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Meet the CCPA! Employers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions About the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) — Series 1, Question 3

 

Question: Do the terms “personal data” and “personal information” mean the same thing?

Not necessarily.

HR professionals who are responsible for bringing the employer into compliance with the CCPA need to know that there is no one definition of “personal information” or “personal data” and the meaning of those terms differs depending upon the context and the type of law at issue.

Only the term “personal information” is defined within the CCPA.  As is discussed in Q-2 that term refers to any information that “identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.”[1]  That said, the term “personal data” is used instead of the term “personal information” within the CCPA’s definition of “processing” which is defined as “any operation or set of operations that are performed on personal data . . .

Meet the CCPA! Employers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions About the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) — Series 1, Question 2

 

Question 2: What is “personal information?”

The CCPA defines the phrase “personal information” to refer to any information that “identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.”[1]  While at first blush the phrase “consumer” suggests that the CCPA does not apply to employees, the CCPA defines the term as including any California resident about whom a company collects information.  As a result, as the CCPA is currently written, it applies only to the information collected about California-based employees.

The CCPA provides an extensive, and yet non-exhaustive, list of information that may fall under the broad definition of “personal information.  The following are examples of information governed by the CCPA that employers are most likely to collect about their employees:

  • Real name[2]
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  • Meet the CCPA! Employers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions About the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) — Series 1, Question 1

    In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance. By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees.  See our recent blog summarizing the CCPA for employers: [https://bclpatwork.com/meet-the-ccpa-new-privacy-rules-for-california-employees/] The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For US employers who have not had

    Meet the CCPA: New Privacy Rules for California Employees

    Employers with operations in California should be aware of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   HR professionals should be aware that, although the CCPA refers to “consumers,” as currently drafted the CCPA’s definition of a “consumer” will apply to California-based employees.

    Which employers will have to comply with the CCPA?

    Employers with employees in California will need to comply with the CCPA if their business falls into one of the following three categories:

  • Their business buys, sells, or shares the “personal information” of 50,000 “consumers” or “devices”;
  • Their business has gross revenue greater than $25 million; or
  • Their business derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from sharing personal information.
  • What are the key implications of having to comply with the CCPA?

    The Employers who have to comply with the CCPA will be subject to the

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