COVID-19 is delaying just about everything these days—except the CCPA.

In letters submitted on March 17 and March 20, a coalition of nearly sixty business and organizations called on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to temporarily defer CCPA enforcement by six months to January 2, 2021 due to COVID-19. The coalition, which spans a range of industries including tech, telecommunications, advertising, retail, insurance, transportation and real estate, argued that a deferral of enforcement would allow businesses to prioritize the needs of their workforce during the global pandemic. The coalition also pointed to the still-changing nature of the CCPA’s regulations as grounds for a temporary enforcement hiatus, contending that businesses need time to implement the final CCPA requirements.

Despite the growing list of disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the still-evolving nature of the CCPA, the AG stated that his office is committed to enforcing the CCPA “upon finalizing the rules or July 1, whichever comes first.” Indeed, the AG cited the heightened value of protecting consumer’s privacy during this time of crisis and urged business to be “particularly mindful of data security in this time of emergency.” Notably, the AG’s remarks regarding potential pre-July 1 enforcement appear to contradict the CCPA itself, which states that enforcement shall not begin until “six months after the publication of the final regulations…or July 1, 2020, whichever is sooner.” Civ. Code Section 1798.85(c). In any event, businesses should strive to make efforts to comply with the CCPA as they will be hard pressed to cite COVID-19 as a reason for noncompliance.

For more information on the CCPA, check out our ongoing coverage of this statute.

Please contact the authors for additional guidance on how these issuances and other COVID-19 considerations will affect the delivery of patient care and the related rules. McGuireWoods has published additional thought leadership related to how companies across various industries can address crucial coronavirus-related business and legal issues.