What is California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Protecting consumers’ rights is tantamount to empowering them to control their personal information. In today’s digital age, when data collection is becoming a common practice, laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are more vital than ever before. In this article, we will explain the CCPA, its specifics, and why it plays a crucial part in protecting California consumers’ privacy rights.

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, is a landmark state statute that focuses on data privacy. It was passed in 2018 in California to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for its residents.

The CCPA applies to businesses that meet certain criteria. These criteria include businesses that exceed a dictated threshold for data collection or generate a set annual revenue. If they do business with a covered company, all California residents are covered by the law.

A brief history of CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act was initially proposed as a ballot proposition by Californians for Consumer Privacy, a group advocating for consumers’ privacy rights. However, a deal was reached between Californians for Consumer Privacy and the California State Legislature.

This deal resulted in the withdrawal of the ballot proposition in exchange for the legislature passing a similar bill. This deal resulted in the withdrawal of the ballot proposition in exchange for the legislature passing a similar bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 375. AB 375 was ultimately signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in June 2018, becoming the CCPA we know today.

The CCPA was enacted on January 1, 2020. In the same year, California voters approved Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which amends and expands upon the CCPA, enhancing existing data privacy laws by granting consumers increased control over their personal data and creating the California Privacy Protection Agency. A majority of voters approved it.

The rights provided by CCPA

The CCPA protects consumers by granting them rights to the following:

  • The right to know what data is collected

The CCPA gives the people it covers the right to know what specific data a company they’re doing business with is collecting.

  • The right to know if their data is sold or distributed

The CCPA enforces strict compliance that businesses should follow when informing customers whether their data is being sold or disclosed to other parties.

  • The right to prevent companies from selling your data

Consumers protected by the CCPA are granted the right to refuse companies’ sale of their personal data to third parties.

  • The right to access your personal data

The CCPA grants rights to consumers to request copies of specific data a company they’ve done business with holds about them. Businesses are required to submit to this request by consumers.

  • The right to request the deletion of your personal data

The California Consumer Privacy Act gives consumers the right to request deletion of their personal data under certain circumstances.

  • Protection from being discriminated against for exercising your CCPA rights

Companies are not allowed to discriminate against consumers because they are exercising their rights dictated by the CCPA. Discriminatory acts by businesses may include denial of services, charging differently, reducing the quality level of service, and more.

Who must comply with CCPA?

All businesses in California that are for-profit and collect consumers’ personal data are required to comply with the CCPA as long as they meet one of these specific thresholds:

  • Businesses with an annual gross revenue exceeding $25 million
  • Businesses that buy, sell, or share data of 50,000 or more California consumers or households annually
  • Businesses that drive revenue of more than 50% from selling consumers personal information

There are some exceptions to CCPA, such as nonprofits, government agencies, some credit reporting bureaus, and businesses already covered by other privacy laws.

CCPA and its importance in the digital world

The California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA is a law that empowers consumers to take control over their personal data that companies they do businesses with collect from them. This state statute was enacted to protect consumers from having their information used in a way that may harm them. In this day and age of digitization and the abundance of data collection, CCPA is in place to regulate and ensure that businesses comply with responsible data practices.

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