Achieving CCPA Compliance: A Guide for SaaS Companies

You’re running a SaaS business with data in California and just heard about a privacy law called the CCPA. At first glance it seems complicated, with lots of legal jargon about “personal information” and “data rights.” Don’t stress! This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know to get your SaaS company up to speed on CCPA compliance. 

We’ll start with the basics – what is the CCPA and does it even apply to your business? Then we’ll walk through the key provisions and exactly what you need to do to comply, including a handy checklist. Read on to become a CCPA pro and ensure your SaaS company has its legal ducks in a row.

What Is CCPA Compliance and Why It Matters for SaaS Companies

If you run a SaaS company, you need to get up to speed on the California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA. This comprehensive privacy law gives California residents more control over their personal information and how companies collect, use, and share it. 

CCPA compliance means your company has policies and processes in place to honor the rights California residents have over their data under the CCPA. This includes things like giving them access to their personal information, the right to delete it, and the ability to opt out of the sale of their data.

Why CCPA Compliance Matters for SaaS Companies

The CCPA applies to any company that collects personal information from California residents and determines a company’s obligations based on their revenue and the kind of data they collect. Most SaaS companies will qualify as a ‘Business’ under the CCPA and need to comply. Failing to do so can result in penalties of up to $7,500 per violation.

More importantly, compliance with the CCPA helps build trust with your customers by showing them you take privacy seriously and are committed to protecting their personal information from misuse. 

Achieving CCPA compliance does take work, but the potential benefits to your business and customers make it worth the effort. The key is seeing it not as a burden but an opportunity to strengthen your data governance practices, enhance security, and build a foundation of trust with the people who use your product. With the right approach, CCPA compliance can become a competitive advantage rather than just a regulatory requirement.

Key CCPA Compliance Requirements

Transparency About Data Collection

The CCPA requires businesses to disclose what personal information they collect from consumers and how it’s used. You’ll need to provide a privacy policy that outlines what data is gathered, the sources it comes from, how it’s processed, and who it’s shared with. Be specific about the nature of data collected through your website, mobile app, and any connected devices. Also disclose whether the data is sold or shared for advertising.

Consumer Rights

Under the CCPA, California residents have certain rights regarding their personal information. You must provide easy ways for people to exercise these rights, including:

  • The right to know what data is collected and how it’s used. You must provide this info upon request.
  • The right to delete personal information. You need a simple process for people to request deletion of their data.
  • The right to opt out of data sales. Give customers an easy way to opt out of having their data sold to or shared with third parties.

Data Security

Part of CCPA compliance is implementing reasonable security procedures and practices to protect consumers’ personal information. This could include data encryption, employee training, and limiting access to sensitive data. You must also have a written information security plan in place.

Vendor Management

If you share data with any third-party vendors or service providers, you’re responsible for ensuring they handle and protect the data properly. Conduct due diligence to verify vendors comply with CCPA requirements, and make sure your contracts reflect data privacy and security obligations.

Staying on top of these key requirements is essential for achieving and maintaining CCPA compliance. While it does take effort, valuing consumer privacy and building trust should be a top priority for any business. Following the law is also the responsible and ethical thing to do. With the right mindset and systematic approach, CCPA compliance can absolutely be achieved.

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Consumer Rights Under the CCPA

The CCPA gives California residents several new rights regarding their personal information. As a SaaS company, you’ll need to make sure you have systems and processes in place to honor these rights.

Right to Know

Consumers have the right to request information about what personal data your company has collected about them, where it was sourced from, who it’s been shared with, and how it’s been used. You’ll need to be able to provide this information in an easy to understand format within 45 days of receiving a verifiable consumer request.

Right to Delete

Consumers can request that their personal information be deleted. If there are no exceptions, you must comply with a verified request within 45 days. You’ll want to have a process to locate that individual’s data across your systems and applications to fully comply.

Right to Opt-Out

Consumers have the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. Make sure you have clearly labeled ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information’ links on your website and in your mobile apps that allow consumers to submit opt-out requests. You must comply within 15 days of receiving a verifiable consumer request.


You cannot discriminate against consumers who exercise their CCPA rights. That means you cannot deny goods or services, charge different prices or rates, or provide a different level of service. You’ll need to train your customer service teams to handle CCPA consumer requests without bias.

To fully comply with these consumer rights provisions, build internal processes, update your privacy policies, train your staff, and choose consent management and data privacy tools that can help you locate, update, delete, and opt consumers out at scale. The key is having a systematic approach so you can fulfill all CCPA consumer requests in a timely and compliant manner.

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Is Your SaaS Company Subject to CCPA? Determining Who Needs to Comply

The CCPA applies to businesses that collect and sell personal information of California residents. As a SaaS company, you’ll need to determine if you meet the criteria for compliance based on three factors: revenue, data collection, and location of customers.

Revenue Threshold

The CCPA only applies to companies that generate gross annual revenues of over $25 million; make at least 50% of their revenue from selling personal information; or derive 50% or more of their revenue from targeted advertising. If your SaaS company does not meet any of these criteria, you are exempt from compliance.

Data Collection

Unlike GDPR that ensures data privacy rights in the EU, the CCPA applies to businesses that collect and sell personal information of California residents. If your SaaS application collects customer names, email addresses, IP addresses or other identifiers, then you likely need to comply. The law also applies if you share or sell this data to third parties.

Location of Customers

Even if you meet the revenue and data thresholds, you must also have actual knowledge that you are collecting or selling personal information of California residents. For most SaaS companies with customers across the US, determining exact locations of all customers can be challenging. As a best practice, you should implement mechanisms to track customer locations at the point of signup to determine CCPA applicability.

In summary, if your SaaS company exceeds revenue thresholds, collects and shares personal data, and has actual knowledge of California customers, you should take steps to comply with the CCPA. Some key actions include: updating your privacy policy, providing opt-out options for data sharing, training staff on compliance, and implementing processes to handle consumer requests. Achieving full CCPA compliance will take time and resources, but with the law now enforceable, it should be a top priority to avoid potential penalties. The following sections provide a detailed roadmap and checklist to guide your efforts.

The CCPA Compliance Checklist: Steps to Achieve Compliance

To achieve full CCPA compliance, there are several steps your SaaS company will need to take. Think of this as a checklist to work through to ensure you’ve covered all the necessary bases.

Review CCPA Requirements

The first thing you’ll want to do is thoroughly review and understand the requirements outlined in the CCPA. Some of the major points include:

  • Providing privacy notices to California residents
  • Allowing users to opt out of the sale of their personal information
  • Allowing users to request deletion of their personal information
  • Not discriminating against users who exercise their CCPA rights

Make sure your entire team understands what’s expected of your company under this new law.

Update Your Privacy Policy

With the CCPA in effect, you’ll need to update your privacy policy to reflect the new regulations. Be transparent about:

  • What personal information you collect and why
  • Who you share or sell that information to
  • How users can opt out or request deletion of their info

Your policy should be easy to understand and include all required CCPA disclosures.

Build Opt-Out and Deletion Request Systems

To comply with the CCPA, you must allow users to opt out of the sale of their personal information and request deletion of their information. You’ll need to build simple systems within your SaaS platform to handle these requests.

The CCPA also requires that you do not discriminate against users who exercise these rights. So, be sure any opt-out or deletion does not affect the user’s access or use of your service.

Train Your Team

With new regulations coming into effect, it’s critical to train your team on CCPA compliance. Educate everyone who interacts with customer data on:

  • What constitutes personal information under the CCPA
  • How to properly handle opt-out and deletion requests
  • CCPA data security requirements
  • Non-discrimination rules

Conduct training for all new hires as well to keep compliance top of mind.

Continuous monitoring and updating as needed will help ensure your SaaS company stays on the right side of this new privacy law. While achieving CCPA compliance may seem daunting, by following this checklist and making incremental changes over time, you can get – and stay – compliant.


Leveraging Technology for CCPA Compliance

To efficiently handle CCPA compliance, SaaS companies should leverage security compliance software. These tools can help automate processes, provide an audit trail, and give transparency into how personal data is collected and used.

Control and Automate User Access Reviews

Once you understand what data you have and where it is, you need to control who can access it. For CCPA compliance, implement access control policies that align with the law’s “need to know” principle. This means restricting access to personal information to only those employees and systems that require it to perform their functions. Use a tool that controls and reviews user access to evaluate employee access levels regularly and make sure they still need the same access. Remove access for those who no longer need it.

Automate Evidence Collection

Look for tools offering automated evidence collection to gather and verify the information needed for key CCPA requirements. This saves countless hours of manual work and reduces human error.

Simplify Risk Assessments

A streamlined risk assessment process can help identify any gaps in your security and privacy protections. Prioritized remediation steps provide a clear path to resolving issues and maintaining compliance over the long run.

Build Custom Policies

You can build customized privacy policies, data retention schedules, and more using Scytale’s pre-approved CCPA templates. Simply tune the wording to match your specific needs. This ensures your policies meet all legal requirements without having to start from scratch.

Conduct Security Awareness Training

Maintaining compliance is an ongoing effort. Look for a solution that offers engaging CCPA awareness training for your team. Short, interactive courses are ideal for reinforcing key responsibilities and keeping privacy top of mind.

Using the right technology takes much of the heavy lifting out of CCPA compliance. While these tools require investment, they pay for themselves through greater efficiency, reduced risk, and improved data responsibility. For SaaS companies, privacy-enabling technologies are the foundation for scalable compliance and trustworthy data practices.

Is Your SaaS Company CCPA Compliant Yet?

CCPA compliance may seem daunting at first, but with the right technology, it doesn’t have to be. Scytale’s automated evidence collection, custom policy building, training modules, risk assessments, and team of compliance experts, can make achieving and maintaining compliance way smoother.

As you know by now, the CCPA aims to give consumers more transparency and control – with the right tools, you can meet its goals without compromising yours.

And in the end, customer trust is everything. So take a deep breath, make a plan, and tackle CCPA compliance one step at a time.