California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

By: Joshua B. Swigart

How Does California Protect My Privacy?

It seems like not a day goes by without news of a company data breach, or consumers are notified their personal data may have been compromised by a company they did business with at some point. The California Legislature took action to curb these data breaches when it passed Assembly Bill (AB) 375 in June 2018. That bill created the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a state statue designed to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection, which went into effect January 1, 2020. Let’s look at the CCPA and what it means for California consumers and their privacy.

How Does CCPA Protect the Consumer?

Under the new law, California consumers have the right to know what personal data is being collected about them, and know if a company is giving that data to a third party. CCPA also allows consumers to opt out of having their personal data shared, as well as the right to access their data. Consumers can also ask the company to delete their personal information that was collected, and not be discriminated against for requesting that.

The new California privacy regulations apply to any for-profit company that does business in California, and either has annual gross revenues of more than $25 million, or buys and sells personal information for more than 50,000 individuals.

Consumers are allowed to request of a company, large or small, all the information that is saved on them. Consumers are also allowed to see a list of all the third parties with which the company shared their data. Individuals are allowed to use companies if privacy guidelines are violated, regardless of whether a privacy breach has occurred. The company has 45 days to provide a report back to the consumer about what type of information they have, if it was sold was it sold, and who received it.

If unauthorized access of data occurs, the consumer is entitled to penalties. The penalty amounts can range from $100 to $750 per consumer for each breach, or actual damages incurred by the breach.

What is Considered Personal Data Under CCPA?

CCPA classifies personal data as any of the following: