Do you market to consumers in California? You probably need to get to know CCPA. Even if you don’t, the new law could be the model for others states to quickly follow suit. Forbes is calling the measure “a wake-up call for everybody in tech.”


The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), which takes effect in 2020, is the strongest privacy legislation in the United States. The California law protects the consumer privacy of California residents and affects every major corporation who collects data on California citizens. In its current form, the law affects only businesses that earn $50 million in revenue; sell 100,000 consumer records each year or derive 50% of their annual revenue from selling data.


The law gives consumers the following, according to Californians for Consumer Privacy:

  • The right to know what information large corporations are collecting
  • The right to tell a business not to sell personal information
  • Right to protections if your data is breached through negligent data handling


What does that mean for marketers?

For many of us, it means we continue to follow good data hygiene and safe data collection policies.

  • Know your clients. Really get to know your clients, especially if you work with global brands. While Facebook and Google are the biggest names that come to mind, smaller brands that are a part of a larger company may still need to comply. Companies that have multiple brands within a single company may aggregate, bundle and sell tremendous amounts of data.
  • Double Opt-Ins. We always recommend a double opt-in policy. It’s polite. It preserves your delivery rates. And can help you stay in touch with the people who want to hear from you.
  • Document your collection sources. Know and document where you collected the data, whether it’s from a lead form or a handwritten entry at a trade show. Be able to show that your recipient knowingly elected to provide data and receive your communications.
  • Do a regular list cleanse. We don’t know yet how list cleanse companies will incorporate the new legislation, but we’re hopeful they will provide a safeguard for well-intentioned marketers.
  • Lead collections forms. If your company fits the criteria above, you will need to provide a clear option on data collection forms that allows customers to prevent you from selling their data.
  • If your company or client sells data, make sure you know the source and you’ve given California residents the ability to opt-out.


While the CCPA is limited to very large corporations doing business with California residents, experts expect that this law is the first of many and more data privacy and protection measures to come. Stay tuned for more information as this legislation—and others like it—come to light.

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