California Appeals Court Vacates Enforcement Delay of CPPA Regulations

On February 9, 2024, the Third Appellate District of California vacated a trial court’s decision that held that enforcement of the California Privacy Protection Agency’s (CPPA) regulations could not commence until one year after the finalized date of the regulations.  As DPSA previously reported, the Superior Court’s order prevented the CPPA from enforcing the regulations it finalized on March 29, 2023 until March 29, 2024.  However, the Appellate court held that “because there is no ‘explicit and forceful language’ mandating that the CPPA is prohibited from enforcing the California Consumer Privacy Act until (at least) one year after the CPPA approves final regulations, the trial court erred in concluding otherwise.

The Appellate court acknowledged that the CPPA failed to meet its statutory deadline (July 1, 2022) for adopting final regulations and that the statute provided an enforcement date of one year after this deadline, but nonetheless concluded that the CCPA does not require a “one-year delay” between the CPPA’s approval of a final regulation and the CPPA’s authority to enforce that regulation.  The Appellate court noted that there “are other tools” to protect relevant interests, such as the CPPA’s regulation that, in deciding to pursue an investigation, it will consider “all facts it determines to be relevant, including the amount of time between the effective date of the statutory or regulatory requirement(s) and the possible or alleged violation(s) of those requirements, and good-faith efforts to comply with those requirements.

In a statement released by the CPPA shortly after the order, the Deputy Director of Enforcement for the CPPA said that “[t]his decision should serve as an important reminder to the regulated community: now would be a good time to review your privacy practices to ensure full compliance with all of our regulations.