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Children's Privacy

Privacy Co-Chair Paul Martino Quoted on Nationwide Impact of New California Law Establishing Online Privacy Rights for Children Under 18 Years of Age

On September 26, 2013, Paul Martino, co-chair of Alston and Bird’s Privacy and Security practice, was quoted in the Law360 article, “California’s Delete-Button Law Invigorates Teen Privacy Push.” In the article, Martino discussed the likely nationwide impact of a newly enacted California law, entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital Age,” which passed the California legislature as S.B. 568 on August 30 and was signed by Governor Brown on September 23. “What we're seeing from California is a move to nudge the federal law and perhaps influence other states to move in the direction of enabling children to remove posted content at a later date, and to move the age time frame from under 13 to under 18,” said Martino. “Even though this bill only applies to two limited areas, it has the potential to raise the question among lawmakers at the state and federal level about whether the current regime for children under 13 is sufficient.”

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Update: California Governor Brown Signs into Law S.B. 568, "Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World"

Today, California Governor Brown signed into law S.B. 568, establishing a new law entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” which aims to protect the online privacy of children and teenagers who are under 18 years of age and reside in the State of California. California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who introduced S.B. 568, released a statement calling the new law “a groundbreaking protection for our kids who often act impetuously with postings of ill-advised pictures or messages before they think through the consequences. They deserve the right to remove this material that could haunt them for years to come. At the same time, this bill will help keep minors from being bombarded with advertisements for harmful products that are illegal for them to use, like alcohol, tobacco and guns. I thank Governor Brown for recognizing that these common sense protections will help our children as they navigate the on-line world.” The new law will become effective as of January 1, 2015. For more information on S.B. 568, please see our previous blog posting entitled California Establishes Digital Privacy Rights Law for Minors: S.B. 568 Expands Online Privacy Protections Beyond Federal COPPA Rules and Extends Rights to All Children Under 18 Years of Age. For more detailed information on the new law, please refer to our full-length client advisory entitled California Establishes Digital Privacy Rights Laws for Minors.

Written by Paul G. Martino, Partner, Privacy & Data Security | Alston & Bird LLP

California Adopts Do-Not-Track Disclosure Law: A.B. 370 Amends the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) to Require New Privacy Policy Disclosures for Websites, Online Services and Mobile Apps about Behavioral Tracking

California Governor Brown is preparing to sign into law a new online privacy bill (A.B. 370) approved unanimously (78-0) by the California Assembly on August 26, 2013, having previously passed the California Senate by a vote of 37-0 (with 2 non-votes recorded). The Governor is expected to sign the bill before the expiration of the signing period on October 13, 2013. The new law amends the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) to require two new privacy policy disclosures for websites and online services regarding behavior tracking.

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California Establishes Digital Privacy Rights Law for Minors: S.B. 568 Expands Online Privacy Protections Beyond Federal COPPA Rules and Extends Rights to All Children Under 18 Years of Age

California Governor Brown is preparing to sign into law an unprecedented children’s online privacy bill (S.B. 568), which adds a new chapter to the State’s Business and Professions Code (BPC) to protect the online privacy of children and teenagers who are under 18 years of age and reside in the State of California. The bill establishes Chapter 22.1, entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” which will commence with Section 22580 in Division 8 of the BPC.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Approves S. 1223, Location Privacy Protection Act, Sponsored by Senator Al Franken

December 14, 2012 | Posted by paul.martino@alston.com | Topic(s): Online Privacy, US Congress, Legislation, Mobile Technologies, Privacy, Children's Privacy, Senate, Mobile Privacy

Last evening, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote a location privacy bill -- S. 1223, the Location Privacy Protection Act -- sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and cosponsored by four other Democratic members of the committee. In his remarks before the vote, Senator Franken stated that “companies that collect our location information are not protecting it the way they should.”

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Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus Holds Roundtable Briefing on Data Broker Practices

December 13, 2012 | Posted by paul.martino@alston.com | Topic(s): Online Privacy, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), US Congress, Legislation, Privacy, Children's Privacy, House of Representatives

This morning, Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton, (R-TX), Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, hosted a roundtable briefing with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, and invited representatives of companies and consumer advocacy groups to discuss the “data broker” industry and consumer concerns with the transparency of data collection practices.

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FTC Releases Report on Children’s Mobile Apps

On December 10, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission issued the report, Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade, concluding that mobile app developers have made little progress in providing parents with clear information regarding the data collection and interactive features of apps geared toward children. This new report is a follow up to the FTC’s first survey of children’s apps conducted in 2011.

The new report found a significant discrepancy between the privacy disclosures and the actual practices of many children’s apps. The FTC in the report urges app developers to 1) incorporate privacy protections into the design of the mobile apps and services; 2) provide parents with clear choices about the data collection and sharing; and 3) provide greater transparency regarding how data is collected, used and shared.

In addition, the FTC warned it is launching multiple nonpublic investigations to determine whether certain apps have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or engaged in deceptive trade practices.

The full FTC report can be found here: Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade

Written by Nick Stamos, Associate | Alston & Bird LLP

FTC Proposes Revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

September 20, 2011 | Posted by bill.helmstetter@alston.com | Topic(s): Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Legislation, Children's Privacy

In light of changes in technology, particularly in the mobile, interactive gaming and social networking space, this past week the FTC formally requested comments to its proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA”).  Comments on the proposed changes are due November 28, 2011.

The changes focus on five substantive sections of the rule: (i) definitions, (ii) parental notice, (iii) parental consent, (iv) confidentiality and security, and (v) the self-regulatory safe harbor.  Key highlights are stated below.

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Congressmen Markey and Barton Introduce H.R. 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011

May 13, 2011 | Posted by paul.martino@alston.com | Topic(s): US Congress, Legislation, Privacy, Children's Privacy

Congressmen Ed Markey (D-Mass), and Joe Barton (R-Tx.), Co-Chairs of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, introduced the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011, a bill which would amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) (Pub. L. No. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-728, 15 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information. The bill also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens.