How much do you know about how websites collect, store, and use your personal information and data? There are laws in place that enable you to opt out of certain data collection and to allow you to view and delete any personal information that has been collected.
These laws are intended to protect you from cybercriminals. There are 5 major players in the online privacy law arena.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA requires that sites verify parental or legal guardian consent if their intention is to collect information from a minor. COPPA also sets limits on the types and amounts of allowable data collection from children under the age of 13. A site must divulge any responsibilities it holds with regard to online privacy and safety of a child. All sites are also required to post their privacy policies on any page where data is collected.
Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA)
The CFAA ensures that certain activities involving the unauthorized access of a computer to obtain specific information, transmit harmful items, defraud or obtain anything of value, or sell computer passwords are against the law.
Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
This particular act regulates the sending of unsolicited commercial emails and prohibits misleading header information and deceptive subject lines. It also requires senders to disclose specific information and include a valid way to opt out. It also creates civil and criminal penalties for violators.
Electronic Communication Protections Act (ECPA)
The ECPA was put in place to protect electronic communications during creation, transit, and storage. This includes phone calls, emails, and electronically stored data. It also protects the records of a site’s subscribers, including name, IP address, and billing information.
Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC)
The FTC has several fair information practices in place that are intended to protect your online privacy. Website owners are required to provide notice regarding the site’s privacy practices that are actively in place. You are entitled to correct or delete personal information collected and to exercise parental control over the use of data collected from children.
For More Information
Not all states are created equal when it comes to online privacy laws. Each state has its own regulations in place and they don’t all use the same acts for regulating website operators. To learn more about privacy laws and how your state ranks when it comes to online security take a look at the article “The Best & Worst States in America for Online Privacy”.