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On July 13, the Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division, issued a compliance alert providing temporary relief from annual branch examination requirements. In light of the restrictions on travel caused by the pandemic, broker-dealers are not required to conduct an annual compliance examination in each branch office located in Indiana. However, a firm with the ability to conduct a remote branch examination during 2020 is encouraged to do so. Registrants are also reminded of their obligation to properly supervise agents and employees.
The California attorney general recently published a set of frequently asked questions providing general consumer information on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The CCPA—enacted in June 2018 (covered by a Buckley Special Alert) and amended several times—became effective January 1. Final proposed regulations were submitted by the AG last month as required under the CCPA’s July 1 statutory deadline (covered by InfoBytes here), and are currently with the California Office of Administrative Law for review. The FAQs—which will be updated periodically and do not serve as legal advice, regulatory guidance, or as an opinion of the AG—are intended to provide consumers guidance on exercising their rights under the CCPA.
- General CCPA information. The FAQs address consumer rights under the CCPA and reiterate that these rights apply only to California residents. This section also clarifies the definition of “personal information,” outlines businesses’ compliance thresholds, and states that the CCPA does not apply to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. The FAQs also remind consumers of their limited ability to sue businesses for CCPA violations and details the conditions that must be met before a consumer may sue a business for a data breach. The FAQs remind consumers that if they believe a business has violated the CCPA, they may file a complaint with the AG’s office.
- Right to opt-out of sale. The FAQs answer common questions related to consumers’ requests for businesses not to sell their personal information. The FAQs provide information on the steps for submitting opt-out requests, as well as explanations for why a business may deny an opt-out request. It also address circumstances where a consumer receives a response from a service provider that says it is not required to act on an opt-out request.
- Right to know. The FAQs discuss a consumer’s right to know what personal information is collected, used, shared, or sold, and clarifies what consumers should do to submit requests to know, how long a business may take to respond, and what steps should be taken if a business requests more information, denies a request to know, or claims to be a service provider that is not required to respond.
- Request to delete. The FAQs address several questions related to consumers’ right to delete personal information, including how to submit a request to delete, businesses’ responses to and denials of requests to delete, and why a debt collector may make an attempt to collect a debt or a credit reporting agency may provide credit information even after a request to delete has been made.
- Right to non-discrimination. Consumers are reminded that a business “cannot deny goods or services, charge. . .a different price, or provide a different level or quality of goods or services just because [a consumer] exercised [his or her] rights under the CCPA.”
- Data brokers. The FAQs set forth the definition of a data broker under California law and outline steps for consumers interested in finding data brokers that collect and sell personal information, as well as measures consumers can take to opt-out of the sale of certain personal information.
California Department of Business Oversight will monitor licensees’ compliance with face covering guidance
The California Department of Business Oversight announced that it will monitor licensees’ compliance with face covering guidance issued by the California governor and the California Department of Public Health. All customers must be required to wear appropriate face coverings under circumstances outlined in the guidance, and those who refuse to comply and do not meet the outlined exemptions should be refused entry to banks, credit unions, and other places of business.
Minnesota Commerce Department issues guidance related to temporary resident insurance producer licenses
On July 10, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued Regulatory Guidance 20-34, which provides information relating to the issuance of temporary resident insurance producer licenses. The Minnesota Department of Commerce will issue temporary producer licenses to applicants who meet the requirements for resident licensure under Minnesota law without requiring examination or the submission of fingerprints, subject to conditions set forth in the guidance. To apply for the license, the sponsoring insurer or agency must submit the application on behalf of the temporary producer licensee. The license will be valid for 180 days, it may not be renewed or reinstated if it lapses, and it may not be converted to a regular producer license.
On July 10, the Oklahoma governor issued a second amended Executive Order 2020-20 extending the state of emergency. Among other things, the order extends all occupational licenses issued by an agency, board, or commission of Oklahoma that expire during the state of emergency until 14 days following the withdrawal or termination of the order.
Michigan regulator announces that annual regulatory assessment invoices have been emailed to insurers
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that, in light of many offices working remotely during the Covid-19 outbreak, it has emailed invoices for annual regulatory assessments to licensed insurance companies. Previously, these invoices were typically mailed. As such, all licensed insurers should have received their electronic invoices on or before June 30. DIFS encouraged insurers to use the its e-payment option to pay the invoice.
On July 6, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted preliminary approval to a nearly $6.8 million settlement between class members and a collection agency that allegedly violated the TCPA, FDCPA, and California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by making calls using an autodialer or prerecorded voice in an attempt to collect purported debts. The lead plaintiff filed a proposed class action suit in 2016 against the collection agency claiming he received at least 25 calls to his cell phone even though he never consented to receiving such calls in the first place and had instructed the collection agency to stop calling him.
According to the court’s order, the settlement consists of two sub-classes: (i) one class of individuals from anywhere in the U.S. who subscribed to call management applications and received automated calls from the defendant without providing the proper consent; and (ii) another class of individuals living in California who received automated calls from the defendant regarding their purported debts. The terms of the settlement provides for a $1.8 million cash fund and requires the forgiveness of nearly $5 million in outstanding debts for class members with existing accounts owned by either the collection agency or one of its affiliates.
On July 8, the Kansas governor issued Executive Order No. 20-55, which amends provisions in Kansas law related to drivers’ license and vehicle registration during the state of disaster emergency. Among other things, the executive order extends the deadline for new Kansas owners that have purchased a new or used motor vehicle on or after January 1, 2020, to make an application for vehicle transfer, certificate of title, and registration. The applicable deadline depends upon when the motor vehicle was purchased.
On July 7, the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner again extended its remote work guidance for mortgage companies, mortgage loan originators, supervised loan licenses, credit service organizations, money transmitters, and credit notification registrations, previously covered here. With the update, working from home is permitted through September 15.
On July 7, the mayor of D.C. signed D.C. Act 23-0332, which amends the Coronavirus Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, previously covered here, and certain other laws to, among other things, add provisions relating to emergency credit alerts. Under the amendments, a user of a credit report may not consider adverse information in a consumer report that was the result of an action or inaction by the consumer that occurred during, and was the direct or indirect result of, a public health emergency declared by the mayor, if the credit report includes an emergency credit alert.
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Fair servicing in wake of Covid-19" at an American Bar Association webinar
- APPROVED Webcast: Maximizing vendor value
- Daniel P. Stipano to discuss "Cram for the exam: Best prep strategies for a regulatory examination" at an ACAMS webinar
- Melissa Klimkiewicz to discuss "Flood insurance basics" at the NAFCU Virtual Regulatory Compliance School
- Sasha Leonhardt to discuss "Privacy laws clarified" at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3)
- Amanda R. Lawrence to discuss "New privacy legislation: Preparing for a major source of class action and enforcement activity going forward" at the American Conference Institute Consumer Finance Class Actions, Litigation & Government Enforcement Actions