Does Your Website Break California Law?

Does Your Website Break California Privacy Law?

Protecting Your Privacy on This Site

Note: This Is Part One of an Ongoing Series About Online Privacy – Lots More to Come Shortly

Avinash Kaushik Online Privacy has come in the recent Google Analytics TV up several times in the news recently; however it is perhaps the most unappealing part of the entire process of launching a website. It is akin to taking out the trash; someone’s got to do it.
For this website I needed to generate my own privacy policy. Not wanting to get bogged down in the lawyer speak details, I drew upon a selection of form policies which I found online.

They all seem to follow the same basic format, declaring cookies, no Personally Identifiable Information, how data are shared, and sometimes a few other items.

Dumpster

Missing Elements

One declaration which I noticed was absent from many sites which I reviewed was the effective date, which according to Wikipedia is required under California law even if your business doesn’t operate here.

Then, should you update your policy, the differences have to be spelled out. That seems like a great incentive to get it right the first time.

Do you have an up to date privacy policy on your site?

Not being a lawyer I cannot advise to the consequences of a lack of Privacy Policy, Cooley LLP has some guidelines:

  • Posted -or- Prominently Linked To From Home Page
  • Categories of PII Collected
  • Categories With Whom PII Data May Be Shared
  • Description of Process (If Any) To For Consumer To Request Changes
  • Description of Process Where Operator Notifies Consumers of Changes to Policy
  • Effective Date of Policy

Is Every Website Really Subject to California Law?

Cooley Thinks Maybe:

OPPA’s reach extends beyond California’s borders to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates a Web site that collects personally identifiable information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its Web site . . .

Pretty strong words, I made sure I had mine done as properly as I could.

Watching Over Users

Lego Spy Lest you think that electronic monitoring is a new development, it has been going on for quite some time. This is another place where the US is facing international competition.

Stay In Touch – Only If you Want to!

Email me with any questions, or just subscribe and keep up with soon to be coming posts about Online Privacy.

Technorati Tags: Code of Ethics, Ethics, legal, privacy, WAA, Web Analytics Association

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