Federal District Court decides that the CCPA does not limit discovery in Federal Court

2021 case review: Will Kaupelis v. Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”) went into effect on January 1, 2020, requiring the provision of certain notices, including that businesses inform consumers of their: (1) right to know, (2) right to delete, (3) right to opt out, (4) and right not to be discriminated against for exercising any rights the CCPA provides. In the class action case plaintiff Kaupelis sought discovery that included the personally identifiable information of persons that complained about defects in the chainsaw that was the subject of the action. The defendant resisted production of this information in reliance on the CCPA arguing that the CCPA expanded the privacy rights previously provided under California law and that the court should “protect the consumers’ PI by allowing consumers an opportunity to opt out from disclosure.” The Court noted that historically Courts engaged in a balancing test, balancing the need for the discovery against the privacy interests involved, and that the CCPA did not set aside that body of law. The court granted plaintiff’s motion to compel, stating that “[n]othing in the CCPA presents a bar to civil discovery. Notably, no other case has so held. And the statute itself explicitly says that it is not a restriction on a business’s ability to comply with federal law,” which would include the Federal Code of Civil Procedure provisions concerning discovery.