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Is Your Online Business Protected From California’s “Do-Not-Track” Law?

Nov 21 2013

You may have heard about California’s new “Do-Not-Track” (DNT) law that will go into effect January 01, 2014. Will there be implications for your commercial website, online service or mobile app? Regardless of whether your business or organization operates out of California, it is important to be aware of this new requirement and take action to ensure your business is protected.

The DNT disclosure law is an amendment to the California Online Privacy Protection Act. The amendment mandates that commercial websites or online services that collect “personally identifiable information” (PII) must provide a privacy policy that discloses tracking practices. In addition to stating the website is collecting personal data, DNT disclosures should outline:

  1. The protocol for responding to web browser’s DNT signals.
  2. Third-party collection of PII about the consumer’s web activity over time and across sites.

While the law requires that websites make their policies available to users, this does not mean the operator must comply with the privacy preferences of the consumer. The law attempts to provide transparency for the visitor about the website’s online tracking practices.

The signing of AB370 reflects consumers’ growing concern over data tracking and online privacy protection. It remains to be seen whether enforcement of DNT disclosures will lead to improvements in online privacy preferences and increased consumer awareness.

Website operators that collect PII should ensure their privacy policies comply with this new law as it has implications for nearly all online businesses. We recommend contacting legal representation to assess whether your privacy policies align with your tracking methods. Remember this law goes into effect January 01, 2014 and extends to website operators everywhere.

For more information about AB370, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB370

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Adrienne Peake
adrienne@mambomedia.com
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