Updates to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) And How It May Affect You

It was announced that California will be making updates to its Consumer Privacy Act, making big changes that will affect both businesses and consumers alike. It means big things for tech giants like Facebook and Google. But how exactly will it affect those of us on the smaller tier of the business world? Here are some explanations, in simple English terms, that will clear things up for us. 

Business Will No Longer Be Able To Save Customer Data Without Consent

This is huge, particularly for consumers. It means that businesses now have to be more open about what they do with collected customer data. Similar to Europe’s GDPR law, if a consumer requests to know exactly what data has been collected from them and what the business plans to do with it, the business has to disclose that information. Better yet, if the consumer then requests to have that data destroyed and declines to have their data shared with third parties, the businesses have to comply. This is a big win for consumers and comes on the back on major scandals such as the Target and Equifax data hacks and the Facebook Cambridge Analytics scandal. 

Which Businesses Will Be Affected

Mostly big tech giants and bigger, multi-million dollar companies. The specific outline of the law states that ‘companies with more than $25 million in gross revenue, businesses with data on more than 50,000 consumers, and firms that make more than 50% of their revenue selling consumer data’ are subject to compliance with the law. 

How Will It Affect Businesses. 

It mostly means a big headache in terms of redefining the business’s privacy policy and figuring out what data they have stored on each of their customers. However, there are big secondary problems that may be posed, particularly for people who advertise on Google and Facebook. As Google and Facebook heavily rely on storing user data for targeted advertising, they will now need to relook at their business model and potentially make big changes. This can affect businesses relying on Google and Facebook’s targetted advertising abilities – and may mean that advertising may not be as personalized and intent-based as it previously was. 

But If It’s Only California, Why Would It Affect Me?

Yes, you’re right. Technically this is only applicable to business operating out of California. However, the state also covers out-of-state and even out-of-country businesses who are selling to Californians or are displaying a website in California. As California is the 5th biggest economy in the United States, it would be stupid to step away from this state or create websites and policies specific to this state alone. This means that most companies will have no choice but to adapt their overall policies to match the CCPA. 

In essence, the CCPA creates a substantial problem for those businesses that rely on consumer data for their business or for advertising. The law is similar to Europe’s GDPR and can mean big changes for both small and big businesses alike.