Have you received this letter? If you did, it is part of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris efforts to formally notify scores of mobile application developers and companies that they are not in compliance with one aspect of California's privacy law. Letters are being sent out to up to 100 non-compliant apps at this time, starting with those who have the most popular apps available on mobile platforms. Even if you have not received the letter, you may want to think about whether you need to comply.

The California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) requires commercial operators of online services, including websites and mobile and social apps, which collect personally identifiable information from Californians to conspicuously post a privacy policy. Privacy policies should address how companies collect, use, and share personal information. Companies can face fines of up to $2,500 each time a non-compliant app is downloaded.

This enforcement action by Attorney General Harris is directed at mobile and social app platforms, but CalOPPA applies more broadly - to all commercial operators of online services that collect personal identifiable information about Californians.

It also is important to note that CalOPPA is just one of a number of privacy laws that the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit is charged with enforcing. Created in 2012, the Privacy Unit’s mission is to enforce federal and state privacy laws regulating the collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction of private or sensitive information by individuals, organizations, and the government. This includes laws relating to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records and data breaches.

The establishment of the Privacy Unit and this more recent enforcement of CalOPPA suggests California is stepping up the enforcement of its privacy laws. Privacy officers, security officers, compliance officers, information security officers, risk managers, and others in California and beyond should take stock of their compliance efforts and make adjustments where necessary.