California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued an advisory informing state residents of their new privacy rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which became effective on January 1, 2020. The advisory does not provide any new guidance on the CCPA's requirements, but it does send a clear message that Attorney General Becerra will be keeping a close eye on privacy issues that crop up in his jurisdiction.

The advisory also provides additional information regarding California's new data broker law. Enacted in October 2019, the data broker law received little attention due to the impending deadline for the CCPA. However, the law is worth paying attention to for companies that qualify as a "data broker"— the term for businesses that knowingly collect and sell to third parties the personal information of consumers with whom they do not have a direct relationship. (Note: "business" has the same definition that it has in the CCPA).

Under the new law, the Attorney General is required to create a website where data brokers must register on or before January 31 after each year it meets the definition of a "data broker." To register, the data brokers must provide basic information about its business and pay an annual registration fee. Businesses that fail to register may be subject to penalties and fees, including a fine of up to $100 for each day the business remains unregistered.

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