California Privacy Protection Agency Releases Letter Outlining Weaknesses in the American Privacy Rights Act Discussion Draft


SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) sent a letter to the Chairs of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee outlining the ways in which the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) discussion draft seeks to weaken privacy protections for Californians.

As currently drafted, APRA seeks to weaken or eliminate many of the privacy protections Californians voted for and currently enjoy. Landmark legislation, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Delete Act, could be in jeopardy. This change could be irreversible, because the proposed legislation also seeks to prevent states from adopting new consumer privacy protections in the future.

“This is a time when we need to be forward-thinking about the challenges posed by the evolution of technology, and support states’ ability to adopt new laws to address emerging privacy threats. The CPPA supports a federal law that sets the floor for these protections, but as drafted, APRA seeks to set the ceiling. This could freeze protections in place for decades,” said Ashkan Soltani, Executive Director of the CPPA.

The APRA breaks tradition because federal privacy legislation typically has set baseline protections and allowed states to develop stronger laws. In addition, this proposed bill lacks critical protections with respect to sexual orientation, union membership, and immigration status because it does not include these categories in the definition of sensitive covered data.

“APRA leaves crucial gaps in protections for everyone but could be particularly damaging for groups that tend to be the most vulnerable,” said Maureen Mahoney, CPPA’s Deputy Director of Policy and Legislation. “This federal proposal could undo years of work to secure strong privacy protections for Californians.”

The discussion draft will be considered by a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on April 17.