BBB National Programs Plans Verification Seal For California Privacy Law

BBB National Programs expects to soon offer verification seals to businesses that use compliance company SafeGuard Privacy's platform to self-certify their adherence to the California Privacy Rights Act.

The initiative, announced Tuesday, will launch after California finalizes the Privacy Rights Act regulations, according to Dona Fraser, senior vice president for privacy initiatives at BBB National Programs. California regulators are expected to finalize the rules later this year.

SafeGuard Privacy offers tools that aim to assist companies in determining whether they comply with various privacy laws. The new initiative of SafeGuard Privacy and the BBB National Programs will enable SafeGuard Privacy's users to ask BBB National Programs to verify compliance with California's law.

Fraser says the BBB National Programs plans to visit the websites of companies seeking verification, and double-check their answers to responses to key questions posted by SafeGuard Privacy's interactive tool, in order to determine whether the companies appear to be following the law. Fraser adds that the partnership could be extended to other states in the future. 

SafeGuard Privacy users that want to obtain verification from the BBB National Programs will be charged an additional fee, based on revenue. The amount hasn't yet been finalized. 

The California Privacy Rights Act, which took effect this year, broadens the state's Consumer Privacy Act. Taken together, the two measures give consumers the right to learn what information about them has been collected, request its deletion, and to opt out of the sharing of their information for purposes including online behavioral advertising.

The final regulations are expected to specify that companies must honor opt-out signals -- such as browser commands -- as opposed to requiring consumers to opt out of data sharing on a company-by-company basis.

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