By Scott W. Pink and Carissa Bouwer

California Attorney General Kamala Harris launched yet another shot across the bow of advertisers when she filed a complaint last week against Delta Airlines in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that Delta had distributed a mobile app without providing notice of its privacy policy in violation of the California Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted in 2004 (“California Online Privacy Act”). Advertisers will need to take note of this case and review their mobile applications to ensure they are in compliance with the California Online Privacy law.

The California law requires commercial operators of websites and online services to conspicuously post detailed privacy policies which inform consumers of the personal information that is collected from them and how that information will be used. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 22575-22579. Although it is a California state law, it has ramifications for all app developers because the law applies to any operator of a website or online service that collects personally identifiable information about consumers residing in California. Personally identifiable information includes name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, social security number, and any other identifier that permits contacting a specific individual. California law provides for fines up to $2500 per noncompliant app that is downloaded by a California consumer. Id. at § 17200, et. al.

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