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Consumer Protection and New Privacy Laws

Changes in How Businesses Use Personal Information

Legislation like the GDPR and CCPA is changing online policies and protecting consumers. Major companies like Google and Apple are also taking new steps to protect the privacy of their users. 

As these privacy laws take effect, you want to make sure your business assets, like websites and paid ads, are compliant and adapting in ways to ensure you’re effectively reaching your prospects.

Let’s start by taking a quick look at some of the recent, game-changing internet privacy laws affecting businesses.

What is the GDPR?

In April 2016, the European Parliament adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)–which took effect May of 2018. As a result, any companies that collect data on European Union (EU) citizens need to comply with the strict new rules that protect consumers. 

In a nutshell, the GDPR gives consumers 8 basic rights:

  • The Right to be Informed: Information needs to be provided regarding what personal data is being collected, how it’s used, who it’s shared with, and how long it will be kept.
  • The Right of Access: Individuals can request access for how their data is being processed and any other information regarding automated decision making or the retention of data.
  • The Right to Rectification: Individuals can have inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified for accuracy.
  • The Right to Erasure: Gives individuals the right to request the removal or deletion of data when there is no apparent reason that it needs to be retained.
  • The Right to Restrict Processing: Individuals may block or suppress processing of personal data when it is inaccurate, processed unlawfully, or pending objection to processing.

Companies collecting data on EU citizens were challenged to put systems and processes into place to begin and maintain compliance–or face steep penalties and fines.

What is the CCPA and CPRA?

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) is a piece of legislation that gives California residents more control over the personal information businesses collect and use.  

The CCPA allows individuals to ask businesses to disclose what personal information they collect and what they do with it. It also gives individuals the right to request the information is deleted or not sold to third parties. 

Businesses cannot discriminate against individuals for exercising these rights. Also, businesses can’t make individuals waive these rights. 

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) was a data privacy bill passed into law during 2020’s General Election. It significantly expands upon the CCPA–making it more similar to the GDPR. 

The CPRA is an addendum to the CCPA. It tightens business regulations, expands California residents’ privacy rights, and sets up a state-wide data privacy enforcement–the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA).

The CPRA brings changes to several areas of privacy including:

  • The definition of business
  • Acknowling new types of personal information
  • Private right of action
  • Triple penalties for violations involving minors
  • Data retention requirements
  • Extension of employee and B2B exemptions

These new regulations will fully go into effect January 1, 2023 and become enforceable by July of 2023.

For now, the CCPA applies to businesses that:

  • Have a gross annual revenue of $25 million or above
  • Buys, sells, or receives the personal information of over 50,000 consumers, devices, or households to include biometric data
  • Get 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information

Even if your business doesn’t fall under this criteria, the trend of consumer privacy will likely expand as more people demand their personal information be protected. 

Big Companies Evolving to Address Consumer Protection…

…And these may be companies you’re using to target prospects to your business. Here’s a brief overview:

The Apple App store announced security changes that allows users to disable data tracking. The option to opt-out of data tracking must be presented to the user as a common iPhone pop-up query. As a result, many consumers can easily opt-out when they never even considered this option. 

Antitrust lawsuits are seeking to break up the Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp cross platform data tracking. This may lead to separate management and advertising tools for each platform. 

Google has come under legal scrutiny internationally due to their competition suppression. In the future–although it may be bottlenecked with years of legal back and forth–we may see a dissolving of the Google search, Youtube, Google Ads, and Google shopping Monopoly.

Google: No More Third Party Cookies

Another huge recent development was Google’s announcement that it would phase out the third party cookie in its Chrome browser by 2022. Instead, Google plans to offer a “Privacy Sandbox” set of tools that let advertisers run targeted ads without having direct access to users’ personal information.  

Your Best Solution: Stay Ahead of Privacy Laws

As a small to medium business owner, you may not be required to to comply with these new privacy laws…yet. 

But as the larger business affected by the GDPR and California privacy law roll out changes, consumers will begin to expect the same rights for more sites they visit. 

And if they don’t feel their personal information is protected on your site…well, they can easily find somewhere else to go with a few clicks.

You can start by:

  • Understanding the rules and compliance
  • Being aware of data collection best practices
  • Showing transparency regarding the use of consumers’ personal information

Privacy laws don’t have to stunt your business. In fact, it can encourage you to try new, more effective avenues for your ad campaign’s success. This includes being more aware of the engagements, clicks, store visits, or app downloads during your campaigns. 

Your campaigns can also include more creative testing/dynamic split testing. You can also clearly define a niche that resonates with your products or services. Another option is exploring OmniChannel marketing.  

Feeling Overwhelmed with the Privacy Law Changes?

It’s a lot to digest. And, as a business owner, you have so much on your plate already.  

Want to make sure you are in compliance and making your customers feel like their information is secure when visiting your site?

The team at Afflatus Media keeps a close eye on all the new privacy laws and best practices to maintain compliance.

We can also analyze your site for issues and optimize it to bring more organic (FREE) traffic using a variety of proven methods like search engine optimization (SEO). 

Let us take the worry and stress out of building up your website so it complies with privacy laws while getting more organic traffic. We offer a variety of services like search engine optimization (SEO), inbound content marketing, website design & development, and social media management. 

Afflatus Media gets results…and we’re happy to show you. We carefully measure and report to you how our efforts are making a return on investment.

Have questions about privacy laws? Want solutions to optimize your site? 

Then let’s get started…Send us a message