GDPR & CCPA: Key Differences and Benefits

We’re connected like never before! Our daily lives all involve the acquiring and exchange of data. Smart homes, smartphones, vehicles, appliances, social media, you name it. Thus, to capitalize on the current trends and technologies, relying on data-driven strategies is a must.

This begs the question – how is the data that we collect used? What’s more, how can we ease people’s concern about how their online information is utilized?

The fact of the matter is that we live in a society where rules govern how we behave, whether that’s in front of our laptops or during lunch break in the park.

Ergo, two key data regulation acts rose to the occasion: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

So, how are CCPA and GDPR different, and what are the major benefits of complying with the legislations? Continue reading to find out.

What Is The GDPR?

Stepping into force as of 2018, the GDPR represents legislation that controls how businesses and individuals collect and process personal data such as name, geo-location, email address, browsing history. While originally intended for businesses that work with customers within the European Union (EU), the regulation impacted organizations globally, and it’ll continue to do so in the future.

GDPR’s final version was adopted by the European Parliament and European Council in 2016 and officially became effective on May 25, 2018. The fundamentals and the core of GDPR focus on personal data, which is every information available that allows companies and organizations to identify a person and his/her identity.

What Is The CCPA?

The CCPA represents legislation that controls how businesses with over $25 million of annual gross revenue gather and use data from at least 50K Californian-based consumers and devices.

In short, CCPA exists to improve the data privacy of Californian citizens. It provides residents with the right to know when and how their information is processed, including the right to opt-out of those activities. The CCPA is focused on for-profit businesses that collect, process, or sell California customers’ data. Regardless of whether you own a Californian-based business, as long as you sell and interact with Californian consumers, their data is subject to the CCPA.

CCPA & GDPR: Key Differences

1. Legislative Power and Affect

From eCommerce companies to non-profit organizations and public institutions, any entity that manages EU citizens’ data must adhere to the GDPR rules.

While the GDPR protects data subjects within the EU irrespective of their citizenship or residence, the CCPA protections are limited to individual data subjects with a lawful residence in California.

Furthermore, the CCPA only impacts for-profit organizations that: have annual gross revenue of at least $25 million; collect, buy, sell, or share data of at least 50,000 California-based consumers, devices, or domiciles.

To become CCPA compliant, as a business, you need to collect Californian consumers’ data, have a determined purpose of processing that data, and work in California.

2. The Data They Protect

The GDPR’s scope covers personal data processing, regardless of the purpose and the processing method, with exceptions for non-automated data processing and data processing made by people for their own personal purposes.

The CCPA, though, is slightly more detailed when it comes to the types of data that are protected under specific conditions.

While the GDPR requires unequivocal user consent via opt-ins before accessing their data, the CCPA requires businesses to provide an “opt-out” option for users when their data is actively shared or sold.

Furthermore, the CCPA doesn’t protect the wider range of data, such as any type of data within the public domain, medical information protected under California’s CMIA, personal data covered by  California’s Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, and equivalent data.

3. Information Provided to Data Subjects

To guarantee increased data management transparency, under both the GDPR and CCPA, you need to inform data subjects about the data processing and sharing methods and respond to users’ requirements about the purpose of collecting their data.

Under the CCPA, after a 12-month period, businesses must send regular reports that notify data subjects whenever their personal data is collected or shared for business purposes. Moreover, you must notify data subjects of any third party that has obtained their data and intend to transfer it or sell it to a different third-party entity.

In contrast, the GDPR requirements are more detailed when it comes to providing information to data subjects. Under the GDPR, you need to inform data subjects whenever their information is collected from them and whenever their information is shared with another organization, regardless of the intention.

Furthermore, under GDPR, users must be notified about the time duration in which their data will be retained for automation process purposes, about the reasoning behind that process, as well as that they have an option to withdraw their consent to the previously shared data.

When users’ data is processed by third parties, under the GDPR, each data subject must be explicitly notified within a month about the source from which the third party obtained their data.

4. Penalties and Enforcement

The GDPR financial penalties for non-compliance and data breaches can range up to €20 million or up to 4% of the infringing company’s global revenue for the previous fiscal year.

In this realm, the CCPA differs significantly from the GDPR. More specifically, with CCPA, non-compliance alone doesn’t necessarily lead to a penalty. Rather, penalties are only applicable when the specific data breach occurs, and when one does occur, the pre-existing and applicable breaches are considered to assess the necessary fine.

Thus, while GDPR is pre-emptive when it comes to accusing companies of non-compliance, the CCPA for now has a much more reactive approach.

Wrapping Up

The above are the most important benefits and differences that you need to keep in mind when optimizing your online experiences for GDPR and CCPA compliance.

Even though improving the privacy of your website according to the CCPA and GDPR rules might seem like a bit of a nuisance, overall, you’ll be able to protect your current and future customers and provide them with greater flexibility, as well as transparency about how their personal information is stored and processed.

Make sure that your website visitors won’t experience any privacy problems by accessing your website. Otherwise, you might face hefty fines and court proceedings as a result.

What are your experiences with implementing GDPR or CCPA so far? Let us know in the comments!