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CCPA vs GDPR: What’s the Difference? + Infographic

CCPA vs GDPR both are regulatory frameworks that help protect personal information. CCPA is short for California’s Consumer Privacy Act, and it looks out for people in California. On the other hand, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which takes care of people in Europe.

Both laws aim to give you more control over your own data, especially with so much information about us being collected these days. But while the CCPA and GDPR both work to protect your data, they do it in different ways. So let’s break down the main differences between CCPA and GDPR.

💡 Consider that the CCPA has been amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). To learn more, have a look at our detailed guide: Intro to the CCPA 2.0 and how it affects you.

Check Out Our Comparison Infographic on CCPA vs GDPR 👇

ccpa vs gdpr

What’s the difference between GDPR and CCPA?

Despite having some similarities (like many of the user rights), the CCPA and the GDPR also differ significantly on quite a few issues, one of those being consent. First, let’s briefly recap what these two laws are:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) specifies how personal data should be lawfully processed, including how it’s collected, used, protected or interacted with in general.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is California’s newest privacy law aimed at enhancing consumer privacy rights for residents of California, United States.

👉 CCPA vs GDPR: The Big Difference

The GDPR is like a protective shield for everyone in the European Union (EU). It makes sure companies use “privacy by default,” meaning they have to ask for your permission before they can use your data.

On the other hand, the CCPA is all about letting people in California know what’s going on with their data. It focuses on making businesses be clear about how they use or sell your data after they’ve already collected it.

Think of it this way: GDPR is like a door you can lock before anyone even gets your data. CCPA is like a window you can open to see what data companies already have on you and who they’ve shared it with.

So, what’s the biggest difference? GDPR asks for your permission first (“prior consent”), while CCPA lets you say “no” later on (“opt out”).

Scope in CCPA vs GDPR

Applies to Any for-profit business that targets Californian consumers and either
  • processes the personal data of at least 50K Californian consumers (IP addresses are considered personal data, so this would apply to any website with at least 50K visits from Californian consumers); or
  • makes at least 50% of its revenue from sharing Californian consumer data for any profit – monetary or otherwise; or
  • has an annual revenue of 25M or more.
Any entities (non-profit or otherwise – including NGOs, individuals, and public entities) that target EU consumers, or which are based in the EU.
B2B and B2C Protections applied to consumers only. No differentiation between protections applied to B2B and B2C (business to consumer) interactions, it simply applies its protections to “data subjects”, who are defined as any “identifiable natural persons” residing in the EU.
Types of data protected Any data that relates to, or is capable of being associated with a particular consumer or household, with the exception of public government records. Any data that can lead to the identification of an individual.
IP addresses considered as personal data

Users’ Rights in CCPA vs GDPR

Right to be informed
Right of access
Right to portability
Right to rectification ×
Right to to be deleted
Right to object Somewhat covered by the right to opt-out
Consent required before processing Only in the case of minors and in cases of previous opt-out. Yes, unless another legal basis legitimately applies.
Option to opt-out or withdraw consent Businesses must provide DNSMPI link and honor opt-out requests. Users have both the right to withdraw consent and the right to object to processing (potentially applicable even in cases where the processing is justified using a legal basis other than consent).

Fines & Consequences in CCPA vs GDPR

Fines of up to $7500 per individual violation. The CCPA also gives consumers the right to bring suit for damages. Fines of up to EUR 20 M (22 M USD) or 4% of annual global revenue – whichever is greater, potential audits and sanctions. The GDPR also gives data subjects the right to sue if their rights were violated.

❓ Frequently Asked Question

What’s the difference between GDPR and CCPA?

The GDPR and CCPA both aim to protect user rights but differ significantly, primarily in terms of consent. The GDPR mandates stringent, explicit user consent for data processing and has broader application and stricter provisions. It governs how personal data should be lawfully collected, used, and protected. In contrast, the CCPA, California’s privacy law mainly allows users to opt-out of the sale of their personal information, focusing on enhancing consumer privacy rights for California residents without requiring explicit consent for data collection.

What do GDPR and CCPA stand for?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, a law in the European Union aimed at safeguarding the data and privacy of EU residents. On the other side, CCPA stands for California Consumer Privacy Act, which is a law in the United States specifically for protecting the data and privacy of California residents. Both laws give individuals more control over how their personal information is used by companies.

How are GDPR and CCPA similar?

Both GDPR and CCPA have rules that make sure companies tell you what kind of personal information they’re collecting, why they’re collecting it, and who they’re sharing it with. GDPR works in the European Union, and CCPA is for California in the United States. These laws also give you rights to control your own data. For example, you can ask to see your data or even ask for it to be deleted. Plus, companies have to tell you how to get in touch with them if you have questions or want to use your rights. So, whether you’re in Europe under GDPR or in California under CCPA, you have a say in how your personal data is used.

Is CCPA California data privacy regulations similar to GDPR?

GDPR and CCPA are both laws that protect people’s personal data and privacy. GDPR is for the European Union, and CCPA is for California in the United States. They both give people more control over their own information, for example by giving them the ability to see what personal data companies collect about them, and to ask them to delete it. So whether you’re in the EU or California, these laws help you take control of personal data.

Was CCPA modeled after GDPR?

No, the CCPA was not modeled after the GDPR, even though both laws aim to protect personal data and privacy. The CCPA focuses only on California residents and doesn’t apply outside the U.S., while GDPR protects the data of EU residents no matter where it’s processed. Also, the CCPA kicks in for companies that either have more than $25 million in annual revenue or more than 50,000 Californian users. GDPR, on the other hand, applies to any organization dealing with EU residents’ data. Plus, GDPR is more detailed in its rules, while CCPA leaves more room for interpretation. So, while they may seem similar, they have key differences.

Comply with both the CCPA and the GDPR

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