Complying with privacy laws is necessary for any business that collects personal information from customers online.
What Is Personal Information?
In general, personal information is any kind of data that can be used to identify or profile an individual.
It may include the following:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Credit card information
- Relationship status
What if You Don't Collect Any Personal Information?
What if You’re Using Google Analytics?
Websites often use tools such as Google Analytics to better understand their customers.
Google Analytics, for example, can show you how many people visit your website, how long they stay on the site and where they are from, for example.
“You must disclose the use of Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes data.”
Google doesn’t expect you to provide detailed, technical information. They suggest you post a prominent link to the following page: How Google uses information from sites or apps that use our services.
What’s the Law?
Unlike other countries, the United States does not have a general privacy law. There are only some sector-specific laws, such as:
California Privacy Laws
The State of California has been at the forefront of privacy legislation.
Specific privacy protection laws include:
- California “Shine the Light” Law (California Civil Code Section 1798.83) – Residents can request what personal information has been shared with others for marketing purposes.
- California “Online Eraser” Law (California S.B. 568) – Allows minors to remove or request removal of content they have posted on a website.
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – Gives consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them. It targets big businesses and data brokers.
- California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) – Deals with internet privacy requirements.
CalOPPA covers all types of businesses that have commercial websites, including small businesses. It’s the primary data privacy law in the United States.
For more tips, advice and scam alerts make sure to check out our blog. If you have a business in Los Angeles or Silicon Valley that’s not yet accredited with the local Better Business Bureau, we invite you to get accredited and take advantage of the many benefits to help you build your clientele and manage your reputation.