California really knows how to kick off a new decade.
On Jan. 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will go into effect. CCPA is the most expansive data protection law to be enacted in the United States since its older sibling, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), came into effect in the European Union last year.
When GDPR became effective in May 2018, it easily became the most arduous set of data privacy requirements to be put into place. Essentially, the CCPA is the less-strict little sister to GDPR with provisions and privacy obligations similar to those of GDPR.
Whether you’re a small Shopify merchant or a large enterprise, ignoring CCPA (or GDPR for that matter) requirements isn’t wise.
The good news is if you prepared for GDPR, you won’t have to start over to be in compliance with CCPA. That being said, you won’t have all of the bases covered if you’re relying on your measures taken to prepare for GDPR to ensure your compliance with CCPA.
Here’s what you need to know about the similarities and differences between the two sets of privacy laws.
Before we jump in on what you need to know, we need to include one incredibly important detail (aka disclaimer): We are not attorneys and this article is not intended to be legal advice and should not be used in place of seeking advice from your attorney.
1. What is CCPA anyway?
CCPA is a comprehensive data privacy law enacted in the U.S. CCPA applies to consumer protection and individual privacy rights of California residents. This law became effective on Jan. 1, 2020.
CCPA is focused on how California residents’ personal information (PI) is handled by businesses and other third parties. Section 1798.140 of CCPA defines personal information as:
“Information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could be reasonably linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.”
Examples of identifiers and data covered by CCPA includes (but not limited to):
Unique personal identifier
Online IP address
Social Security number
Driver’s license number
Employment related data
Internet search and browsing history
2. Who is protected?
Simply put, CCPA protects consumer data of individuals who reside in California whereas GDPR applies to “data subjects” in the EU.
A business must still comply if they process the data of the consumers/data subjects located in the jurisdictions where these laws apply even if they don’t have a physical location in California or the EU.
One distinction with GDPR is that all businesses located in the EU must comply with GDPR. Under CCPA, businesses in CA must only comply with the CCPA if they meet one of the below criteria.
3. How are they applied?
CCPA applies to the collection and sale of PI. However, CCPA only applies if a company does business in California (an online presence counts!) and meets one of the following criteria:
More than 25 million USD in annual revenue
Annually purchases, receives, sells or shares, for commercial purposes, in combination or alone, the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households or devices
Derives more than half of its annual revenue from selling PI
CCPA does not apply to:
Health providers and insurers under HIPAA
Banks and financial institutions subject to GLBA
Credit reporting agencies under the FCRA
GDPR applies to the processing of PI data regardless of the company size of amount of annual revenue they generate.
4. What are the rights of a consumer/data subject?
Both CCPA and GDPR provide rights to view and access data collected by businesses, and businesses are required to, upon request, delete personal data (there are exceptions) and disclose details on how they handle/process PI.
Data access rights are not limited. There are no exceptions to a consumer’s right to access the data businesses store on them.
The right of a consumer only applies to the sale of data, not to the processing of data.
Consumers can request their data be deleted, with exceptions that include:
Retained for legal obligation
Complete a transaction
To fix errors in server logs, software programs or other data
The right to opt-out applies to the processing of personal data, regardless of the type of processing of the data. There are exceptions, similar to CCPA. We recommend speaking with your attorney on exception guidance.
Deletion of data is granted if it is no longer required for the original purpose it was collected.
5. What are the legal grounds for processing data?
CCPA does not list the legal purpose for the collection and selling of PI.
CCPA states that PI must be processed for the identified purpose, and businesses must obtain prior authorization from the consumer before processing. If the data collected is publicly available, then that information is not covered under CCPA.
However, under Article 6, GDPR does define and outline the legal purpose(s) that PI may be processed.
6. What are the ways an individual can contact and submit a data request?
CCPA requires two ways for a consumer to submit their request, such as:
GDPR only requires that data subjects be able to submit their data requests:
other electronic methods
7. How long do I have to respond to a CCPA request?
Under CCPA, companies have 45 days from receipt of a request to respond. The response deadline may be extended an additional 45 days.
GDPR requires a response within 30 days of receipt from the request with the ability to extend the response deadline an additional 60 days.
It is important to note that for both, a response needs to be sent by the initial response period, even if it is only informing the requestor that the response will be extended.
8. What period of data collected do I have to provide?
For CCPA, a business needs to disclose specific categories of data and the PI it has collected or sold in the 12 months prior to the information request. Categories of data that must be shared with the consumer include:
PI collected about the consumer
Categories of sources from where the information was collected (such as a third party or directly from the individual)
The purpose of collecting or selling the information
Categories of third parties that the information may be shared with (the type of business/service)
The specific pieces of PI the business has collected on the consumer
With GDPR, there is no defined collection period. Meaning, a company that grants an information request will have to disclose, return or delete all data it has stored -- not just limited to the past 12 months.
9. What does CCPA mean for companies that do not need to comply with GDPR?
If a business does not meet one of the above-listed criteria (see No. 3), they are not required to directly comply with CCPA.
You’re off the hook, right? Not so fast.
Just because you may not be required to directly comply doesn’t mean there won’t be a need for you to comply in the future. It’s better to be prepared and understand what is required by privacy requirements than to be surprised by them in the future.
10. Can I use Lucky Orange and be CCPA compliant?
Out of the box, Lucky Orange anonymizes keystroke data. Characters within form fields are replaced with an asterisk before any data is sent. Reducing the collection of PI and sensitive data means less risk for all parties.
Also, Lucky Orange users can enable text scrambling to keep sensitive data from being accidentally sent to our servers. Neither you nor Lucky Orange receives any personal or sensitive data in the transmission process.
Lucky Orange customers have access to our security tool that puts control of the collection of data into the hands of the site visitors. Our customer’s site visitors can view what data has been collected by the Lucky Orange service, and independently have the ability to delete any stored tracking history and prevent future tracking on the site visited and collection of data by the Lucky Orange service.
In addition to CCPA and GDPR compliance, Lucky Orange has an improved data management tool that puts data control in the hands of visitors. Click here to learn more or here to see it in action.
Have more questions for us about our CCPA or GDPR compliance? You can reach us at email@example.com with any compliance questions you may have.
Want to know more about Lucky Orange and GDPR? Click here to read our guide.
Cover photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash