Today I received this email:
From: Victor Coutand
Subject: Questions About CCPA Data Access Process for freeradical.zone
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Victor Coutand, and I am a resident of Nice, France. I have a few questions about your process for responding to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) data access requests:
- Would you process a CCPA data access request from me even though I am not a resident of California?
- Do you process CCPA data access requests via email, a website, or telephone? If via a website, what is the URL I should go to?
- What personal information do I have to submit for you to verify and process a CCPA data access request?
- What information do you provide in response to a CCPA data access request?
To be clear, I am not submitting a data access request at this time. My questions are about your process for when I do submit a request.
Thank you in advance for your answers to these questions. If there is a better contact for processing CCPA requests regarding freeradical.zone, I kindly ask that you forward my request to them.
I look forward to your reply without undue delay and at most within 45 days of this email, as required by Section 1798.130 of the California Civil Code.
Let’s get a couple of things straight, “Victor”:
- I don’t owe you a response, but consider this to be it.
- California’s Consumer Privacy Act is a terrific law, but it doesn’t apply to Free Radical:
- This isn’t a for-profit business.
- I definitely don’t have gross annual revenue of over $25 million.
- I don’t have personal information of over 50,000 Californians.
- I have zero revenue from selling Californians' personal information.
So here are your answers:
- Not applicable.
I like the CCPA. As a Californian, I think it’s a good law that helps protect my personal data. I believe that Free Radical and its related services meets and exceeds all CCPA requirements, and as a practical matter we don’t collect any information except what’s required to provide the services users sign up for. In short, I don’t want your personal information, I don’t have your personal information except for your email address and whatever you publicly share through this service, and I certainly don’t sell, trade, transfer, or in any way share whatever information I have with anyone else (except other fediverse servers as a part of normal operations).
It’s just that however great I think the CCPA is, I’m not subject to it. I know you’ve sent this message out to a lot of people, because my friends have been reporting that they received it, too. Including a thinly veiled legal threat in your first email to us makes me think either you’re a misguided jerk, or a scammer who would offer to let me “settle” some supposed legal violation with a stack of Amazon gift cards or such. Either way, now I’m responding to you this way so that other admins will know that you sent out a mass email and that they can also ignore it.
For any future inquiries, I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.
Update 2021-12-17: This is a human subject research study conducted Princeton University and Radboud University on unwitting persons. I verged on a panic attack for nothing. People who wasted money asking lawyers for their advice on this did it for nothing. How dare you, Princeton? I didn’t give you permission to experiment on me!
I followed Princeton’s online instructions to send this letter to their Research Integrity & Assurance department:
On December 10, 2021, I received an email from a researcher, Ross Teixeira (see https://privacystudy.cs.princeton.edu) that read as though I were about to be subject to legal processes over a small social network site I operate (https://freeradical.zone). I had a minor panic attack, literally, upon receipt, as I thought I was about to be sued. I wrote about this letter at https://blog.freeradical.zone/post/ccpa-scam-2021-12/ and discovered that many of my associates had received a similar letter.
At no time did I consent to participate in this human research study conducted by Princeton. I am beyond livid that I was subject to a stressful situation, and one that very easily could have caused me to hire a lawyer and incur legal costs. I demand to be removed from this study and others like it, and I strongly suggest that this study be halted immediately.
Note: I haven’t spoken to Teixeira or his supervisors, nor will I. I’m not confident that I could remain civil when talking to the person who inflicted this on me without my permission or knowledge.