California is the first USA state to pass a consumer privacy law. The CCPA act can even affect businesses that don’t have a physical location in California. It is also pushing other states to pass similar laws for their citizens. Congress might also pass a national law. Your organization should first check if it is covered by the CCPA. If you are covered by the CCPA, then you should improve your data security. In this article, we are going to share some steps which will help you in complying with CCPA in 2022.
What is CCPA?
The CCPA is a data privacy law. It regulates how businesses can access or handle the personal data of California residents. The law was enforced on January 1, 2020. CCPA is the first privacy law in the United States. More states are now working on their own data privacy laws.
CCPA is applicable to businesses that are selling the Personal data of more than 50000 California residents. If your business is making more than $25 million every year, then this law is applicable to your business. Also, if your business is deriving more than 50% of revenue by selling personal data, then this law is applicable to your business. The fines can go up to $7500 per violation and you might need to pay $750 per affected user. You can avoid these violations by ensuring that you are CCPA compliant.
Companies were always forced to protect their customer data. However, they were not held responsible for what they did with the data that they are collecting. They were sharing their personal data with other companies. Consumers wanted more control over their data. CCPA gives more visibility and power to the customers. They have the ability to access and control the data.
Guide to CCPA Compliance
You should follow the best practices if you want to be CCPA compliant. These practices will ensure that you will stay compliant. Some of these practices are:
Know how this privacy law will affect your business
The CCPA will protect any person who is living in California. CCPA ensures that California consumers have the right to know how companies are using their personal data. They also have the right to know which data companies are collecting. If California consumers don’t want to share their data, then they can ask companies to remove their data.
California residents can also sue if their data gets leaked in an information breach. Organizations that are collecting personal data of their customers should follow these laws. If you are providing services or products in California, then you need to follow this law. The CCPA is also applicable to organizations that fulfill any of these criteria:
- Their 50% of yearly revenue comes from selling personal data.
- The gross revenue of the business is over $25 million.
- They are collecting more than 50000 users’ personal data.
You should first understand if the CCPA is applicable to your business. If it is applicable to your business, then you should ensure that you are properly following it.
Map your consumer data
If you want to follow CCPA regulations, then you should start by mapping all the personal data that you are storing. You should first check the personal data that you are collecting. Also, you should know how you are collecting this data. You might be collecting this data through forms or by tracking your customer actions. Make sure that you know where you are storing your data. You should have a list of entities that have access to this data. If you are selling this personal data to other organizations, then you should note it down.
California residents will have the right to request their personal data. The law was enforced on July 1, 2020. Thus, California residents can ask for their personal data whenever they want. Personal data that you are sharing with third parties will be a big risk for your business. You should ensure that your third-party vendors are doing the same exercise. They should share the result with your organization.
Maintain a data inventory
You also need to create a data inventory for your customers. This data inventory will basically be a database that will help you in tracking all the information processing tasks. This will include various software, products, devices, and business processes that are handling customer data. CCPA data classification should clearly identify the data that you are sharing or selling to third parties.
Update your privacy link on your homepage
CCPA also asks businesses to add their privacy link on their homepage. The link should be clear and the title of the link should be “Do Not Sell My Information”. It should redirect to a webpage where your customers can opt-out of having their data sold. This might require some changes on your side. Thus, you should immediately start working on this change. It is a mandatory change for every business.
Develop a system for processing your customer requests
Your business should be ready for responding to your customer requests. They might ask you about their personal data. Thus, you should ensure that you can fulfill their requests. These requests should be fulfilled in 45 days. Also, you can’t charge anything from your users for these requests. They should be completely free.
Your organization needs to create a process for processing these types of requests. Customers can ask you for a copy of their personal data. They can also ask you to delete their data. Thus, you should have a process in place for deleting your customer’s personal data. They might ask you about what type of personal data you are selling. Your users can ask you not to sell their data. If your customers are under 13 years old, then you should take consent from their guardians for collecting and selling their data.
It is important to ensure that you are paying extra attention to the age requirements of CCPA. If you are disregarding your customer’s age, then the regulatory bodies can penalize your business.
Implement new system changes
If you want to implement these new procedures, then you need to update your systems also. Your IT team should know about these changes. This will ensure that they can prioritize the changes. You should also start writing the new procedures. Make sure that you are giving enough time to your IT team. This will ensure that your IT team can quickly incorporate the new system changes.
Educate and train your employees
You also need to train your employees. They should know about the key points of CCPA regulation. Make sure that your employees are following the best IT security practices. This is very important for employees that have customer-facing roles.
They should know that their personal location is not going to determine the CCPA coverage. If you are providing services to California residents, then you need to follow these regulations. Your employees should know how to process the new customer requests. If they don’t know how to process, then they should know where to direct these requests.
Improve your Data Security
The CCPA will allow your customers to sue you in case their personal data gets leaked. Thus, it is important to ensure that your business is protected from attackers. A data breach can destroy your business’s reputation. It will also destroy your finances as you need to pay a lot of money to your customers.
You should start by assessing your current IT security infrastructure. This will help you in understanding where you can improve your IT security infrastructure. Try to take a risk-based approach to update your security infrastructure. The cost of implementing a new privacy and security platform can be high. However, it will help you in protecting your business from fines and penalties. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are focusing on improving your data security.
SMBs can solve this problem by working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire are helping SMBs in improving their data security. You can partner up with them to improve your data security. They will give you access to the best IT security tools and professionals. Thus, you can quickly improve your data security.
If you are selling or collecting personal data with vendors, then you should ensure that they are also compliant. Make sure that you are collecting documents from your vendors. Collect the privacy regulatory compliance details and privacy notice disclosures from your vendors. The vendor contract must tell you if they will be sharing the customer’s personal data. Also, you should let them know that they will be liable in case of a violation of data breach. Organizations should conduct regular audits to ensure that they are compliant.
Retain and archive data
You need to archive and retain the customer’s personal information for a particular time period. Organizations need to delete customer personal information once this time period is over. Thus, you should create data retention and archival policy. You should ensure that you can easily delete the data. Most organizations don’t have a data-retention and archival policy. However, this is not an option after the introduction of the CCPA act. You need to delete customer data whenever your customer wants. Make sure that you know where you are storing your customer data. This will help you in quickly delete the data.
Reporting to government authorities
CCPA will impose a fine on your business if there is a data breach. Thus, you should have a reporting dashboard for tracking metrics. This dashboard will help you in finding areas that are not compliant. You can use a breach monitoring mechanism for checking the violations through your dashboard. This will also help businesses in foreseeing the issues and risks. It will help you in tracking your progress. You can fix the errors by using control measures or mitigation strategies.
The number of regulatory requirements is increasing with time. Companies need to follow multiple regulatory requirements like CCPA, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. The complexity around these regulatory requirements is also increasing with time. Thus, organizations are finding it difficult to comply with the CCPA guidelines. The steps mentioned in this article will help you in staying compliant with CCPA. You should have access to a good IT security team if you want to effectively implement these IT security solutions. It is difficult for SMBs to address all their IT security needs. The complexity of these regulatory requirements is only going to increase with time.
SMBs can solve this problem by partnering up with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will help you in improving your IT security. Bleuwire is helping SMBs in staying compliant. They have experience with multiple compliances like CCPA, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. Thus, you don’t need to worry about implementing IT security solutions. Bleuwire will help you in implementing IT security solutions. They will ensure that you don’t need to worry about unnecessary fines and penalties. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.