June 19, 2020

The Essential Steps to CCPA Compliance

The California Consumers Protection Act (CCPA) preserves the personal data of people living in the Golden State.

In our hyper-connected digital age, consumers have more autonomy over their information rights than ever before—and as a business, it's your duty to comply.

The CCPA, in particular, outlines a stringent set of guidelines designed to protect Californian consumer data and a failure to comply carries costly penalties.

Niche or sector aside, if you're a business that sells goods or services to Californian consumers or you work with a business that does, the CCPA applies to you.

To help you in your quest for CCPA compliance success, here are some things you should know.

The essential steps to CCPA compliance

CCPA compliance is an individual journey—every organization is different, after all—but, there are steps you can take to ensure success:

1. Understand how the CCPA applies to you

To be compliant, understanding how the CCPA applies to you is essential. To lay solid foundations for your CCPA compliance efforts, you should analyze the official act and understand your role in Californian data protection.

Our introductory guide (**add a link to first CCPA article**) will also help you gain a better understanding of how the CCPA applies to you.

2. Map your consumer data

Once you know how the CCPA applies to your business, you’ll be able to drill down into the data you collect from Californian consumers and visualize (map out) how you collect it.

Since January 2020, consumers now have the right to ask how you collect and store their data—so having an answer is vital. Here’s what your data map should cover:

  • What personal data do you collect?
  • How do you collect it? What are your methods?
  • Where and how do you store data?
  • Do you share Californian consumer data? Who do share it with and why?

3. Update your privacy disclosure messaging

Once you’ve examined the CCPA and mapped your data collection activities, you should use this information to fine-tune and update your privacy disclosure messaging, and publish the new version on your website as soon as you can.

Also, it’s important that you offer consumers the clearcut choice to opt-out of having their personal information collected. This opt-out option must be clear (do not hide it somewhere discreet on your website).

4. Create a consumer data request strategy & train your team

If a consumer requests information on your data collection initiatives, the CCPA states that you must provide a comprehensive answer within 45 days, without charge.

That said, you should collaborate with trusted colleagues to develop a request fulfilment solution that covers queries including explanations concerning your data collection activities, requests for personal information, the deletion of data, and any other points outlined within the document.

With your CCPA initiatives in place, you should take the time to train everyone in the business to understand their role in data privacy compliance as well as their role in the new request strategy.

5. Update your software and internal systems

With your new methods and procedures in place, you should update your systems and software.

Some upgrades and changes may take months to complete, so you should make your technical requests as soon as possible to get the wheels in motion.

Issuing upgrades and updates as soon as you can will also fortify your business against any potential data breaches—which in The Age of Information, is paramount.

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