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Website Privacy and Data Policies

Lawsuits and Consulting

Every business owner with a website should be aware of the importance of protecting the data of the visitors to their websites. The laws surrounding privacy and data on websites are an ever evolving area of the law, and staying on top of the current regulations is the best practice to avoid a potential lawsuit.

What are Internet Privacy Laws?

Internet Privacy Laws are laws that govern how personal information is collected, used, stored, and protected online. These laws vary by country and region, but generally aim to protect individuals’ personal information from being collected, used, or shared without their consent.

United States Internet Privacy Laws

In the United States, internet privacy laws include the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which regulates the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which regulates the collection, use, and sharing of personal health information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also enforces privacy laws related to online advertising and data security.

Additionally, California’s internet privacy laws are generally considered to be among the strongest in the United States, and are considered to be a model for other states and countries. California has the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was passed in 2018 and went into effect in 2020. It gives California residents the right to know what personal information businesses are collecting about them, the right to have their personal information deleted, and the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information. The CCPA applies to businesses that collect personal information from California residents and have annual gross revenues over $25 million, or that collect personal information on the behalf of 50,000 or more consumers or households, or that derive 50% or more of their annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information.

In addition to the CCPA, California has also passed laws such as the Shine the Light Law, which gives consumers the right to request information about the sharing of their personal information with third parties for marketing purposes, and the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), which regulates government access to electronic communications and data.

GDPR and EU Privacy Laws

In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the collection, use, and storage of personal data, and gives EU citizens the right to access, correct, and delete their personal data. In many countries, internet service providers (ISPs) are required to protect the privacy of their customers’ internet activity, such as browsing history and search queries, and are prohibited from collecting and sharing this information without the customer’s consent. This laws apply not only to businesses located in Europe and the United Kingdom, but also to any business that does business through their website with the EU and the UK.

Failure to comply with Internet Privacy Laws can lead to litigation. Many of these cases are brought by internet trolls looking for websites that merely fail to meet technical compliance standards. It is important to have an attorney well-versed in internet privacy issues review your website’s policies and procedures around user data collection and use. Contact the Karlin Law Firm LLP for drafting and review of your website’s privacy policies and procedures or any related litigation matters.