CCPA “Opt-Out Right”

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) “Opt-Out Right” refers to a fundamental privacy protection provided to California residents under the CCPA. This right allows consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal information by businesses subject to the CCPA. Opting out means that consumers can instruct businesses not to sell their personal data to third parties for monetary or other valuable considerations.

Opt Out vs. Opt In

To understand the significance of the “Opt-Out Right,” it’s essential to contrast it with the concept of “Opt In,” which is a different approach to data sharing consent:

  • Opt Out: Under the “Opt-Out Right,” consumers are presumed to allow businesses to share or sell their personal information unless they explicitly indicate their preference not to do so. In other words, the default assumption is that data sharing is permitted unless the consumer actively opts out.
  • Opt In: In contrast, an “Opt-In” approach requires businesses to obtain explicit consent from consumers before sharing or selling their personal information. This means that data sharing is not allowed by default, and businesses must seek affirmative consent from consumers before proceeding.

The “Opt-Out Right” adopted by the CCPA aligns with a “default to opt-out” model, where consumers’ data sharing preferences are respected unless they choose to opt out.

Opt-Out Compliance

Businesses subject to the CCPA are obligated to comply with the “Opt-Out Right” by implementing processes and mechanisms that enable consumers to exercise this right. Key aspects of opt-out compliance include:

  • Consumer Notice: Businesses must provide clear and conspicuous notices on their websites and in their privacy policies informing consumers of their right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.
  • Opt-Out Mechanisms: Businesses must offer easy-to-use mechanisms for consumers to opt out. This can include providing a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on their websites, which allows consumers to make their opt-out choices.
  • Verification: Businesses must establish a process to verify the identity of consumers making opt-out requests to prevent fraudulent or unauthorized opt-outs.
  • Record-Keeping: Businesses should maintain records of consumer opt-out requests and ensure that these preferences are respected.
  • Third-Party Partners: Businesses that sell personal information to third parties must ensure that these partners are informed of consumers’ opt-out choices and are compliant with the opt-out requests.
  • Training and Compliance: Employees of businesses subject to the CCPA must be trained to understand and facilitate consumer opt-out requests. Businesses should also periodically assess their opt-out compliance practices.

Opt-In Consent

While the CCPA primarily focuses on the “Opt-Out Right,” it’s essential to note that the law also recognizes the importance of consumer consent through the concept of “opt-in consent.” Specifically, businesses must obtain opt-in consent from minors aged 13 to 16 and parental consent for minors under 13 before selling their personal information.

The opt-in consent requirement highlights the CCPA’s commitment to protecting the privacy of minors and underscores the need for explicit agreement when dealing with sensitive personal data.

Opt-Out Policy

An “Opt-Out Policy” is a key component of CCPA compliance for businesses. This policy outlines the procedures and mechanisms by which consumers can exercise their “Opt-Out Right.” Key elements of an opt-out policy may include:

  • Description of the Opt-Out Right: A clear and concise explanation of what the “Opt-Out Right” entails and how consumers can exercise it.
  • Opt-Out Methods: Detailed information on the various methods through which consumers can opt out, such as using a website link, toll-free number, or an online form.
  • Verification Process: An explanation of how the business verifies opt-out requests to ensure they are legitimate.
  • Response Timeframe: Information on how quickly the business will process and implement opt-out requests.
  • Third-Party Sharing: Disclosure of whether the business shares personal information with third parties and how consumers can opt out of such sharing.
  • Contact Information: Contact details for consumers to reach out to the business with questions or concerns related to the “Opt-Out Right.”


GDPR Opt-Out

While the “Opt-Out Right” is a concept primarily associated with the CCPA, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union also recognizes the importance of consumer consent. GDPR includes provisions for “opt-in” consent, requiring organizations to obtain affirmative consent from individuals before processing their personal data.

The key distinction is that the GDPR emphasizes the need for explicit and informed consent for various data processing activities, while the CCPA primarily addresses the sale of personal information and provides consumers with the option to opt out of this specific type of data sharing. Read more about the main differences between these laws here.

The CCPA’s “Opt-Out Right” is a crucial component of the legislation, granting California residents the power to control the sale of their personal information. This right shifts the default assumption from data sharing to data protection, putting consumers in charge of their personal information.