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CCPA vs GDPR: An Overview

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of California are two of the most significant privacy laws in recent years. Moreover, with the volume of private data collected in recent times, it makes sense why these laws are important. Even when both laws protect users' private information and give people back control over their personal information, there are several differences between them. And to better understand the difference between these laws, it is best to consult a professional lawyer.

What do we mean by CCPA and GDPR?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was introduced in April 2016, and went into effect in May 2018, to unify data privacy regulations across the EU (European Union) and provide greater levels of security for individuals. As a result, the GDPR established guidelines for businesses using personal data. Moreover, various definitions for private information, consent, accountability, and other aspects of data processing are also introduced by the GDPR.

Besides, any website that welcomes visitors from the EU and processes personal data must abide by the GDPR. Asking each customer for permission to access and use their data is necessary for compliance. On the other hand, the CCPA was the first privacy regulation to be legislated in the United States after the GDPR went into effect. The CCPA rules aim to increase users' control over the personal data that companies acquire.

In addition, the CCPA has been amended and expanded by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which went into effect in January 2023. It will be applied retrospectively for processing private data from January 2022 starting in July 2023.

Understanding the Difference between the CCPA and GDPR

The CCPA and GDPR data privacy laws are similar but differ in several ways and have different focuses. The EU-wide GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) aims to create a legal framework that promotes privacy. The CCPA, on the other hand, focuses on giving Californian clients access to transparent data. Here are some points that specify the difference between GDPR and CCPA.

  • Type of Law

    The CCPA is both a legislative and regulatory measure. Being a statute indicates that it can be used without additional state legislature approval. Any CCPA violation instantly establishes a basis for bringing a civil complaint in state court in California.

    On the other hand, GDPR serves as regulation. It does not directly influence the outcome of civil claims within its authority, like CCPA. In addition, the GDPR framework may be incorporated into national laws and enforced by EU and EEA Member States.

  • Impacted Parties

    Any business that gathers personal information about Californian residents for marketing purposes or to sell them products or services is subject to the CCPA. On the contrary, regardless of where they are situated, all companies that gather data on people within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to the GDPR. The GDPR is significantly more comprehensive because more companies presumably keep personal data as EU clients than California customers.

  • Kind of Data Protected

    The GDPR extensively covers the processing of all private data, no matter what it is planned for or how it is used. However, the only two exceptions to GDPR law are as follows:

    • Personally conducted, non-automated data processing actions that are not going to be registered, and
    • Any data processing that people undertake for their objectives.

    Nevertheless, the CCPA is a bit more specific about what information is guarded under various occurrences.

    For example, while the GDPR needs businesses to gain user authorization with "opt-in" alternatives before accessing any of their information, the CCPA only needs companies to supply the alternative to "opt-out" when user data is going to be actively traded or transferred.

  • Users' Transparency

    Both these statutes share the need for transparency. Companies must declare how they handle users' individually identifiable information following both regulations (PII). The CCPA and GDPR mandate that companies give consumers information about the types of PII they gather, how and why they share (or sell) the information, with whom they share it, their entitlements to data control, and how to get in touch with you.

    Businesses must, under the CCPA, tell customers when their private data was gathered and processed after a 12-month look-back window. And when marketing users' details to another third party, third parties are also required to notify users. According to the GDPR (General Data Protection Laws), businesses must let customers know how long their personal information will be kept on record, how to revoke their consent, and when it will be shared with other businesses.

  • Users' Liberties

    Businesses get 45 days under the CCPA to respond to customer requests and are permitted to extend that period by an additional 45 days with consumer notification. On the other hand, the companies have a month to reply to the inquiries under GDPR. If the demand is complicated, they may prolong it by an additional two months, but the GDPR authorities must give a justification.

  • Right to Reject

    If a user is at least 16 years old, the CCPA permits businesses to gather personal details about them from users. Businesses can also collect data on users between the age of 13 and 16 if the user authorizes it, or on users below the age of 13 if authorized by a parent or guardian. However, users over 16 must be allowed to protest the collection and must be given an opt-out option. Moreover, if your company operates a website, you must include a "Do Not Sell My Personal Details" link on the home page and other pages where private data gets collected. This link needs to take visitors to a site where they can exercise their right to opt out, such as a specific page or setting. After consumers opt out, companies have to wait a year before they can collect their data again.

    The right to opt-out under GDPR and CCPA are comparable. However, there are several key differences. Businesses under GDPR are required to offer both opt-in and opt-out alternatives. As a result, companies whose business models depend on processing information must expressly get consumers' agreement before collecting and using their data. Even if they had previously chosen to participate in data collection and use, consumers always have the option to decline.

  • Cookie Management

    When requesting visitors' express authorization to place cookies on their systems, CCPA is less stringent than GDPR. Websites don't need visitors' explicit permission to store cookies on their devices. Websites must only provide visitors with the option to decline cookies that transfer their personal information. Additionally, they must explain what cookies are employed: by the website, why, and how users can control them.

    In contrast to the CCPA, the GDPR mandates that websites provide clear information about the use of cookies and offer users the ability to refuse the use of non-essential cookies. Additionally, it mandates that websites offer simple cookie-opt-out options for consumers. Like the CCPA, the GDPR also requires that websites give information about the kind of cookies used, their purposes, and how users can manage or delete them.

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All in all, both pieces of legislation have identical objectives regarding user privacy. Given that it safeguards the information of all EU individuals, the GDPR has a range of applicability. The CCPA only applies to residents of California.

It offers users slightly better privacy management and additional user rights, particularly regarding an opt-in agreement. Overall, GDPR has a worldwide influence over CCPA since it serves as the model for global privacy laws. All in all, both laws are good in their aspects. However, if you are still unsure about which law to comply with for better data privacy, do not wait further to seek our consultation at ContractsCounsel.

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