A new California law is leading the way to protect our children's digital privacy. Earlier today, Gov. Brown signed into SB-568 Privacy: Internet: Minors that will protect the online privacy of those under 18 years of age who reside in the State of California. According to CA Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the bill's sponsor, the legislation "requires all web sites, social media sites and apps to allow anyone under 18 to remove content they posted earlier."
The new law will become effective as of January 1, 2015. It has two
main provisions. It seeks to protect minors by generally prohibiting operators
of digital platforms (such as web sites, online services, online applications, mobile
apps, etc...) from knowingly marketing and advertising to a minor a broad range
of products specified in the law. Some of these products may include alcoholic beverages,
firearms, ammunition, tobacco products, fireworks, lottery tickets, tattoos, drug
paraphernalia. In addition, the new law requires operators of digital platforms to notify minors of
their rights to remove content or information they posted and honor their requests to remove such data, subject to specified
conditions and exceptions.
California has become the first state to offer greater digital protections to minors than the recently revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. While SB-568 is a win for the digital privacy of minors, those under 18 should not use this as an excuse to be reckless about their digital lives. For example, the law does not enable a minor to require a digital platform remove content that another person posts about that minor. In addition, Internet companies are only required to remove publicly available content a minor posts and not data that is not publicly viewable.
While SB-568 may help protect California minors from some digital mistakes that may harm their ability to gain acceptance into the college of their dreams, it should not replace educating our children about these issues.
Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.