Published by LawTechie - February 26, 2013 - LawTechie

Internet lawYesterday California introduced¬† a legislation update to its “Shine the Light” law designed to further protect online user privacy by allowing consumers to track the collection and sharing of their private data by online companies. According to ABC News:

[Under the previously existing legislation] Californians are allowed to ask companies how they shared their information with other third parties for direct marketing purposes… But direct marking purposes is really narrowly defined.

Under the new update, when asked companies must now share all information collected about consumers, whether or not that information was used for marketing purposes.

The updated law would create an additional burden for businesses to retain user info for longer periods of time — of course IMO this is already done for marketing purposes, so the only “real” additional burden on businesses would be to create a mechanism for efficiently (and cost-effectively) responding to consumer information requests.

One further note: The Shine the Light Law does not in any way affect the required content of website privacy policies. As noted in the news report:

“The difference between ‘Shine the Light’ and a privacy policy is the privacy policy will tell you all the things a company may do,” Lowenthal said. “‘Shine the Light’ will actually tell you about your information what information has been gathered about you and how that information has been shared with other companies.”

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.

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