On September 23, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that adds “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World” to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”). The new CalOPPA provisions prohibit online marketing or advertising certain products to anyone under age 18, and require website operators to honor requests made by minors who are registered users to remove content the minor posted on the site. In addition, operators must provide notice and instructions to minors explaining their rights regarding the removal of content they’ve posted.
As has been the case with other California laws of this nature, these new requirements likely will have significant implications for companies around the world since they apply to any website, online service or app that has users in California under the age of 18. It is also relevant to note that the definition of “operator” for purposes of the new requirements specifically references entities that own “online applications” and “mobile applications” in addition to those that run websites and online services. Given the California Attorney General’s recent focus on mobile app privacy policies, operators of mobile apps that have users under 18 should carefully review the new requirements to ensure compliance.
The law will come into effect on January 1, 2015.