California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced a settlement with Houzz Inc., a home design website, over allegations that the company failed to notify individuals that it was recording their phone calls with the company.1 While the settlement included the payment of $175,000 in penalties and fees, it also included the surprising requirement that Houzz appoint a “Chief Privacy Officer” or similar employee responsible for privacy compliance at the company. This settlement is the first time a U.S. privacy regulator has specifically included such a requirement in a privacy settlement, and it signals the importance to the California Attorney General of companies having executive management oversight for a privacy program.
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