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PHOTO: Robert Bye

GDPR was last year’s news. This year is all about preparing for the numerous state laws that are being enacted throughout the US, including, of course, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), whose deadline for enforcement is quickly approaching. If you don’t know what CCPA is, or think the law is irrelevant to your business, you may well find yourself in violation when enforcement begins on Jan. 1, 2020. Even tech giants like Apple have recognized the far-reaching implications of this new legislation, as evidenced by its recent announcement of new developer standards that go beyond what CCPA requires, potentially banning all data collection and advertising on apps aimed at children. 

There’s a lot of confusion around CCPA among brands and marketers, but it’s essential to understand the implications of this legislation and what it means for the future of marketing. This major new law is poised to disrupt the way that companies interact with their customers—whether or not a given brand is based in California. To help you prepare, let’s walk through four key things to know about CCPA.

Related Article: Where 8 US States Stand on Consumer Data Privacy Laws

1. What Is CCPA?

Following a number of data-related scandals and perceptions that the misuse of personal information was harming California residents, the California legislature passed  CCPA on June 28, 2018, with the intention of targeting the vast quantities of data handled by social media companies, data brokers, and online behavioral advertisers, among others.

2. What Does CCPA Require of the Companies it Applies to?

Under the law, affected companies must provide detailed disclosures regarding the personal information they have collected, sold and disclosed in the last twelve months, as well as provide assurances that California residents have disclosure, access and opt-out rights around their data. Companies also have to reveal the categories of personal information being collected and the purposes associated with each category. The law defines “selling” data very broadly (and includes the sharing of data) and requires any business that “sells” personal information to include a prominently displayed link on their website allowing individuals to opt-out of the sale of such personal information. 

Related Article: Alphabet Soup: Clarifying GDPR/CCPA and What You Can Do to Prepare

3. Who Will CCPA Apply To?

Under CCPA, California residents have the right to know who is collecting personal information about them and what is being done with that information. They also have the right to access that information and have it deleted, to opt-out of the sale of their personal information to other companies, and to exercise all these rights without discrimination. The law applies to all entities that collect personal information about California residents, do business in the state, and meet certain size thresholds. CCPA will apply to most major nationwide brands.

4. How Does CCPA’s Treatment of Children Differ From How it Treats Adults?

While adults are allowed to opt-out of having their data collected under CCPA, personal information can only be collected from children between the ages of 13 and 16 with express consent. The rules are even stricter for younger children: For children under the age of 12, explicit parental consent is required to collect any personal information associated with the child in question. The US is generally seen as an opt-out jurisdiction, with the EU being an opt-in jurisdiction. The CCPA changes this for the personal information of children — a huge shift in approach, and a sign of an emerging trend we expect to see become more prevalent in the near future.

We’re already seeing brands like Apple react to these upcoming restrictions by implementing new policies that may ban the collection of data on apps aimed at children. It's only a matter of time until more brands get on board. 

Related Article: Why California's New Privacy Law Signals a Major Shift in the Privacy Landscape

The Way Forward

We’re already seeing the impact of CCPA. While Apple has not yet clarified how it intends to enforce the new rules, anyone reading the text of CCPA is likely to see the writing on the wall: Consumers throughout the world expect control over their personal data, and they expect to be able to exercise that control across borders, devices, and platforms.

Today’s consumers have choices and will reward thoughtfulness and transparency. As we race toward CCPA deadline, brands that embrace this new privacy protocol and internalize its underlying principles by clearly disclosing the data they collect (and how they use it) are demonstrating that they’re focused on providing a customer experience that aligns with what consumers want.