Amidst the increasing public frustration over the use and leaking of private personally identifying information (“PII”) by government and private entities, California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently issued guidelines to help companies comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (“CalOPPA”).
Kamala Harris has been particularly active in this area of Online Privacy since she took the California Attorney General office in 2011. The recent amendment, effective January 1, 2014, is the first major activity on CalOPPA since it went into effect in 2004. Harris is also making special efforts to enforce CalOPPA, which does not itself have an enforcement provision, under California’s Unfair Competition Law, which permits penalties of up to $2,500 per violation. In 2013, Harris brought suit against Delta Airlines to enforce these penalties for violations to CalOPPA, but the suit was dismissed on other grounds. Thus, while it generally remains to be seen how the courts will interpret CalOPPA and this method of enforcement, it is clear that Harris is determined to take action in order to enforce the CalOPPA provisions
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