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What’s the Difference Between California’s Privacy Laws CCPA & CPRA

Where data breaches are commonplace, understanding the laws that govern data privacy is essential, not just for businesses but for individuals too. The state of California has been at the forefront of privacy laws in the United States, enacting the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) followed by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

Delving into the specifics of these laws, their similarities, differences, and what they entail for both consumers and businesses is pivotal for a well-rounded comprehension of the evolving privacy landscape.

Nurturing the Seed: The Inception of CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which took effect on January 1, 2020, was a groundbreaking legislation aimed at enhancing privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California. It was conceived in the aftermath of high-profile data breaches and the growing concern over personal data misuse.

Under CCPA, consumers gained the right to know about the personal information collected about them, the purpose of its collection, and whether it would be sold or disclosed to third-parties. Additionally, consumers could opt-out of the sale of their personal information, and businesses were required to adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure consumer data was handled responsibly.

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Transition to Maturity: Birth of CPRA

While the CCPA was a significant step towards safeguarding consumer data, it wasn’t without its limitations. Recognizing the need for more robust protections, California voters approved the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) on November 3, 2020, which took effect on January 1, 2023.

The CPRA builds upon the framework established by the CCPA, introducing stricter measures to ensure businesses comply with privacy laws. Some of the notable enhancements include the establishment of the California Privacy Protection Agency, increased fines for violations, especially concerning children’s information, and new rights for consumers to correct inaccurate personal information.

Side by Side: CCPA vs CPRA

A comparative examination of CCPA and CPRA highlights a logical progression in privacy legislation, addressing the shortcomings of the former while amplifying the consumer protections.

Consumer Rights

Under both laws, consumers have the right to access, delete, and opt-out of the sale of their personal information. However, the CPRA takes it a step further by allowing consumers to correct inaccurate information and limit the use of sensitive personal information.

Business Obligations

The CCPA laid the groundwork by requiring businesses to provide notices of collection, adhere to consumer requests, and maintain a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on their websites. The CPRA elevates these requirements by mandating regular risk assessments and audits for businesses that process significant amounts of sensitive data.


The enforcement mechanisms under the CPRA are more stringent with the establishment of a dedicated regulatory agency, the California Privacy Protection Agency. This new agency is empowered to enforce privacy laws and issue fines, marking a departure from the previous enforcement model under the Attorney General.

Fines and Penalties

Both laws have provisions for fines in cases of violations, but the CPRA has increased the fines, particularly for violations involving children’s personal information.

Enforcement BodyCalifornia Attorney GeneralCalifornia Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA)
Consumer RightsRight to Know, Right to Delete, Right to Opt-OutExtended with Right to Correct, Enhanced Data Portability
Sensitive Personal InformationNot DistinguishedNew Category Introduced
Business Thresholds50,000 California residents, households, or devicesIncreased to 100,000
Consent DefinitionNot as DetailedEnhanced, akin to GDPR requirements

Evolving with Time: Preparing for CPRA Compliance

As the effective date of CPRA draws near, it’s essential for businesses to understand the expanded obligations and start working towards compliance. The journey from CCPA to CPRA symbolizes a conscious effort towards establishing a culture of privacy in California, setting a precedent for other states to follow.

Businesses should consider engaging with privacy experts to navigate the transition smoothly, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the new requirements and continue to foster trust with their consumers.

A Step Towards a Privacy-Conscious Future

California’s progressive stance on privacy laws serves as an exemplar for other states and potentially for federal legislation in the future. The transition from CCPA to CPRA illustrates the state’s commitment to evolving with the times, ensuring that the rights of consumers are upheld in the face of ever-advancing technological innovations. In this journey towards a privacy-conscious future, understanding the nuances of these laws is crucial for both individuals and businesses alike.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional for specific advice tailored to your situation.

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This piece does not serve as a replacement for professional legal counsel. It neither establishes an attorney-client bond, nor extends an invitation for legal advice offerings.