What is CCPA and What Do I Choose in Google Adsense?

What is CCPA?

The California Consumer Privacy Act, also known as CCPA, was approved and filed on June 28, 2018. It is essentially a set of data privacy laws that positively impact consumers, including users of the internet, and adversely affect the ability to quietly collect personal data and monetize content.

Some people feel it is too open-ended or that it affects too many businesses, and some bloggers seem very upset, but the CCPA is probably one of the first data protection acts with teeth. The text of the CCPA can be read here.

In Google Adsense, I See…

Google Adsense began showing a warning:

The warning displayed by Google Adsense on the Dashboard.

After you click “TAKE ACTION”, you will see another screen with two options:

Two available options in Google Adsense after clicking the CCPA warning.

What option are you supposed to choose? And what is the other box below that says “Manage restricted data processing on your site”?

“Manage restricted data professing on your site”, the third choice, is not a bubble you can choose on the page. A brief explanation is that you can choose not to restrict the data processing across your entire account and instead restrict data processing only at an ad request level. This means one website on the Adsense account can comply and another website can be made not to. I will not get into the details in this post.

It will be simpler to broadly comply or not comply by choosing one of the two options above, but…

Who must comply with the CCPA?

If your website can be seen by residents in California, you may have to comply with CCPA. Unless you are willing to do some sort of blocking to prevent Californians from viewing your site, let us look at the next criteria.

If your business has more than 50,000 visitors or transactions combined, you must comply with the CCPA. But I just have a website, you say? If your website has ads, you have a “business” that receives, sells, or shares personal information of consumers, households, or devices for commercial purposes. Yes, a user of Google Adsense technically sells ad space and not data, but some data is transferred during this the ad space sale.

I should also clarify that by visitors, we mean not just people but also devices. The same person accessing your website from an iPhone and a laptop would count as 2 visitors that day. If you only have a website, this averages to 137 unique visitors (devices) a day. This means that any website with moderate views, including this one, must comply with the CCPA.

So I should select…

If you average close to or more than 137 visitors to your website a day and you have not blocked California from viewing your site, choosing “Restrict data processing” will ensure that you are in compliance with the CCPA.

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