In the past month, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a number of class action lawsuits alleging that companies’ websites fail to provide notices regarding disclosure of personal information under California’s “Shine the Light” law. None of these suits allege that the companies are misusing personal information. All simply assert that the companies fail properly to identify a method for obtaining a disclosure of how the company shares information. The costs of non-compliance could be substantial—the statute provides for penalties of $500 or $3,000 per violation, depending on whether the violation is willful, plus attorney’s fees. Given that plaintiff’s lawyers appear to be looking through websites looking for violations, it is time for companies to do a quick check of their statutory compliance.
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