The California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) issued its first enforcement advisory concerning the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In Enforcement Advisory No. 2024-01, the CPPA tackles a foundational principle – data minimization. Much of the attention surrounding the CCPA seems to focus on website privacy policies, notices at collection, and consumer rights requests. With its inaugural advisory directed at data minimization, the CPPA may be reminding covered business, service providers and others that CCPA compliance requires a deeper review of an organization’s practices concerning the collection, use, retention, and sharing of personal information.

First, a word on CPPA “Enforcement Advisories.” Being the first of its kind for the CCPA, we thought it would make sense to convey what the agency noted about these advisories :

Enforcement Advisories address select provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act and its implementing regulations. Advisories do not cover all potentially applicable laws or enforcement circumstances; the Enforcement Division will make case-by-case enforcement determinations. Advisories do not implement, interpret, or make specific the law enforced or administered by the California Privacy Protection Agency, establish substantive policy or rights, constitute legal advice, or reflect the views of the Agency’s Board.

Based on this language, while it appears that an enforcement advisory will not provide a compliance safe harbor, there are valuable insights to be gained concerning the potential application of the CCPA.

For any organization concerned about data risk, data minimization is certainly one way to mitigate that risk. Most organizations work diligently to design and build information systems that prevent unauthorized access to those systems. But, when that unauthorized access happens, and it does, the data is compromised. If there is less of that data in the compromised system, risk has been mitigated, even if not eliminated.

The concept of data minimization did not originate with the CCPA. For example, under HIPAA, covered entities and business associates must comply with the minimum necessary rule. According to the CPPA:

Data minimization serves important functions. For example, data minimization reduces the risk that unintended persons or entities will access personal information, such as through data breaches. Data minimization likewise supports good data governance, including through potentially faster responses to consumers’ requests to exercise their CCPA rights. Businesses reduce their exposure to these risks and improve their data governance by periodically assessing their collection, use, retention, and sharing of personal information from the perspective of data minimization.  

The process of achieving data minimization can be challenging as it does not lend itself to a one-size fits-all approach. Under the CCPA, businesses must apply the data minimization principle “to each purpose for which they collect, use, retain, and share consumers’ personal information—including information that businesses collect when processing consumers’ CCPA requests.” As noted in the Enforcement Advisory, there are many obligations under the CCPA for which data minimization must be considered and applied, such as requests to opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information, or requests to limit the use and disclosure of sensitive personal information. Of course, even the collection of personal information by a business must be “reasonably necessary and proportionate to achieve the purposes for which the personal information was collected or processed.”

Applying this foundational principle, according to the Enforcement Advisory, essentially amounts to asking questions about the particular collection, use, retention, and sharing of personal information. In one example, the Advisory discusses how to apply data minimization to the process of verifying a consumer’s identity to process a request to delete personal information. It offers the following questions as examples of what a business might ask itself:

  • What is the minimum personal information that is necessary to achieve this purpose (i.e., identity verification)?
  • We already have certain personal information from this consumer. Do we need to ask for more personal information than we already have?
  • What are the possible negative impacts posed if we collect or use the personal information in this manner?
  • Are there additional safeguards we could put in place to address the possible negative impacts?

Considering the CCPA’s rules for verification and the needs of the business for that personal information, the business should make decisions for the verification process with minimization in mind. Further, minimization is something that should be periodically assessed.

The need to apply the principle of data minimization makes clear that CCPA compliance is more than posting a privacy policy on the business’s website. It requires, among other things, that businesses think carefully about what categories of personal information they are collecting, the sensitivity of those categories of personal information, the purpose(s) of that collection, and whether the information collected is minimized while still serving the applicable purposes.

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Photo of Joseph J. Lazzarotti Joseph J. Lazzarotti

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)…

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Trained as an employee benefits lawyer, focused on compliance, Joe also is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits practice group.

In short, his practice focuses on the matrix of laws governing the privacy, security, and management of data, as well as the impact and regulation of social media. He also counsels companies on compliance, fiduciary, taxation, and administrative matters with respect to employee benefit plans.

Privacy and cybersecurity experience – Joe counsels multinational, national and regional companies in all industries on the broad array of laws, regulations, best practices, and preventive safeguards. The following are examples of areas of focus in his practice:

  • Advising health care providers, business associates, and group health plan sponsors concerning HIPAA/HITECH compliance, including risk assessments, policies and procedures, incident response plan development, vendor assessment and management programs, and training.
  • Coached hundreds of companies through the investigation, remediation, notification, and overall response to data breaches of all kinds – PHI, PII, payment card, etc.
  • Helping organizations address questions about the application, implementation, and overall compliance with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, in particular, its implications in the U.S., together with preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Working with organizations to develop and implement video, audio, and data-driven monitoring and surveillance programs. For instance, in the transportation and related industries, Joe has worked with numerous clients on fleet management programs involving the use of telematics, dash-cams, event data recorders (EDR), and related technologies. He also has advised many clients in the use of biometrics including with regard to consent, data security, and retention issues under BIPA and other laws.
  • Assisting clients with growing state data security mandates to safeguard personal information, including steering clients through detailed risk assessments and converting those assessments into practical “best practice” risk management solutions, including written information security programs (WISPs). Related work includes compliance advice concerning FTC Act, Regulation S-P, GLBA, and New York Reg. 500.
  • Advising clients about best practices for electronic communications, including in social media, as well as when communicating under a “bring your own device” (BYOD) or “company owned personally enabled device” (COPE) environment.
  • Conducting various levels of privacy and data security training for executives and employees
  • Supports organizations through mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations with regard to the handling of employee and customer data, and the safeguarding of that data during the transaction.
  • Representing organizations in matters involving inquiries into privacy and data security compliance before federal and state agencies including the HHS Office of Civil Rights, Federal Trade Commission, and various state Attorneys General.

Benefits counseling experience – Joe’s work in the benefits counseling area covers many areas of employee benefits law. Below are some examples of that work:

  • As part of the Firm’s Health Care Reform Team, he advises employers and plan sponsors regarding the establishment, administration and operation of fully insured and self-funded health and welfare plans to comply with ERISA, IRC, ACA/PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ADA, GINA, and other related laws.
  • Guiding clients through the selection of plan service providers, along with negotiating service agreements with vendors to address plan compliance and operations, while leveraging data security experience to ensure plan data is safeguarded.
  • Counsels plan sponsors on day-to-day compliance and administrative issues affecting plans.
  • Assists in the design and drafting of benefit plan documents, including severance and fringe benefit plans.
  • Advises plan sponsors concerning employee benefit plan operation, administration and correcting errors in operation.

Joe speaks and writes regularly on current employee benefits and data privacy and cybersecurity topics and his work has been published in leading business and legal journals and media outlets, such as The Washington Post, Inside Counsel, Bloomberg, The National Law Journal, Financial Times, Business Insurance, HR Magazine and NPR, as well as the ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, Law360, Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin, the Australian Privacy Law Bulletin and the Privacy, and Data Security Law Journal.

Joe served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Laura Denvir Stith on the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Photo of Jason C. Gavejian Jason C. Gavejian

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy…

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Jason focuses on the matrix of laws governing privacy, security, and management of data. Jason is co-editor of, and a regular contributor to, the firm’s Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report blog.

Jason’s work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling international, national, and regional companies on the vast array of privacy and security mandates, preventive measures, policies, procedures, and best practices. This includes, but is not limited to, the privacy and security requirements under state, federal, and international law (e.g., HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), FTC Act, ECPA, SCA, GLBA etc.). Jason helps companies in all industries to assess information risk and security as part of the development and implementation of comprehensive data security safeguards including written information security programs (WISP). Additionally, Jason assists companies in analyzing issues related to: electronic communications, social media, electronic signatures (ESIGN/UETA), monitoring and recording (GPS, video, audio, etc.), biometrics, and bring your own device (BYOD) and company owned personally enabled device (COPE) programs, including policies and procedures to address same. He regularly advises clients on compliance issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and has represented clients in suits, including class actions, brought in various jurisdictions throughout the country under the TCPA.

Jason represents companies with respect to inquiries from the HHS/OCR, state attorneys general, and other agencies alleging wrongful disclosure of personal/protected information. He negotiates vendor agreements and other data privacy and security agreements, including business associate agreements. His work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling and coaching clients through the process of investigating and responding to breaches of the personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) they maintain about consumers, customers, employees, patients, and others, while also assisting clients in implementing policies, practices, and procedures to prevent future data incidents.

Jason represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including restrictive covenants, class-actions, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and wage and hour claims in both federal and state courts. He regularly appears before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, and the New Jersey Department of Labor. Jason’s practice also focuses on advising/counseling employers regarding daily workplace issues.

Jason’s litigation experience, coupled with his privacy practice, provides him with a unique view of many workplace issues and the impact privacy, data security, and social media may play in actual or threatened lawsuits.

Jason regularly provides training to both executives and employees and regularly speaks on current privacy, data security, monitoring, recording, BYOD/COPE, biometrics (BIPA), social media, TCPA, and information management issues. His views on these topics have been discussed in multiple publications, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle (SFGATE), National Law Review, Bloomberg BNA, Inc.com, @Law Magazine, Risk and Insurance Magazine, LXBN TV, Business Insurance Magazine, and HR.BLR.com.

Jason is the co-leader of Jackson Lewis’ Hispanic Attorney resource group, a group committed to increasing the firm’s visibility among Hispanic-American and other minority attorneys, as well as mentoring the firm’s attorneys to assist in their training and development. He also previously served on the National Leadership Committee of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and regularly volunteers his time for pro bono matters.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Jason served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Richard J. Donohue on the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County.