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Email Marketing Under CCPA: Ensuring Privacy While Maximizing Impact


In today's world, where privacy is a big deal, laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) are changing how businesses send emails. These rules are all about making sure companies respect people's privacy when collecting, using, or sharing their information. In this article we talk about how to engage in email marketing while still being in compliance with the CCPA’s marketing rules, such as allowing people to submit a "Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information" request. 


What are the CCPA and the CPRA?

CCPA, which stands for the California Consumer Privacy Act law, and CPRA, the California Privacy Rights Act law, refer to the governing consumer privacy law of the state of California. The first one, the CCPA, is the first version of the law, passed in 2020, while the CPRA is the 2.0 version, bringing several additions and changes. According to the Attorney General’s website, the CPRA amends the CCPA but does not create a new law. The two work together as one law, referred to as the CCPA. For the purpose of clarity we will refer to them as one law, the CCPA - CPRA, throughout this article. 

These two are designed to protect the privacy of people living in California. They set rules for businesses on how they should deal with personal information. This includes information that can identify someone, like their name, address, or email. 

CCPA - CPRA tells businesses how to handle personal information, like making sure people know what data is being collected and giving them control over it. One important part of these laws is letting people choose not to have their info sold or shared, which is a big deal for email marketing.

In essence the law promotes the following:

  1. Transparency: Businesses are required to tell people what data they are collecting. This means if your company is collecting information about what individuals buy or what websites they visit, you have to inform the individuals about this.
  2. Control: People have more power over their personal information. For example, they can ask a company to show them what data they have about them, and can even ask to have their personal information deleted if they want.
  3. Choice: A key feature of California’s data privacy law is giving individuals the choice to say "no" to having their information sold or shared. This is particularly important for activities like email marketing, where businesses might want to sell or share people’s email addresses with others for advertising. Under these laws, consumers have the right to opt out, meaning they can tell businesses not to sell their information.
  4. Protection for Minors: These laws also provide extra protection for children under the age of 16, requiring businesses to get permission from them (or their parents, for children under 13) before selling their personal information.
  5. Enforcement and Fines: Businesses that don't follow these laws can face penalties. This helps ensure that companies take these privacy protections seriously.

In simple terms, according to the text of the CCPA makes sure that businesses respect consumers’ privacy and give them control over their personal information. It helps ensure that consumers know what data is being collected about them and allows them to make choices about what happens with that data, in the form of consumer rights which entail a series of obligations for businesses, referred to as “controllers,” and penalties for violations.


Consumer Rights

As a business, it's crucial to understand and respect the privacy rights of individuals regarding their personal information. Here's a breakdown of these rights and what they mean for your business:

  1. Right to Know: Individuals have the right to request information from your business about the personal data you hold on them. This includes where the data came from, how it is being used, and whether it is being shared with third parties. It's your responsibility to provide a transparent account of this data upon request.
  2. Right to Delete: If an individual asks, you are obligated to delete the personal information you have on them from your records. Ensuring that you have processes in place to efficiently remove this data is essential for compliance.
  3. Right to Opt-Out: Individuals can instruct your business not to sell or share their personal information with third parties, especially for advertising and marketing purposes. You must honor these requests and have mechanisms in place for individuals to easily opt-out.
  4. Right to Non-Discrimination: Exercising privacy rights should not lead to discrimination against those individuals. This means you cannot deny services, charge different prices, or provide a lower level of service to individuals who have asserted their privacy rights.
  5. Right to Correct: If personal information you hold is inaccurate, individuals have the right to request corrections. Your business must ensure it can efficiently update personal data to reflect accurate information.
  6. Right to Limit Use and Disclosure of Sensitive Personal Information: For sensitive data, such as health, financial, or location information, individuals have heightened rights. They can limit how this type of data is used or disclosed by your business. It's imperative to understand the categories of sensitive information and apply stricter controls over its use and sharing.


Controller Obligations

As a business handling personal information, it's imperative that you:

  1. Provide Notices: You are required to inform your customers at or before the time of collecting their data about the types of personal information you'll be collecting and the purposes for which it will be used.
  2. Maintain Safeguards: You must put in place robust security measures to ensure the protection of the personal information you collect.
  3. Honor Consumer Rights: You must facilitate ways for your customers to exercise their rights, including requesting access to or deletion of their personal data. Furthermore, you're obligated to fulfill these requests promptly.
  4. Verify Requests: You have the responsibility to confirm the identity of individuals who submit requests concerning their personal information, to safeguard against fraudulent claims.
  5. Training and Record-Keeping: You are to educate your employees on compliance with these regulations and maintain detailed records of customer requests and your responses to them.


Penalties for Non-Compliance

California’s privacy law endows residents with greater authority over their personal information, delineates explicit guidelines for businesses on managing this data, and establishes penalties to ensure that businesses take their responsibilities seriously. Failure to adhere to these stipulations can result in significant consequences:

  1. Fines: Regulatory bodies can levy fines on your business for any violations. Specifically, under the CCPA, fines can escalate to $7,500 for each intentional violation and $2,500 for each unintentional violation. The CPRA further amplifies enforcement by instituting the California Privacy Protection Agency, equipped with expanded powers to enforce the law.
  2. Lawsuits: Customers have the prerogative to initiate lawsuits against your business under certain conditions, particularly if unauthorized access, theft, or disclosure of their personal information occurs due to your failure to implement reasonable security measures.
  3. Corrective Actions: Besides monetary fines, you might be mandated to undertake specific measures to rectify your practices and align your operations with legal requirements.

How to achieve CCPA Compliance with California’s Email Marketing Laws?

In order to be in compliance with California’s email marketing laws, and comply with both the text of the CPRA (California Privacy Rights Act) law and the CCPA text of the law, your business must pay close attention to how they handle personal information. In simple language, here are some CCPA email marketing rules you should consider if your business is a covered entity under the CCPA:

  • Explain How You Use Data: Be open about what you do with the information you collect. Tell people why you need it and how you will use it in your marketing.
  • Make It Easy to Say No: People should be able to easily say they don't want their information sold or shared with others. Make sure the option to "Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information" is easy to find and use on your website or in your emails.
  • Respect Privacy Choices: When someone decides they don't want their information used or shared, respect their choice. Make sure you have systems in place to keep track of these requests and follow through.

By following these steps, your business can engage in email marketing in a way that respects people's privacy and complies with the CCPA - CPRA. This approach helps build trust with customers and avoids legal issues.

How can I Send Emails in Compliance with CCPA - CPRA?

Email marketing compliance when it comes to the CCPA - CPRA privacy rules means your business has to follow a few key steps: 

  1. Use information wisely: Only send e-mails to the personal e-mails of people who have not opted out of marketing emails. Once a person submits an opt-out request, you can no longer send them marketing emails since they have made it clear that they not wish to receive further e-mails from you by opting out.
  2. Respect Choices: Always respect people's choices about their personal information. If they don't want their information to be sold or shared with others, you must follow their wishes. 
  3. Privacy-Friendly Messages: When you send emails, include clear messages that show you care about privacy. Tell your readers that they have the right to say no to having their information sold or shared. This helps to build trust, as it shows you value their privacy and are taking steps to protect it.
  4. Clear Options: Make sure it's easy for people to see and understand their choices. Include options in your emails where they can easily update their preferences or opt-out if they no longer wish to receive emails from you.
  5. Transparency: Be open about how you use their information. Let people know why you're collecting their data and how it will be used, especially in your email sign-up forms.

Following these simple guidelines, allows your business to send emails that not only comply with privacy laws like CCPA and CPRA but also build trust with your audience by showing them you respect and protect their privacy.

What are Some Tools to Help Me Follow the CCPA and the CPRA?

To follow the CCPA - CPRA there are special tools and technologies designed to help you. These tools can make it easier for you to follow the rules. For example, there are email services that help manage who agrees to receive your emails. This is important because these laws require you to get permission from people before you can send them marketing emails.

Also, there are tools that help you handle consumer requests from individuals who don't want their personal information sold or shared. These requests are part of what the laws cover, and it's essential to respect them to avoid breaking the law. Clym offers you such a tool, in the form of a Consent Management Platform (CMP) which allows you to display the “Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Data” link on your website and this is connected to our Compliance Widget where consumers can input the required details for request verification. 

Once they have done this and submitted their request, Clym verifies for you the requests by sending a verification email to a consumer who submitted a request. All requests you receive in the “Data Subject Requests” section of the Clym platform are verified requests, where we ensure the email provided is valid and belongs to a requestor. 

In addition, you have an overview of all the requests received, their status, as well as other relevant insights, all in one single place. 

By using these tools, you can make sure you're following the law and still send out your marketing emails effectively. This means you can keep your business running smoothly without worrying about accidentally doing something wrong. These tools do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, managing permissions and privacy requests, so you can focus on other parts of your business.

CCPA Compliance Checklist

Here is a checklist to facilitate compliance for your business with the California Consumer Privacy Act:


Key takeaway

Following CCPA - CPRA means balancing smart email marketing with strict privacy practices. Understanding California's data privacy law and its guidelines is crucial for showing your customers and your users that you respect their privacy. Including options like "Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information" in your emails and on your website is an important step in following the law and showing customers you care about their privacy.

Don’t waste any time, start today! Check your email marketing approach today in order to ensure that this is in line with the CCPA - CPRA, paying special attention to privacy options like "Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information." The California privacy law can be an opportunity for your business to improve and make stronger connections with your audience. 

How can Clym Help? 

Clym helps businesses to easily and seamlessly meet the requirements of and facilitates compliance with the text of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) law by offering a tool that streamlines the management of consumers’ data privacy. Our platform makes it simple for businesses to notify consumers about what personal information is being collected and why, at the time of collection. 

Furthermore, Clym aids in verifying the identity of people making requests about their personal information, helping businesses prevent fraud while respecting consumer rights. We provide businesses with a way to keep track of consumer requests and responses to these. This means your business can comply with the law without hassle, avoid fines, and you can build trust with your customers by showing them that you take data protection seriously.

You can convince yourself and see Clym in action by booking a demo or reaching out to us to discuss your specific needs today.

FAQs on Email Marketing Under CCPA - CPRA

What are the CCPA and CPRA?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) are two sets of laws that form together California's data privacy law, designed to protect the privacy of California residents. They set rules for businesses on how to handle personal information, emphasizing transparency, control, choice, and protection, especially in marketing practices.

How does the CCPA - CPRA affect email marketing?

The CCPA-CPRA requires businesses to inform consumers about the data being collected, provides options to opt-out of data selling/sharing, and ensures that email marketing respects consumer privacy choices. Under the CCPA-CPRA individuals have to be given an option to withdraw consent for marketing emails (opt-out) and once such an opt-out request has been made this has to be honored.

What rights do consumers have under CCPA - CPRA?

Consumers have the right to know, delete, opt-out, and correct their personal information. They also have the right to non-discrimination for exercising these rights and can limit the use/disclosure of sensitive personal information.

What are businesses' obligations under CCPA - CPRA?

Businesses must provide notices about data collection, maintain safeguards for data protection, honor consumer rights, verify identity for personal information requests, and keep records of consumer requests and responses.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with CCPA - CPRA?

Violations can lead to fines, lawsuits, and corrective actions. Fines can reach up to $7,500 for intentional violations and $2,500 for unintentional ones.

How can I ensure my email marketing is CCPA - CPRA compliant?

Obtain clear consent for marketing emails, explain data usage, make it easy for consumers to opt-out of data selling/sharing, respect privacy choices, and include clear messages about privacy rights in emails.

What tools can help with CCPA - CPRA compliance in email marketing?

Tools like Clym can manage consent, handle consumer privacy requests, and ensure compliance by providing features such as the "Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Data" link and verification of consumer requests.

How does Clym assist businesses with CCPA - CPRA compliance?

Clym offers a CMP for managing consumer data privacy, including notifying consumers about data collection, verifying identity for personal information requests, and tracking consumer requests and responses, making compliance simpler and helping to avoid fines.