As ever more people around the world grow more concerned about data privacy, governments keep enacting more laws and regulations imposing data protection duties on organizations that collect such data. Within the United States, the most influential and far-reaching such law is the California Consumer Privacy Act, commonly known as the CCPA.

CCPA non-compliance can create many problems for organizations that fall under its jurisdiction. To avoid these problems, businesses need robust compliance processes and controls. Manual processes, however, can quickly overwhelm compliance teams, introduce errors, and increase the risks of non-compliance.

Compliance automation is an effective way to avoid these risks and achieve CCPA compliance. This article explores some automation tools and the benefits of automation for CCPA compliance.

What Is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)?

The CCPA gives California consumers (“residents”) more control over the personal information that businesses can collect about them. It applies to information that identifies or describes a particular consumer, such as the person’s name, social security number, email address, genetic data, photographic images, or internet browsing history.

Under the CCPA, California consumers have the right to:

  • Know what personal information a business collects about them and how the business uses or shares this information, via a data subject access request (DSAR);
  • Ask for their personal information to be deleted;
  • Opt out of the sale of their information;
  • Expect non-discrimination for exercising these consumer rights.

Any organization that does business in California and satisfies any of the below conditions must comply with the CCPA:

  • A gross annual revenues above $25 million;
  • Buy, receive, sell, or possess the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents;
  • Derive 50 percent or more of annual revenue from selling the personal information or sensitive data of these residents.

The consequences of non-compliance can be severe. For starters, the California state attorney general can impose civil penalties of up to $7,500 per intentional violation or $2,500 per unintentional violation.

Consumers whose unencrypted or unredacted personal information is breached can also take a non-compliant organization to court and demand statutory damages for $100 to $750 or actual damages, whichever is greater.

What Is CCPA Compliance Automation Software?

Automation solutions allow organizations to manage privacy compliance and data protection processes to satisfy CCPA requirements.

With these tools, businesses can manage consumer data, identify who has access to it, and how it is being used. Software also tracks and monitors controls to secure data from data thieves, safely handle data access requests, and pass compliance audits.

Benefits of CCPA Compliance Automation Software

So, why automation?

The CCPA does not mandate the use of a software solution. That’s why some companies still rely on manual business processes and spreadsheets to manage compliance requirements, track opt-out requests, and mitigate potential risk and exposure.

Such manual effort, however, can become unsustainable over time. As one of the most demanding regulatory laws in the United States, achieving CCPA compliance can be a daunting prospect as your organization scales up the personal data it possesses.

For example, manually fulfilling consumer requests for data (that is, data subject access requests) is time-consuming and can quickly overwhelm personnel. Similarly, manually tracking consumers’ opt-out requests can create errors leading to non-compliance.

Compliance automation tools can eliminate these problems and also help to:

  • Identify the customer data being collected and used in the organization;
  • Manage consumer data flows across all systems;
  • Verify the accuracy of consumers’ access and delete requests;
  • Track consumers who opt-out of the sale of personally identifiable information (aka PII).

Robust compliance software will automatically reflect updates to regulations as they change. For instance, the more recently enacted California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) includes updates to the CCPA with new compliance requirements. Organizations must comply with those new rules by January 2023.

Ultimately, businesses can leverage the functionality of automation tools to align with customer’s preferences, satisfy CCPA rules, reduce compliance costs, and avoid non-compliance penalties.

Types of CCPA Compliance Automation Tools

Organizations can use many types of CCPA compliance software to automate compliance processing activities and identify relevant compliance considerations. These include tools for:

  • Data discovery and data mapping. This software automatically discovers data subject records and connects records to individual consumers for real-time access to updated consumer data.
  • Activity monitoring. This tool monitors access to consumers’ personal data, helping to identify suspicious activity and prevent data breaches.
  • Consent management. The software tracks consumers opting out of the sale of personal information.
  • Workflow automation. It automates compliance-related processes to increase accuracy and minimize errors.
  • Policy management. It streamlines policy creation and approval and strengthens the CCPA compliance program.

Get Started with CCPA Compliance Automation with ZenComply

Reciprocity ZenComply is a comprehensive, user-friendly compliance automation solution. If CCPA applies to your organization, ZenComply will create a smarter and faster path to compliance management.

Wave goodbye to tedious manual processes and say hello to advanced automated workflows with ZenComply.

ZenComply provides prescriptive guidance, risk assessment templates, and pre-loaded content for various frameworks and regulations. Compliance evidence is cross-mapped across frameworks as applicable, so your CCPA evidence can also be used for HIPAA or GDPR compliance.

You will always be up-to-date with the latest regulations because ZenComply is maintained by compliance experts. Insightful reporting and scorecards provide real-time visibility into your compliance posture. ZenComply helps you achieve compliance, reduce privacy risk, and become audit-ready quickly.

Schedule a free demo to see how Reciprocity ZenComply automates and streamlines the compliance process.