California Consumer Privacy Act

Definition of California Consumer Privacy Act

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a data privacy law that was enacted in California in 2018. It aims to provide California residents with more control over their personal information collected by businesses. The CCPA grants rights to access, delete, and opt-out of the sale of their data, while requiring businesses to be transparent about their data collection and usage practices.


The phonetic spelling of the keyword “California Consumer Privacy Act” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:ˈkælɪˌfɔrniə kənˈsuːmər ˈpraɪvəsi ækt

Key Takeaways

  1. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants California residents the right to know what personal information is collected, accessed, or sold by businesses, with the ability to request deletion of the information.
  2. The CCPA requires businesses to obtain opt-in consent from consumers under 16 years of age before selling their personal information, and parents must provide consent for consumers under 13 years of age.
  3. Businesses covered under CCPA must provide transparency on data usage, respond to consumer requests on personal information disclosure, delete consumer data upon request, and must avoid price or service discrimination for consumers who exercise their CCPA rights.

Importance of California Consumer Privacy Act

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is an important technology term because it represents a significant milestone in data protection and privacy legislation in the United States.

Enacted in 2018 and effective from January 1, 2020, the CCPA grants California residents more control over their personal information collected by businesses, giving them the right to access, delete, or opt-out of the sale of their data.

This groundbreaking law has direct implications for technology companies operating in California, requiring them to comply with strict data management practices, implement new privacy disclosures, and offer consumers the ability to exercise their rights.

The Act also showcases increasing public awareness and concern about data privacy in an ever-growing digital world, potentially setting the stage for more comprehensive privacy laws across the United States in the future.


The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a groundbreaking piece of legislation enacted to protect the privacy rights of consumers residing in the state of California, recognizing the increasing significance of personal information in the digital era. The primary purpose of the CCPA is to provide Californians with greater control over the personal data that businesses collect, store, and use. In effect since January 1, 2020, the CCPA emphasizes the importance of transparency between businesses and consumers, along with setting strict guidelines on how businesses manage this sensitive information.

This law has broader implications as it influences not only businesses operating within California but also those that collect and process Californians’ data. Under the CCPA, consumers have the right to access, delete, and opt-out of the sale of their personal information, among other protections. In practice, these provisions empower Californians to request and understand the specifics of their data usage by businesses, such as the purpose of data collection and the types of third parties with whom their information might be shared.

In turn, the businesses that fall under the purview of the CCPA must abide by these regulations and provide timely responses to such requests. Additionally, the act mandates businesses to provide clear communication channels for consumers to exercise their rights, which could include toll-free numbers, email addresses, or opt-out links on their websites. Overall, the focus of the CCPA is to ensure that consumers are well-informed about their privacy rights and that businesses adhere to a high ethical standard when handling personal data.

Examples of California Consumer Privacy Act

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a data privacy law in California that went into effect on January 1,

It aims to protect the data privacy rights of California residents by giving them control over their personal information.

Company Compliance: In order to comply with the CCPA, a major telecommunications company, AT&T, enhanced its privacy policy and updated its website to include a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link. Through this link, California residents can manage their data preferences, request access to their data, delete their data, or opt-out of having their information sold to third parties.

California-based Mobile App: A California-based mobile game developer implemented the CCPA by updating their app’s privacy policy and adding tools within the app for users to manage their personal information. The developer ensured that California residents are able to request access to, delete, or opt-out of the sale of their personal data. The company also trained their staff to respond to consumer rights requests.

Educational Institution: A university in California updated its privacy policy to comply with CCPA by providing clear instructions on how students, faculty, and staff can submit requests to access or delete their personal information. In addition, the institution designated contact points, such as an online form or an email address, for users to submit objections and queries related to the use of their personal information. The university also revised its vendor contracts to ensure third parties are also compliant with the CCPA.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) FAQ

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a data privacy law that aims to give California residents greater control over their personal information. The law requires businesses to provide transparency about the personal information they collect, how it’s used, and with whom it’s shared.

Who is required to comply with CCPA?

CCPA regulations apply to businesses that operate in California, collect consumers’ personal information, and meet at least one of the following criteria: have gross annual revenues exceeding $25 million; buy, receive, sell, or share the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers or households for commercial purposes; or derive 50% or more of their annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information.

What rights do consumers have under the CCPA?

Under the CCPA, California residents have the following rights:
1. The right to know what personal information is being collected about them
2. The right to know if their personal information is being sold or shared, and with whom
3. The right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information
4. The right to access their personal information
5. The right to request deletion of their personal information
6. The right to equal service and price, even when exercising their privacy rights

What are the penalties for non-compliance with CCPA?

Non-compliance with the CCPA can result in penalties of up to $2,500 per unintentional violation or $7,500 per intentional violation. Additionally, the law allows California residents to sue businesses for data breaches that result from insufficient security practices, with damages ranging from $100 to $750 per incident, or the actual damages if they exceed this amount.

How do businesses comply with CCPA requirements?

To become CCPA-compliant, businesses must:
1. Update their privacy policies to include detailed information about consumers’ rights under the CCPA and how their personal information is collected, used, and shared
2. Implement processes for responding to consumer requests about their personal information
3. Set up a ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information’ link or mechanism for consumers to opt out of the sale of their information
4. Train employees on CCPA regulations and ensure they are aware of the company’s privacy practices
5. Establish safeguards to protect consumers’ personal information

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Privacy
  • Personal Information Protection
  • Consumer Rights
  • Data Access Requests
  • Privacy Regulations Compliance

Sources for More Information


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