The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state law that enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California.
It grants consumers six rights, like the right to know what personal information is being collected about them by businesses and others.
CCPA also requires businesses to provide notice of data collection practices. Consumers can choose to opt out of the sale of their data.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the scope of CCPA, the penalties for non-compliance and how our web analytics tool, Matomo, can help you create a CCPA-compliant framework.
What is the CCPA?
CCPA was implemented on January 1, 2020. It ensures that businesses securely handle individuals’ personal information and respect their privacy in the digital ecosystem.
CCPA addresses the growing concerns over privacy and data protection; 40% of US consumers share that they’re worried about digital privacy. With the increasing amount of personal information being collected and shared by businesses, there was a need to establish regulations to provide individuals with more control and transparency over their data.
CCPA aims to protect consumer privacy rights and promote greater accountability from businesses when handling personal information.
Scope of CCPA
The scope of CCPA includes for-profit businesses that collect personal information from California residents, regardless of where you run the business from.
It defines three thresholds that determine the inclusion criteria for businesses subject to CCPA regulations.
Businesses need to abide by CCPA if they meet any of the three options:
- Revenue threshold: Have an annual gross revenue of over $25 million.
- Consumer threshold: Businesses that purchase, sell or distribute the personal information of 100,000 or more consumers, households or devices.
- Data threshold: Businesses that earn at least half of their revenue annually from selling the personal information of California residents.
What are the six consumer rights under the CCPA?
Here’s a short description of the six consumer rights.
- Right to know: Under this right, you can ask a business to disclose specific personal information they collect about you and the categories of sources of the information. You can also know the purpose of collection and to which third-party the business will disclose this info. This allows consumers to understand what information is being held and how it is used. You can request this info for free twice a year.
- Right to delete: Consumers can request the deletion of their personal information. Companies must comply with some exceptions.
- Right to opt-out: Consumers can deny the sale of their personal information. Companies must provide a link on their homepage for users to exercise this right. After you choose this, companies can’t sell your data unless you authorise them to do so later.
- Right to non-discrimination: Consumers cannot be discriminated against for exercising their CCPA rights. For instance, a company cannot charge different prices, provide a different quality of service or deny services.
- Right to correct: Consumers can request to correct inaccurate personal information.
- Right to limit use: Consumers can specify how they want the businesses to use their sensitive personal information. This includes social security numbers, financial account details, precise geolocation data or genetic data. Consumers can direct businesses to use this sensitive information only for specific purposes, such as providing the requested services.
Section 1798.155 of the CCPA states that any business that doesn’t comply with CCPA’s terms can face penalties based on the consumer’s private right to action. Consumers can directly take the company to the civil court and don’t need prosecutors’ interventions.
Businesses get a chance of 30 days to make amends for their actions.
If that’s also not possible, the business may receive a civil penalty of up to $2,500 per violation. Violations can be of any kind, even accidental. An intentional violation can attract a fine of $7,500.
Consumers can also initiate private lawsuits to claim damages that range from $100 to $750, or actual damages (whichever is higher), for each occurrence of their unredacted and unencrypted data being breached on a business’s server.
CCPA vs. GDPR
Both CCPA and GDPR aim to enhance individuals’ control over their personal information and provide transparency about how their data is collected, used and shared. The comparison between the CCPA and GDPR is crucial in understanding the regulatory framework of data protection laws.
Here’s how CCPA and GDPR differ:
- CCPA is for businesses that meet specific criteria and collect personal information from California residents.
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies to businesses that process the personal data of citizens and residents of the European Union.
Definition of personal information
- CCPA includes personal information broadly, including identifiers such as IP addresses and households. Examples include name, email id, location and browsing history. However, it excludes HIPAA-protected medical data, clinical trial data and other personal information from government records.
- GDPR covers any personal data relating to an identified or identifiable individual, excluding households. Examples include the phone number, email address and personal identification number. It excludes anonymous and deceased person’s data.
- Under the CCPA, consumers can opt out of the sale of their personal information.
- GDPR states that organisations should obtain explicit consent from individuals for processing their personal data.
- CCPA grants the right to know what personal information is being collected and the right to request deletion of their personal information.
- GDPR also gives individuals various rights, such as the right to access and rectify their personal data, the right to erasure (also known as the right to be forgotten) and also the right to data portability.
- For CCPA, businesses may have to pay $7,500 for each violation.
- GDPR has stricter penalties for non-compliance, with fines of up to 4% of the global annual revenue of a company or €20 million, whichever is higher.
A 5-step CCPA compliance framework
Here’s a simple framework you can follow to ensure compliance with CCPA. Alongside this, we’ll also share how Matomo can help.
Matomo is an open-source web analytics platform trusted by organisations like the United Nations, NASA and more. It provides valuable insights into website traffic, visitor behaviour and marketing effectiveness. More than 1 million websites and apps (approximately 1% of the internet!) use our solution, and it’s available in 50+ languages. Below, we’ll share how you can use Matomo to be CCPA compliant.
1. Assess data
First, familiarise yourself with the California Consumer Privacy Act and check your eligibility for CCPA compliance.
For example, as mentioned earlier, one threshold is: purchases, receives or sells the personal data of 100,000 or more individuals or households.
But how do you know if you have crossed 100K? With Matomo!
Go to last year’s calendar, select visitors, then go to locations and under the “Region” option, check for California. If you’ve crossed 100K visitors, you know you have to become CCPA compliant.
Identify and assess the personal information you collect with Matomo.
2. Evaluate privacy practices
Review the current state of your privacy policies and practices. Conduct a thorough assessment of data sharing and third-party agreements. Then, update policies and procedures to align with CCPA requirements.
For example, you can anonymise IP addresses with Matomo to ensure that user data collected for web analytics purposes cannot be used to trace back to specific individuals.
If you have a consent management solution to honour user requests for data privacy, you can also integrate Matomo with it.
Inform consumers about their CCPA rights and how you handle their data.
Establish procedures for handling consumer requests and obtaining consent. For example, you can add an opt-out form on your website with Matomo. Or you can also use Matomo to disable cookies from your website.
Documenting your compliance efforts, including consumer requests and how you responded to them, is a good idea. Finally, educate staff on CCPA compliance and their responsibilities to work collaboratively.
4. Review vendor contracts
Assessing vendor contracts allows you to determine if they include necessary data processing agreements. You can also identify if vendors are sharing personal information with third parties, which could pose a compliance risk. Verify if vendors have adequate security measures in place to protect the personal data they handle.
That’s why you can review and update agreements to include provisions for data protection, privacy and CCPA requirements.
Establish procedures to monitor and review vendor compliance with CCPA regularly. This may include conducting audits, requesting certifications and implementing controls to mitigate risks associated with vendors handling personal data.
5. Engage legal counsel
Consider consulting with legal counsel to ensure complete understanding and compliance with CCPA regulations.
Finally, stay updated on any changes or developments related to CCPA and adjust your compliance efforts accordingly.
Matomo and CCPA compliance
There’s an increasing emphasis on privacy regulations like CCPA. Matomo offers a robust solution that allows businesses to be CCPA-compliant without sacrificing the ability to track and analyse crucial data.
You can gain in-depth insights into user behaviour and website performance — all while prioritising data protection and privacy.
We are not lawyers and don’t claim to be. The information provided here is to help give an introduction to CCPA. We encourage every business and website to take data privacy seriously and discuss these issues with your lawyer if you have any concerns.