Tech Vendors See Opportunity in CCPA Compliance
This is the latest in Street Fight’s “Pursuing Privacy” series – our editorial focus in January, including topics like GDPR, CCPA, and location data collection. See the rest of the series here and our full slate of monthly themes here.
The California Consumer Privacy Act has just recently gone into effect, and full enforcement won’t begin for another six months, but companies are already making big changes as they endeavor to ensure compliance.
Under the new CCPA regulations, companies are required to notify users of the intent to monetize their data and provide users with the ability to easily opt out of data monetization. Many companies are struggling to come into compliance, but for businesses that work with multiple technology vendors, the issue is creating even more headaches.
Surveys show that marketers at major companies work with an average of 28 different technology vendors. That’s 28 separate connections to bring into compliance. Under the new regulations, companies must disclose what information they collect and what business purposes it serves. They must also disclose the third parties with which they share the information. With a huge pile of technology in front of them, marketers are finding that the time involved in individually checking to make sure each vendor partnership is up to code is significant.
The potential downsides of failing to comply with CCPA regulations are massive, with California authorities promising to fine companies for violations.
“Consumers care about data privacy, and companies should do everything in their power to treat their data with the utmost care,” says Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca, an AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform that gives marketers data from inbound calls.
With the clock already ticking on full enforcement in June, and many companies discovering that their current compliance approaches are untenable, marketers are starting to lean more heavily on their partnerships with technology vendors, and they’re actively seeking out vendors who are knowledgeable and committed to the newest standards.
“CCPA is a tremendous opportunity for software vendors to lead on privacy and become consumer advocates,” Johnson says.
Failing to meet new privacy expectations can lead to serious repercussions for companies, with the potential to ignite brand-damaging PR nightmares that also come with steep fines and potential legal action. Johnson cautions that companies need to show consumers that their data is being handled in a lawful and careful way, and they can only do that if vendor processes are transparent.
“We are at a juncture where a brand’s privacy track record is a big part of their reputation. They need to play a more active role in ensuring compliance both within their organization and with external vendors,” Johnson says. “As brands ramp up efforts to educate consumers about their data privacy and protection efforts, so too should vendors clarify the steps they are taking to protect the brands they work with and help solve problems that may arise.”
The smartest technology vendors are using CCPA compliance as a selling point. Because privacy compliance is an ongoing challenge, companies right now are seeking out vendors with expertise in the area. Openly taking steps to protect their clients, and publicly promoting those steps, is a marketing strategy in and of itself.
“This can be tricky, but I think that it’s an opportunity for vendors to support their customers as they navigate this landscape, which in the end will help build trust and stronger relationships across the board,” Johnson says.
Despite CCPA being just a state-level law, Johnson says companies should expect to see additional states put forward similar legislation in the coming years. The federal government is expected to weigh in eventually as well.
“Consumers want tighter regulation of their data, and the government looks poised to make it happen,” he says. “Companies need to be proactive, establish clear policies that apply both internally and to external vendors to ensure compliance.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.