A Win for Online Businesses: AB 1564 Lifts CCPA Phone Number Requirements

October 9, 2019 Published Article

Of the recent amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) waiting to be signed into law by California’s Governor, AB 1564 may be the most beneficial for companies doing online business in California, as it exempts businesses that operate exclusively online from maintaining a toll-free number to handle privacy requests.

Instead, these businesses must provide an email address in lieu of a toll-free number and, if these businesses maintain a website, provide a method on their website for a consumer to submit a request for personal information. As previously written, businesses that collect, disclose or sell the personal information of a consumer had to support at least two methods upon which a consumer could request their personal information, including a toll-free phone number and, if the business maintained a website, a website address. AB 1564 will do away with the toll-free number requirement if these businesses provide both an email and mailing address. However, in the instance where these businesses operate exclusively online, they are not required to provide a mailing address or a toll-free number, so long as they maintain a website that allows consumers to request their personal information.

Why is this change important? The current law requiring a toll-free number will undoubtedly cause online-only businesses to incur increased costs, including the investment in additional technology and staff to support a toll-free number.

AB 1564 will save online-only businesses from incurring these costs, while helping to make it easier to comply with the CCPA requirements. If the Governor agrees, this change will take effect on January 1