We were lucky enough to speak with Peter Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder of Segment, about how businesses can successfully navigate the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—and the opportunities that await for those who get it right.
Segment’s comprehensive customer data infrastructure helps businesses leverage the power of their own data: providing unique customer experiences without ever compromising on privacy.
Amidst the flurry of recent data regulations, companies need to be smarter about not only what consumer data they use, but also how they use it. Segment does just this and more.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Consumers are more privacy-conscious than ever, and the CCPA is just the latest example of how laws are finally catching up to the consumer privacy attitudes we see businesses already facing.
The average consumer in California is more likely to come across information about their new privacy rights in day-to-day interactions with businesses because CCPA requires consumers to be notified of both what personal information is being collected, as well as the purpose behind collecting it. We’re already seeing some friction for consumers as they pause to read privacy policies, despite often being unaware of what their rights actually are.
Is it too little? It’s a great start, but we still need more focus on eliminating third-party data. CCPA and GDPR are both making data brokers jump through higher hoops to gather questionable end-user consent, but third-party data gossip is largely still alive and well. We need stronger laws to tackle third-party data directly.
Is it too late? To some extent consumer data is “already out of the bag” via data brokers, but lots of third-party data has a short lifespan because identifiers like cookies age out, making the data useless within months or years after it’s been collected. That means lawmakers can still rein in the collection and use of third party data.
In summary, it’s not the be-all and end-all of consumer data regulations—but it’s a step in the right direction.
Definitely. The CCPA is only one of several similar pieces of current legislation at the state level, and other privacy laws exist in various stages globally. It’s important to view this legislation in terms of the common substance—new consumer data rights—rather than multiple conflicting, or contradicting, laws that businesses may have to be ready for.
The way we look at it, and how we believe our customers look at it, is that CCPA and the legislative movements that have come from it are helping create a landmark advancement in how businesses handle customers’ data and honor their privacy preferences.
The stakes are high so it’s important they do it right the first time. This probably means hiring professionals. Privacy compliance has large upfront costs but it’s needed in order to properly navigate regulatory action. Unintentional violations of the CCPA are fined at $2,500 per violation so if a business fails compliance for one million of its users, that could mean a fine of $250M.
Segment is uniquely built for a privacy-focused world: We enable companies of all sizes to use their own first-party data to provide amazing customer experiences. We’re in the business of helping businesses better handle the data they have on their customers, so we believe the first and best step that companies can take to become prepared for CCPA and other similar laws is to put the infrastructure in place to leverage first-party data and put customers first.
As a result, by responding quickly and accurately to consumers’ data rights, these companies will undoubtedly also lead the way in gaining their customers’ trust.
Not only will CCPA and similar laws make it easy for end users to exercise their rights, but we’re also hopeful that the regulation will diminish usage of third-party data for marketing and acquisition, as these data sources are often obtained and processed with questionable user consent.
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