Cookies: What You Need to Know

September 20, 2019

What are cookies? 

Cookies are small pieces of data collected from websites you visit, and are stored on your web browsers. Cookies were originally designed to be a reliable tool for websites to remember relevant information (such as items added to your online shopping cart) or to record the user’s browsing activity (such as logging in, and recording which pages you visited). Their use has grown today to include tracking cookies, especially third-party tracking cookies. These cookies compile long term records of a user’s browsing history, which can be used to provide personalized advertisements to users and more. Third-party tracking cookies have led to some privacy concerns that have caused European and U.S. lawmakers to intervene.
One of the ways that U.S. lawmakers have taken action is through the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

The CCPA is a new law that provides California residents with several rights, including the right to request access to their personal information. When the CCPA goes into effect on January 1, 2020, companies will need to disclose information about its privacy practices (how data is being collected from users and how that data is used and shared) for the last year to California residents. Additionally, under the CCPA, consumers are allowed to make a request for access to their personal information; which will require companies to provide records of the 12 months prior to the request. So, companies should already be maintaining accurate records of consumers’ personal information starting from January 1, 2019, considering California residents have the right to make such a request starting January 1, 2020.

Important Rights Provided by CCPA

  1. Right to request information, this can be prompted in two cases:
    • If a company collects personal information about consumers.
    • If a company sells or discloses personal information about consumers.
      Businesses must disclose and deliver the required information within 45 days of receiving a valid consumer request.
  2. Right to opt-out of the sale of personal information
    • A consumer has the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information, prohibiting the company from selling their personal information from then on.
  3. Right of deletion
    • A consumer has the right to request that a company delete their personal information from the company records. The company must then direct service providers that they have shared this information with, to delete it as well.

What does this mean for my company?

Ideally companies should already be complying with the CCPA because of a consumer’s right to request access to information from 12 months prior. Companies need to understand where consumers’  personal information is kept, who in the company has access to it, and what is done with it. Companies should also have a way for consumers to make those requests for information, and update their own privacy policies to better comply with these newly introduced requirements and procedures.

Luckily we offer a wonderful additional service to our clients that can help companies comply with the CCPA: Cookie Pro. 

Cookie Pro allows your company to:

  • Enable the ability to track customer opt-outs
  • Enable location-based cookie banners
  • Categorize cookies to meet CCPA-specific opt-outs
  • Display notice of sales information
  • Create and update a CCPA-specific cookie policy
  • And so much more!

To learn more about how CCPA might affect your company, and how Cookie Pro will help navigate you through the compliance process, click here.

Are you interested in signing up for Cookie Pro?