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Private Eyes Are Watching You – California Files Its First Internet Consumer Privacy Enforcement Action

Last month, the State of California filed its first enforcement action under its privacy laws against Delta Air Lines, seeking potentially millions of dollars in fines. Under California’s consumer privacy law, all parties that collect personal information from California residents are required to include a privacy notice on their websites and mobile applications. This law applies to all companies – not just those based in California. Failure to comply with California’s privacy notice requirement carries a fine of up to $2,500 per violation.

Although Delta included a compliant privacy policy on its website, California alleges the airline did not state that the policy covered its “Fly Delta” mobile application nor did it include access to the policy on the app. This case could signal increased scrutiny and regulatory enforcement by the State of California (and possibly other governmental authorities) against large and small companies that fail to comply with consumer privacy notice requirements. It also serves as a good reminder for website and mobile app owners, who collect personal information, to:

  • Ensure that they have a privacy policy that complies with both federal and state law.
  • Verify that the manner in which the privacy policy is posted complies with federal and state law.
  • Confirm that the privacy policy applies to its mobile applications and, if possible, that it is accessible from the mobile applications.
  • Confirm that the privacy policy reflects the actual practices of the company.
  • Respond promptly to any notice received from a governmental authority regarding potential violations.
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About this Author

Jennifer R. Byrne, Corporate Services, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale, Law Firm
Partner

As a member of the firm’s Corporate Services practice group, Jennifer Byrne concentrates her practice in general corporate issues, mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate governance and finance. With experience in representing both public and private companies in a number of industries, including manufacturing, retail, aerospace and professional services, Jennifer provides creative, value-driven results in a wide variety of matters.

314-342-8025
Tiffany L. Schwartz, Armstrong Teasdale Law firm, Intellectual Property Attorney
Associate

As a member of the Intellectual Property practice group, Tiffany Schwartz guides brand owners in matters involving trademark selection, registration, policing, and protection strategies. She understands that our economy is largely driven by brand recognition and that building and protecting its brand is critical to the success of every business.

Tiffany handles domestic and foreign trademark prosecution and provides opinions relating to trademark selection and infringement issues for clients in a variety of industries. She also negotiates and drafts agreements...

314-259-4729