The California legislature has proposed what appears to be the first bill to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) since passage of ballot initiative Prop 24 in 2020. The proposed amendments would increase the age to require affirmative consent to “share” or “sell” (as defined in the CCPA) personal information of children from 16 years old up to 18. It would keep the requirement that the consent come from a child under 13's parent or guardian. However, the proposed bill, if passed, would also remove the requirement that businesses have actual knowledge that the child was below age and instead impose more of a strict liability on businesses. It would also expand the requirement to obtain affirmative consent for children under 18 to the collection and use of sensitive personal information; the CCPA does not currently require any form of consent for the collection and use of sensitive personal information from children.
The proposed bill also requires that the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) seek public participation and adopt regulations to establish technical specifications for opt-out signals for children. While the CPPA has previously approved the Global Privacy Control signal for general opt-out of “sale" or “sharing” of personal information and the use of sensitive information for non-enumerated purposes, this would require an extension of this or a similar signal to specify the age group of the user. The proposed bill would also require that the CPPA issue regulations regarding age verification and when a business must treat a consumer as being a child under 18 or under 13. These regulations would need to be issued on or before July 1, 2025. While not entirely clear from the bill, the regulations would likely not go into effect until at least one year following their official issuance.
The bill is meant to protect children's privacy online despite the injunction issued against the Children's Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA). If passed, the law is likely to meet a prompt challenge from NetChoice, who brought the case to challenge the CAADCA. As such, businesses should continue to monitor the progress of the bill as well as the court challenges to the CAADCA for any change in status and be prepared to put policies and procedures in place to comply with these laws if necessary.