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California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect January 1, 2020. Is your business ready for CCPA compliance?

TIP: Many businesses have spent the last 18 to 24 months working on their data governance and privacy programs to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in May 2018. If you're one of those businesses, a lot of the work you've already done to achieve GDPR compliance will help you with CCPA law, but there are some important differences which I explain in this article.

What is CCPA?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) defines personal information as "information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household." This definition is broader than GDPR's definition of personal information, which is limited to information related to "identified or identifiable living persons."

WARNING: As of this writing, CCPA requirements have has not been finalized and will likely be amended before the final version is adopted. Go to the official CCPA website located at https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa to read the latest updates to CCPA law.

Does CCPA apply to my company?

CCPA applies to any for-profit business (and any entity that controls or is controlled by a business and shares common branding such as a shared name, servicemark, or trademark with the business) that does business in the State of California and meets one or more of the following thresholds:

Has annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million

Buys, receives, sells, or shares personal information for commercial purposes of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices annually

Receives half or more of its annual revenues from selling consumers' personal information

Guidelines for CCPA Compliance

If you are asking, we are GDPR-compliant, does it mean that we are CCPA-compliant as well? Like GDPR, which defines specific rights of data subjects, CCPA defines specific rights of California consumers, including:

The right to access specific personal information that is collected about the consumer, but limited to data collected in the past 12 months.

The right to be notified about the types of information and the purposes for which the information will be used, before or when the information is collected. Requirements for privacy policies and notices under CCPA are less detailed than for GDPR, but there are specific requirements for where notices must be placed on websites and how notices are to be received by consumers.

The right to request a copy of the personal information that is collected in a portable and easily readable format. However, businesses are only required to provide personal information to a consumer no more than twice in a 12-month period.

The right to be forgotten (with broader exceptions than those provided under GDPR)

The right to restrict processing ("opt-out") of personal information subject to some limitations. Consumers have the right to opt-out of the disclosure or sale of their personal information (subject to some limitations), and businesses must conspicuously display an opt-out link (and toll-free phone number) on their website. More prescriptive guidance is expected in this area, and some or all of the following are widely anticipated:

Where and how an opt-out link or button must be displayed on a website

A mandatory, uniform opt-out logo or button that consumers can easily recognize

A web form that allows consumers to opt-out of some or all marketing promotions (such as email lists, loyalty programs, and so on) from the business

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