Protecting Children Online
Businesses with an online presence are also subject to an array state regulations. Prominent among them is California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), which is one of the more comprehensive state statutes. CalOPPA applies to any operator of a website or online service that collects personally identifiable information about consumers residing in California—in other words, potentially anyone with a significant online presence. CalOPPA contains a comprehensive list of requirements about the placement, visibility, and contents of online privacy policies, including disclosure requirements about how the operator responds to Web browser “do not track” signals or other mechanisms that provide consumers the ability to exercise choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information.
Because of its wide applicability and comprehensive requirements, CalOPPA is seen as a benchmark for online privacy statutes and operators of online services strive to adhere to it. Further, California has recently expanded its protection of online privacy by enacting the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. When it becomes effective on January 1, 2020, the new Act will require additional disclosures to be included in online privacy policies, and will allow California consumers to request that businesses disclose what personal information is collected, request the deletion of such information, and opt out of having their personal information sold.
Mark L. Evans, Partner