Privacy FAQs: Can an independent contractor be considered a “service provider” under the CCPA?

May 14, 2019

The California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA") was enacted in early 2018 as a political compromise to stave off a poorly drafted, and plaintiff’s friendly ballot initiative.  Although the CCPA is scheduled to go into force in early 2020, there is a great deal of confusion regarding the requirements of the CCPA, including the degree to which it aligns with other privacy regulations such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

To help address that confusion, BCLP published the California Consumer Privacy Act Practical Guide, and is publishing a multi-part series that discusses the questions most frequently asked by clients concerning the CCPA.

Q. Can an independent contractor be considered a “service provider” under the CCPA?


The CCPA defines a “service provider” as being a “sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, association, or other legal entity that is organized or operated for the profit or financial benefit of its shareholders or other owners . . . .”1  Independent contractors are typically sole proprietors, although in some instances they may elect to create a limited liability company (LLC) or an S-corporation in order to help protect their personal assets from liability.  Regardless of the legal form that the independent contractor takes, they can technically be classified as a “service provider” if they meet the other restrictions imposed by the CCPA on that term.

1. CCPA, Section 1798.140(v).