The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a piece of legislation that protects the privacy of Californians online and forces businesses to be more transparent about their data collection practices. It passed through the California State Assembly — basically the House of Representatives of California — and was signed into law by our previous governor, Jerry Brown, in 2018. So why are we only hearing about it now? Businesses were given until January 1, 2020 to get their practices in line with this new law.
To save you time from reading 24 pages of the legislation, here are some key features of the law that we think are important for you to know.
1. Not all businesses are affected
There are three kinds of businesses that the law applies to, with some businesses fitting more than one of the criteria. The first is businesses that make more than 25 million dollars a year. The second is businesses that have access to personal information of at least 50,000 individual consumers, households, or devices. Last but not least, the CCPA targets any and all businesses that are making at least half of all their money from selling people's personal information.
2. Spill the tea
Under the CCPA, you can ask businesses exactly what personal information the companies have of yours and how they collected it. Furthermore, you can now ask these businesses to delete your data.
3. Show me the receipts
Under the new law, individuals can now ask companies to disclose who they have sold their personal information to. People can also find out the “commercial purpose for collecting or selling personal information.”
4. Taking control of our data
Consumers in California can now “opt out” of having their personal information sold by businesses. In fact, the CCPA requires that businesses make this option clearly available to them. For minors, the law says “a business shall not sell the personal information” of anyone 16 years old or younger if the company has “actual knowledge” of the person’s age. If you’re under 13, they’ll need consent from a parent or guardian.
5. Beyond California
This law will impact people across the country — not just those in California. Since California is the most populous state in the United States, some companies like Microsoft have decided to apply CCPA reforms to residents of all states. Furthermore, the CCPA is having a ripple effect on other states like Nevada, which has already passed its own version of the CCPA, called SB 220.