Under the CCPA, can a conference organizer transfer personal information of attendees to sponsors?


Conference and event organizers often provide lists of conference attendees to third parties that sponsor (or exhibit at) the conference.  While nothing within the CCPA prohibits such information from being shared, the transfer of information may, or may not, be considered a “sale” depending upon the following factors:

  1. Did the sponsor or exhibitor provide consideration for the data? The CCPA defines “sale” to include the disclosure of personal information by one business to another “for monetary or other valuable consideration.”1  To the extent that the motivation of a business to sponsor a conference is not related to the receipt of personal information (e.g., brand recognition, speaking opportunities, etc.) they may be able to argue that the receipt of personal information was ancillary to their sponsorship and because such information was not the object of the consideration provided, consideration was not tendered for it.
  2. Did the sponsor or exhibitor obtain the consent of the attendees to have their information shared? The CCPA exempts from the definition of “sale” situations in which a consumer “directs the business to intentionally disclose personal information or uses the business to intentionally interact with a third party . . . .”2  As a result, if a conference organizer asks for, and obtains the consent or authorization of conference attendees to share their information with sponsors or exhibitors there would be a strong argument that the information was not sold.