For all that has been written about the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), one often-overlooked requirement is that covered businesses’ transparency disclosures must be accessible to consumers with disabilities. The CCPA does not specify how to meet this requirement; instead, the CCPA delegates the relevant rulemaking authority to the California Attorney General (AG).
While this approach appears to technically comply with the text of the proposed regulations, it raises an obvious practical Catch-22: how would a visually impaired consumer, relying on a screen reader or other assistive technology, know that he or she can contact the company to get an accessible version of the notice if the notice, or the navigation path to the notice, is not already accessible via assistive technologies? For a CCPA-mandated notice to be truly accessible to consumers with disabilities, it may be necessary for the entire website to conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The CCPA thus presents an opportunity for companies to review the accessibility of their websites, which is important not only for potential CCPA compliance, but also because of the increasing threat of lawsuits for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other accessibility laws.
While stakeholders await potential additional guidance from the AG when the final CCPA regulations are published, companies interested in learning more about what steps to take to bring their web and mobile assets into compliance with the latest best practices may want to attend a webinar on January 30th co-hosted by Goodwin addressing just that subject.
The CCPA took effect January 1, 2020. Companies that may be subject to the CCPA should be sure to monitor ongoing developments, including further guidance issued by the AG and publication of final rules.
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