The Ethyca Data Privacy Glossary

🔎 Keep Searching Or Return Home.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

James Shelly
by James Shelly

The CCPA is the state of California’s data privacy law. It marks a milestone in US privacy regulation in the same way that GDPR did for Europe. In short, it's a game-changer. For a quick primer on why it could matter for your business, check out the video below.





Does the CCPA apply to my business?

For any company coming to grips with the CCPA, the first step is figuring out if you're affected. The CCPA applies to for-profit businesses who have operations in California and...

  • have at least $25 million in annual gross revenues.
  • buy, sell, share and/or receive the personal information of at least 50,000 California consumers, households, or devices per year.
  • derive at least 50% of annual revenue from selling California consumers’ personal information.

Let's say you fall under one or more of these categories. What then? Well, under the CCPA there are a few key tasks businesses must be able to perform.

What are the capabilities required by the CCPA?

The CCPA is a dense document and it's easy to get lost in the weeds on just about every requirement it contains. So for now, let's just look at the most important public-facing capabilities a business needs to be CCPA-compliant:


Subject Access Requests

Just like GDPR, the CCPA requires a business to be able to do certain privacy tasks. One of the most important is retrieving a user's data if they request it. This is called a Subject Access Request, but you can see this abbreviated as DSR, DSAR, or SAR.

Consumers must be provided their data in a "readily usable" format. This can mean a PDF, styled template, or other easy-to-use file. But it can't just be a data dump that would be unintelligible to the average user.

Under CCPA law, a company has 45 days to respond to a user who requests to access their data.

"Do Not Sell My Data"

This CCPA feature has gotten a lot of publicity. That's partly because it doesn't have a clear parallel in GDPR, and also because it's highly visible. The "Do Not Sell My Data" requirement boils down to a few key actions:

  1. There must be a page called Do Not Sell My Personal Information on the company website that lets consumers opt-out of the sale of personal information. 
  2. The homepage must feature a link to this page.
  3. Users must be able to make this request without needing to create an account.
  4. The company privacy policy must describe these rights and also link to the Do Not Sell My Personal Information page.

Right to Erasure

The last major capability required by the CCPA is erasure. That's a fancy way of saying "delete." If a consumer requests it, a business must be able to fully delete their data record across all company properties.

This can be a challenge for businesses operating at scale. They might have 10, 20, or 100 different systems containing customer records. They need a way to scrub specific data from all these different systems, and the process needs to be efficient.

That's just one area where providers like Ethyca are stepping in to make it easier for companies to comply with the CCPA.

What are the first steps to becoming CCPA-compliant?

The CCPA came into law on January 1, 2020 but it has already shaken up US data privacy in a major way. If this is the first time your business is thinking deeply about the topic of data privacy, it can be intimidating. But there are a few simple steps any business can take easily while they consider deeper privacy-related changes.

Ethyca has produced a 9 Step Guide that any small business can use to take the first steps towards CCPA compliance. Complete the simple form below to instantly receive the guide in your inbox.



Additional Modifications to the CCPA

Federal US Privacy Laws