CCPA and Website Accessibility: California Consumer Privacy Act Doesn’t Require WCAG 2.1 AA Sitewide

The California Consumer Privacy Act gives consumers more control over their personal information.

So, specifically, in California, consumers have the right to know the personal information that is being collected from them, the right to delete that personal information, they r- the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information, and the right to non-discrimination for exercising their rights.

And what’s a common theme is that this must be this must all be accessible, right.

So knowing what personal information is gathered and opting out of the sale of that personal information and submitting a request to delete that personal information. that must all be accessible to consumers including consumers with disabilities.

So with the CPA, we see a lot of accessibility providers using this as a means to say, okay, your entire website needs to be accessible.

Just looking at this law, that’s not what this law is getting at.

This law is saying that with regards to privacy and the consumers ability to control what information is collected about them and how it’s used.

Those means- the means to control that information and to opt out of the sale of that information- personal information, etc. must be accessible.

And so and again this is common in the language.

It commonly it’s- it says in a form that is reasonably accessible to consumers.

It also says a business if a business maintains a website it must make the website available to consumers to submit requests.

A business is required to comply in a form that is reasonably accessible to consumers.

There must be a clear and conspicuous leak on the business’s home page titled, do not sell my personal information.

And there must be a description of consumer rights with a separate link.

And I’m just reading over and over against some specific scenarios here or specific selections of the law.

And then there’s also a section that says establishing rules procedures and exceptions necessary to ensure that the notices and information that businesses are required to provide pursuant to this title are provided in a manner that may be easily understood by the average consumer, are accessible to consumers with disabilities…”

That’s the key selection.

And then we see in in a supplemental document and Final Regulation Text, they- the CPA actually references the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

And so it says, “The right of- the notice of right to opt out shall be designed and presented in a way that is easy to read and understandable to consumers. The notice shall D) be reasonably accessible to consumers with disabilities for notices provided online the business shall follow generally recognized industry standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 and in other contexts the business shall provide information on how a consumer with a disability may access the notice in a in an alternative format.”

Okay, so there it is.

It’s this notice, it’s the ability to opt out that must be accessible doesn’t necessarily that doesn’t necessarily mean your entire website should has to be accessible.

Although, of course, I recommend it but I want to make sure that you’re aware of exactly what this law states and what it does not.

It doesn’t- nowhere in here do I see anything about your entire website needing to conform to WCAG 2.1.

Here it says the right to opt out and then otherwise it’s the right to access the information about the privacy, about how to opt out, about what information is being collected.

So some ways that you would make your website accessible for these things or some ways that I can see accessibility is incorporated here is 1) you need to make sure that there is keyboard access.

So that’s very, very important because otherwise yes, your page itself on the CCPA – what is it, the do not sell, what does it say, there’s a there’s a specific title that they’re asking that they – do not sell my personal information.

Okay, so if you have a notice that says do not sell my personal information, you need to make sure that that notice you’re able to navigate to it by keyboard only.

So that’s very important and it goes beyond the page of the information itself.

You need to make sure that notice page is accessible.

That shouldn’t be too difficult because it’s mostly going to be text, but if you have a video, of course, that it needs to have closed captions.

Headings on that page would be extremely helpful – especially depending on how long it is if you make it very simple and headings aren’t as important.

Color contrast is important.

So don’t hide this link using color contrast because then it becomes harder to notice.

We see this a lot with unsubscribe on emails.

The unsubscribe link is hidden with very- with a very low color contrast ratio to where it’s harder to see.

So these are some ways that you would make this page and your notice accessible.

Of course, it can go beyond this, but these are some of the first things that come to my mind when I think of accessibility for this ability to opt out, for this ability to read on information that is collected, etc.

So I think it’s important to know that the CCPA does not say your entire website needs to be accessible.

Of course other laws are implicated but specific to the CPA doesn’t say that. It just says that these things need to be accessible.

So if you do find yourself in litigation that concerns the CCPA and accessibility knowing this is very, very important because just because something else on your website is inaccessible it doesn’t mean that you’ve necessarily violated the CCPA.

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Read about the California Unruh Act as it relates to website accessibility.