July 15th, 2014
California Issues Guidance for Compliance with Recent Updates to CalOPPA
Last month, the California Attorney General's Office released guidelines for businesses (the "Guidelines") on how to comply with recent updates to the California Online Privacy Protection Act ("CalOPPA"). We previously reported on these updates, which include a requirement that operators of commercial websites or online services disclose in their privacy policies: (1) how they respond to "Do Not Track" signals, and (2) whether third parties may collect personally identifiable information ("PII") about consumers who use the site or online service.
The Guidelines, "Making Your Privacy Practice Public," recommend that companies create transparent privacy policies that are readable (meaning "no technical or legal jargon") and that include clear descriptions of the company's data collection, data sharing, and tracking practices. The Guidelines also recommend privacy policies clearly describe what choices consumers have regarding the collection, use, and dissemination of their PII.
In the Guidelines, the Attorney General's Office also recommends that company privacy policies clearly label the section of the policy that includes information about the way the company responds to "Do Not Track" signals on its online service. More specifically, the Guidelines suggest companies use a header such as "How We Respond to Do Not Track Signals," "Online Tracking," or "California Do Not Track Disclosures."
In addition to the above key recommendations and others, the Guidelines also recommend companies explain uses of PII beyond the uses necessary for fulfilling the basic functionality of the online service, provide links to the privacy policies of third parties with whom the website operator shares PII, and describe how long the company will retain PII.
We encourage operators of websites, apps, and other online services that collect, share or otherwise use PII from consumers, on a national level and/or from California residents, to review the Guidelines and update their privacy policies to comply with these suggestions.
For more information on this guidance or any other privacy issues, please contact Greg Boyd at (212) 826 5581 or email@example.com, Claudine Wilson at (212) 705 4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Technology, Digital Media and Privacy Group
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