CCPA Categories Of Personal Information

By Ketch / November 12, 2021

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), California consumers have secured rights that give them control over their personal information. But what exactly is considered CCPA personal information? 

According to the law, CCPA personal information refers to data “that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular” California resident or household. 

These are found to be included in eleven general categories such as identifiers (e.g. name, address, aliases, etc.), biometrics, professional or employment-related information, and more.

What Are The CCPA Categories Of Personal Information?

The CCPA defines personal information vaguely because the term is designed to encompass all data that has been collected since the CCPA effective date, data that is currently being collected through different tracking methods, and other information that businesses may begin to collect in the future, given the dynamic digital landscape.

That said, the eleven categories of personal information help outline the exact data that the CCPA hopes to protect. These are:

Identifiers

Identifiers are basic details about the consumer such as their real name, alias/es, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, internet protocol (I.P.) address, email address, account name, social security number, driver’s license number, passport number, and other similar identifiers.

Customer Records

Customer records refer to the personal information described in subdivision (e) of Section 1798.80 of the California Civil Code. 

These include a customer’s name, signature, social security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, passport number, driver’s license or state identification card number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, credit card number, debit card number, or any other financial information, medical information, and health insurance information.

Characteristics Of Protected Classifications Under California Or Federal Law

Characteristics of protected classifications under California or federal law refer to consumers’ race, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, mental and physical disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military status.

Commercial Information

Commercial information relates to the purchasing activities and preferences of a consumer, including records of personal property, products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies.

Biometrics

Biometrics are body measurements and calculations used to determine an individual’s identity. These include fingerprints, DNA, photos and videos, audio recordings, and the like.

Internet Or Other Electronic Network Activity

A consumer’s online activity includes, but is not limited to, their browsing history, search history, and information about their interaction with an internet website, application, or advertisement.

Geolocation

Geolocation data refers to any information that can identify an electronic device’s (e.g. a laptop or smartphone) physical location, such as that from a GPS.

Information Detected By The Senses

Information detected by the senses includes audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information.

Professional Or Employee-Related Information

Professional or employee-related information can include a consumer’s place of employment, position, job history, salary, resume, and other related data.

Education Information

Education information is defined as “information that is not publicly available personally identifiable information as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Inferences

Inferences refer to information drawn from data that is used to create a profile about a consumer reflecting their preferences, characteristics, psychological traits, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes.

What Is Not Considered Personal Information?

Personal information doesn’t include publicly available data—those that are made legally available through federal, state, or local government records. It also excludes de-identified or aggregated consumer information.

How Does The CCPA Protect Personal Information?

The CCPA protects personal information by obliging for-profit businesses that do business in California or with state residents to comply with its regulations. These generally require businesses to be transparent about their data practices. 

Businesses can achieve this with an updated CCPA privacy policy, including an opt-out option on their website (aka a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” page), and with training for their employees about the law, among other compliance actions.

To ensure that your business is CCPA-compliant, make sure to be informed about the law and to review your data practices to see if they align with CCPA regulations. For example, are you prepared to respond expediently to the CCPA right to deletion?

Conclusion

Since the CCPA was enacted to help consumers protect their personal information, it’s important to be familiar with the categories of information that are covered by this legislation. 

Following are some of the categories covered by the CCPA: identifiers, customer records, classifications, commercial information, biometrics, internet activity, geo-location, and sensory derived information.

The law requires enterprises doing business with California residents to be very transparent about what information they collect and how they use it. It’s a good idea to get very well acquainted with the CCPA. Either you are one of the businesses that is required to be compliant now or you will be in the future, as similar legislation is enacted.

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