Last updated on 19 January 2022 by Jaclyn Kilani (Legal writer at TermsFeed)
Although it does apply to California-based businesses as well, CalOPPA pertains to any company that collects personal information from California residents regardless of where that company is located. Because of the global nature of the internet, this law not only applies to most any business in the United States, but it can also be (and has been) enforced in other countries as well.
According to CalOPPA, personal information is defined as any data that may be used to identify a person, such as:
At the very least, your business will likely collect emails or IP addresses from visitors in order to provide your services. If one of those visitors is a California resident, then CalOPPA applies to you.
Here is a short rundown:
In any of the above scenarios, compliance with CalOPPA is highly recommended. Failure to do so could result in a fine of $2,500 per user, per violation.
While the measures required by CalOPPA do not diverge greatly from the common practices of Privacy Policies in general, there are a few items you'll want to double-check and/or change to ensure full compliance:
As you can see in CalOPPA section 22577 above, the link must contain the word "privacy" and be distinguishable from the surrounding text by way of font, size, or color so that "a reasonable person would notice it."
These stipulations might not be met in the case of a small footer link. One solution could be larger, more obvious links throughout the website, but this may not be conducive to the design and flow of your layout.
Along with the settings link, a clickwrap agreement is always recomended for mobile apps since there are less opportunities for prominent links throughout the basic interface.
This includes both the information you collect directly from users, data that is collected automatically such as IP address or geolocation, and data you collect from third-party sources.
It's also highly recommended by the California Attorney General that you describe how information is collected, be it through direct web forms, cookies, or other methods.
Here, Microsoft goes on to explain the different methods used to collect information:
Whether it's for analytical purposes, transaction processing, or advertising, you must inform users of any third-parties you share consumer information with.
Amazon explains the ways in which it shares customer information and its reasons for doing so:
This includes any advertising or analytics services you work with.
In the case of targeted advertising, it is recommended that you include information about opting-out of those programs. Amazon goes so far as to provide a direct link for opting out of targeted advertising:
Describe the choices users have in regard to the collection, use, or sharing of their personal data. Let them know of any processes you have in place for customers to access and review their information, as well as how to make changes or delete information.
Lookout describes various ways for users to access and make changes to their personal information:
If it's not possible for users to access or make changes to their own information via an online portal, then you should let users know who to contact in order to review and make changes to the personal data you have on file.
This may be the CalOPPA statute that has created the most confusion, but it's actually not overly complicated.
Here's a basic rundown of what it means:
Apple provides a clear, easy-to-understand disclosure of its response to DNT signals and how to send DNT signals from Apple's Safari browser. Note that it also mentions third-party affiliates that may place tracking cookies:
Although most companies are making some attempt at complying with CalOPPA requirements, some are more exemplary than others. Here are a few excellent examples.
Once the visitor clicks through, the effective date of the policy is posted right at the top, along with a statement that the Policy has been updatd:
Next follows a section that addresses the variety of types of of personal information collected by LinkedIn. Here's only an excerpt:
LinkedIn goes on to explain how and when and why it shares user data with third party advertisers:
Further down in the Policy, it provides a set of links and different ways for users to access or make changes to their information and how it is used:
LinkedIn provides a short, to-the-point clause about its DNT practices along with a link to further information:
Overall, LinkedIn complies with CalOPPA very well.
Tribune is a publishing house that owns prominent newspapers like the Los Angeles Times.
The information collected is provided as a detailed list that goes on to include automatically collected information and third-party providers of personal information:
Tribune lays out a comprehensive list of how it shares personal data with third parties and why:
DNT requirements are met with this paragraph:
Tribune offers consumers two different methods for accessing or changing their personal data:
Most of the requirements are best practices for any business, and are easy to implement either in an existing or newly-created Privcay Policy.
This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.
19 January 2022