California Consumer Privacy Act: What Your Business Needs to Know

ccpa data privacy graphic

January 21, 2020

On January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect, giving California residents the right to learn what data companies collect about them and allowing them to ask companies to delete their data and not to sell it. Like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it promotes data privacy. See what your business needs to know about the CCPA.

1. It covers many types of data.

CCPA protects personal data like your name, username, password, phone number, and physical address. Additionally, it covers the information used by companies to track your online behavior like IP address, browsing history, location, and device. Also protected is your race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, status as a military member or veteran, and your biometric information such as fingerprints or facial recognition data.
However, data found in public government documents are excluded from the law which means companies can still learn if you're married or own a home, for example, but that data must be directly collected from government records, not other sources.

2. You can have companies delete your data.

Major tech companies, like Facebook and Google, already let you delete some or all of their data about you from their systems. However, it’s not always straightforward due to anonymized data.

3. Anonymized data is allowed.

CCPA allows companies to use anonymized data but requires separating your identity from the information to prevent a person from being identified. For example, Facebook lets users "disconnect" the data collection of their web browsing, but the data isn’t completely gone. Facebook anonymizes it by disassociating your name and profile from the data, then combines the data with other people's to monitor broader trends.

4. There are fines for violations.

Businesses can be fined $2,500 per violation or $7,500 if the violation is found to be intentional. The California attorney general is in charge of investigating companies suspected of violating the law. While California’s government isn’t yet equipped to fully enforce the law, users are able to sue non-compliant companies directly.

5. You can still use free services, even when you ask companies not to collect your data.

Companies can't refuse service to users that opt-out of the sale of their data, however, companies are allowed to give a stripped-down version of their offerings if you go this route. If companies want to charge users who opt-out of the sale of their data, CCPA says that they have to disclose how much a user's data is worth.

6. Residents outside of California can be affected.

If you live outside of California, you may not be able to opt-out of the sale of their data or ask companies to delete your data, but there are other ways the CCPA can affect you. For example, many companies are extending some of these rights to everyone to ensure they don’t violate the law by mistake. In addition, there are other states and federal lawmakers that are considering similar privacy legislation.

7. It’s not as strict as the GDPR.

The GDPR regulates how companies collect personal information like the CCPA but it has stricter rules on data collection. For instance, the GDPR requires companies to get consent from users to collect data and minimize data collection whereas the CCPA doesn't require companies to go through these steps.

Digital Marketing That Protects Privacy

The CCPA, GDPR, and similar legislation weren’t created to keep businesses from communicating with their customers. Data privacy actually benefits businesses by improving consumer trust in companies and protecting all of us from predatory businesses and hackers. Let Sales & Marketing Technologies help your business create a data-driven marketing strategy that won’t compromise privacy. Call our office at 407-682-2222 or message us below to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session.

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