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

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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.”

The new law, which will become effective as of January 1, 2015, seeks to protect the online privacy of children under 18 years of age who reside in the State of California by requiring websites, online services and mobile apps to remove content children have posted, such as photos or messages, whenever requested by them. The bill also restricts online marketing of specified products and services to children.

Regarding the momentum that enactment of the California law may create nationwide, Martino said, “Supporters of this bill are not going to be satisfied just passing this in California; they’ll want to move on to another state and pressure Congress to make other moves.”

For more information on the new California privacy rights for minors law, 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 a more detailed analysis of the new law, please refer to our full-length client advisory entitled California Establishes Digital Privacy Rights Laws for Minors.