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CA Legislators Should Fix Consumer Privacy Act

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For the sake of the economy, California legislators must fix the flawed California Consumer Privacy Act

by John Kabateck

SACRAMENTO — The Legislature must fix the California Consumer Privacy Act before it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The law is riddled with unclear definitions, overly broad mandates, and small errors that will lead to unnecessary costs and widespread confusion about compliance.

When the California Consumer Privacy Act passed in 2018, we heard many promises that the Legislature would take the time to fix its flaws and address its unintended consequences. That time is growing alarmingly shorter.

When the Legislature returns Monday for its final month of the year, finding reasonable solutions to the problems associated with the California Consumer Privacy Act must be a top priority.

Immediately after passage of the act, the California Chamber of Commerce provided the Legislature with a comprehensive list of concerns that needed to be addressed. Following the chamber, legal scholars and privacy lawyers sent letters and wrote analyses detailing significant problems with the legislation.

The advertising industry added its concerns about the impact of the act on advertising agencies and media, and entertainment and technology businesses that are dependent on internet advertising revenue.

Many other business sectors have explained to the Legislature the changes needed to make the law work, sectors ranging from restaurants to wineries to blogging to start-up tech companies. All have expressed their concerns about impacts on their business operations.

Two easy fixes would help:

  • One, originally in Assembly Bill 873, would clarify that “personal information” as defined in the consumer privacy act applies to information that identifies or links, directly or indirectly, to a particular consumer. 
  • Two, as originally proposed in Senate Bill 753, the Legislature should refine the provision defining the “sale” of information, so that businesses can comply with the request to not sell data while continuing to provide customized content and relevant advertising to consumers.

These straightforward changes neither repeal any provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act, nor weaken any protection of consumers’ personal information.

In fact, they’re a necessary step toward strengthening the act to ensure it’s a policy that works in the real world, not just sounds good on paper.

The changes would allow businesses to continue to provide consumers with the goods and services they desire, while operating under the intent and goals of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Several legislators—Sen. Henry Stern and Assembly members Marc Berman, Autumn Burke, Ed Chau, Ken Cooley, Jacqui Irwin—have been working hard on the fixes. But so far, legislative leadership is failing to keep its promise. Important bills have stall in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and leaders have not stepped in to make things right.

The stakes are high and the window to act closing. Because the law has not yet taken effect, many California companies have not begun to focus on the change required by the California Consumer Privacy Act.

But when they do, there will be anger over the high costs of compliance, uncertainty about how to comply, confusion about the management of data, misinformation about liability, and concern about the changes to the internet economy.

There is still time for the act to be modified to address these concerns. But that requires legislative leaders to stick to their word, and allow solutions to be considered. If legislators do not attempt to fix the law, then businesses in their districts will have good reason to hold them accountable for the consequences.

John Kabateck is California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, john.kabateck@nfib.org. He wrote this commentary for CalMatters and its media partners including West Hollywood Daily News

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Consumer News

LA Alcohol Delivery Sees Massive Spike Following “Safer at Home” Order

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt

LOS ANGELES — Following California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” order, Saucey has experienced an unprecedented number of users on their alcohol delivery platform.

The company has seen a 300% increase in area sales compared to a standard delivery day.

“As the concern over the COVID-19 virus has grown at both the state and public levels, I think you’re not so coincidentally seeing a rise in people ordering alcohol,” says Saucey co-founder and CEO Chris Vaughn. “We’re feeling the effects elsewhere too, like San Francisco and Chicago; we’re doing our best to assist everyone who wants to use us and use us safely.”

The Los Angeles-based app recognizes they are among select delivery services fortunate enough to be helping people in a variety of markets as they practice social distancing and protect themselves from the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.

“It’s good to see so many people making lifestyle adjustments that let them be as comfortable as they can be during this time,” Vaughn said.

There may be something to that comfort thing. Since March 15, Saucey has seen ice cream sales spike by 500% and soft drinks by 150%. Lime sales also spiked by 350%, potentially pointing to more people making mixed drinks.

As for the alcohol, vodka tops Saucey’s spirit sales and is up by 250%. Whiskey, however, saw the greatest spike at 300%. IPAs held the highest increase in sales in their beer category at 300%.

Saucey will continue providing safe deliveries to the people of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Orange County and San Jose.

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Business

Costco Says Don’t Even Think of Returning Toilet Paper

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(TMZ) — Costco is unsympathetic to all the folks who stocked up on toilet paper like they were never gonna get another sheet … because the superstore has made it clear — NO REFUNDS!!!

This sign was plastered on the wall of the Costco in Pentagon City outside Washington, D.C. Now that people have settled in, it seems they’re realizing they have waaaaaay too much toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes and Lysol, and apparently some are trying to return it for cash.

You gotta be a little sympathetic … lots of people got laid off after they hoarded these items, so money is a huge issue.

Also on the no-return list — Water and rice.

Continue reading at tmz.com

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Consumer News

Drives Aim to Keep Historic Restaurants Alive During Outbreak

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Owner Dimitri Komarov at the famous Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES (Daily News) — With restaurants limited to takeout service or shut down completely by the coronavirus outbreak, a drive has been launched to keep some of Los Angeles’ legendary eateries from fading away.

Known as 1933 Group, the team operates about a dozen themed bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, including the barrel-shaped bar Idle Hour in North Hollywood, Harlowe in West Hollywood, Highland Park Bowl and the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood.

Many of them have shuttered in recent days amid strict orders implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti, aiming to stem the flow of deadly COVID-19.

“We are struggling to survive,” said Dimitri Komarov, the venues’ co-owner. “The impact is dire. We’re losing our […]

Continue reading at dailynews.com

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