California AG Threatens Enforcement of Privacy Policy Disclosure Laws Against App Providers


Opening up a potential new enforcement risk for all providers of apps, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced on October 30 that she is sending notices to up to 100 providers of mobile apps claiming that their apps do not comply with California’s privacy laws. The California Attorney General asserts that the targeted companies’ apps are non-compliant because they fail to include, within the apps, privacy policies reasonably accessible by app users. According to the California Attorney General, failure by the recipients to correct the alleged deficiencies within 30 days could expose them to fines of up to $2500 for each copy of a non-compliant app a California consumer downloads. Recipients of the Attorney General’s notice reportedly include United Airlines, Delta Airlines, OpenTable, and other providers of popular apps.

The crux of Attorney General Harris’ assertions is the way in which the targeted companies are providing consumers with privacy notices. Having a separate web site that has the company’s privacy policy may not be enough, especially if a link to the web site policy is not “‘reasonably accessible’ to the user within the app.” Even if a company has a privacy policy that a consumer could find on its web site, the Attorney General is taking the position that California privacy laws require the company’s apps to have, conspicuously posted within the apps in a means reasonably accessible to consumers, a privacy policy that informs consumers of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ropes & Gray LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Ropes & Gray LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.