The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect on January 1st, 2020! While it will grant California residents new rights regarding their personal information, it will also impose significant obligations on businesses that collect personal data. The CCPA applies to all types of for-profit business entities that meet any of the following three criteria: (1) the business has gross revenues in excess of $25 million; (2) the business annually buys, receives, sells, or shares the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents; or (3) the business derives 50% or more of its annual revenues from selling California residents' personal information.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
The big problem for most website operators is that the 50,000-consumer threshold is rather easy to overcome and could apply to many U.S. and foreign businesses! Your business does not have to be based in California or have a physical location in California. If your business only collects the IP address data of 50,000 or more California residents each year, the CCPA will apply. In fact, it only takes an average of 137 IP addresses per day from California residents to reach the 50,000 California consumer threshold! That can happen quickly for websites with significant traffic.
The new law broadly defines personal information to encompass "information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household." This means that it includes not only the usual personally identifiable information categories such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and driver's license numbers, but it also additional categories such as IP addresses, purchasing or consuming histories, browsing history, and information regarding a consumer's interaction with a website.
In order to avoid potential fines and penalties, businesses should carefully determine whether the CCPA applies under the thresholds and, if so, get into compliance quickly!
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF IF I OPERATE A WEBSITE?
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