acting as an employee, owner, director, officer, or contractor of a company, partnership, sole proprietorship, nonprofit, or government agency and whose communications or transaction with the business occur solely within the context of the business conducting due diligence regarding, or providing or receiving a product or service to or from such company, partnership, sole proprietorship, nonprofit or government agency
In other words, for example, the personal information obtained by a business from a consumer under the CCPA is generally exempt under this provision when that consumer is acting as a representative of another organization and the consumer engages with the business in communications or transactions that relate solely to providing or receiving products or services. However, similar to the employee personal information exemption, certain personal information in this context remains subject to the CCPA’s private right of action if that personal information is involved in a data breach and reasonable safeguards were not in place.
CCPA covered businesses have a temporary reprieve on employment and “B2B” personal information, and will have to wait until election day to see if they will get another year.