California’s new 2014 laws catch website and blog owners off-guard
Non-compliance with the California’s new law will subject website and blog owners to a $2,500 fine per incident, even if they live in another state.
The new California law A.B. 370 will require them to disclose how they respond to “Do Not Track” signals. The new law does not require the website or blog operator to obey the “Do Not Track” signals. However, the new law does require them to disclose how they treat these “Do Not Track” signals. Specifically, whether they will or will not obey the “Do Not Track” signals.
In addition, the privacy policies of website and blog owners are required to do the following:
(1) Identify the types of personally identifiable information the operator collects through the website or online service about individual consumers who use or visit its commercial website, online service and the categories of third-party persons or entities with which the operator may share that personally identifiable information.
(2) Maintain a process for a consumer who uses or visits its commercial website, blog or online service to review and request changes to any of his or her personally identifiable information that is collected through the website or online service, and provide a description of that process.
(5) Disclose whether other parties may collect personally identifiable information about an individual consumer’s online activities over time and across different websites when a consumer uses the operator’s website or service.
This new California law has a very long reach; it can apply even if the website or blog owner lives in another state.
The California Attorney General’s office said initially, they would issue a warning to those in violation and give 30 days to comply with the new law before issuing a $2,500 fine.
However, after recently forming a Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit, one wonders how long they will issue warnings at California’s expense before they take the more profitable route and simply forgo the 30-day warning and issue the $2500 fine.
For now, it appears, they intend to send out a warning notice to those online websites and blogs that are not in compliance with the new law to give them a chance to comply with the new law.
It is very clear that state and federal laws governing online privacy policies and disclosures will see stronger enforcement actions beginning 2014.