Legal Issue Opinions

The California Consumer Privacy Act – all you need to know

by Yana A. St. Clair, Esq.

I am the consumer, and these are my rights!

As we welcome you back to our ongoing topic of discussion on consumer privacy and data protection, in this issue we will finally focus our attention on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and attempt to provide our readers with a concise, all you need to know summary of this exciting new legislation.

Indeed, and please accept our apologies, this topic has been so exciting that it has forced us to veer off course repeatedly in order to keep you abreast of hot new developments in the field. Nevertheless, here we are, ready to tackle this groundbreaking law. And again, what makes it so revolutionary, is not only that it’s the nation’s first attempt at a comprehensive data protection law, but that it shows that the U.S. is Finally starting to take privacy seriously! Consumers want more control over their personal information, and they are demanding that businesses make such protection a priority!

Before we begin let’s address a couple of key factors/definitions. The CCPA protects California (CA)consumers and entities. Here a consumer is a CA resident who is either present in the state for an indefinite, non-temporary purpose, or one who is domiciled in CA, but is temporarily outside the state. It does not cover tourists, which conversely the GDPR does. On the other hand, the CCPA also regulates businesses, such as ‘for profit” entities which do business in CA and collect personal information about CA consumers.

Finally, personal information (PI), is any info which “identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.”

The CCPA essentially operates by giving certain rights to consumers, and imposing a set of responsibilities on companies. It also comes with its share of ambiguities. Due to space constraints today we will address Consumer Rights only, and save responsibilities and ambiguities for our next issue.

Consumer Rights under the CCPA:

Here we shall outline four prongs detailing what the consumer has the right to know or do.

  1. Collection of PI, aka Right to Notice or Right to Know:
  • What personal information of theirs a business has; the specific data they have on you
  • From where and how did the business obtain or collect this personal information, and
  • Why does the business have the personal information, meaning what business or commercial purpose do they have for collecting it. Why is it they NEED to know this about you

To satisfy this prong an entity must disclose, upon request: 1) the categories of PI it has collected on the consumer; 2) the sources from which the info has been collected; 3) the business purpose for which they needed to collect it; and 4) what specific info they have on the consumer.

2. Distribution, aka Right to Disclosure or Right to Access:

  • Is the business sharing the consumer’s personal information with anyone
  • And if so, with whom are they sharing it

Here the business must disclose, upon verified request, the categories and types of third parties with whom it is sharing the consumer’s PI, and what business or commercial purpose they have for sharing or selling the information. This essentially means they have to give you a copy of who they’re giving your personal information to.

3. Destruction, aka Right to Deletion:

  • Here the consumer has the right to request that the business delete or destroy any data they have collected on them

4. Sale of PI, aka Right to Opt-Out

  • Here the consumer has the right to decide that they do not want the business to share or sell their private data to any third party.

This prong requires that the business have a link on its homepage stating “Do not sell my personal information.”

Further, a business may not discriminate against a consumer for opting out.


Yana is an American attorney licensed to practice in all State and Federal courts of California. Yana holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science specializing in International Relations from UCLA, the Degree of Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Ashford University. Since the beginning of her undergraduate studies, Yana has been involved in various aspects of the field of Electrical Engineering, where she employs her business and legal knowledge to consulting and advising businesses and individuals on relevant topics of concern. Yana also serves as Editor for PACWorld magazine, having been with the publication since its inception. As an attorney, Yana specializes in criminal defense, where she devotes her talents and expertise to fighting for her clients’ rights and freedom.