Brian Kindsvater

Law Office of Brian Kindsvater

New California Law Protects Minors Using Websites

If you have a website or mobile app with users under the age of 18 then you will want to pay attention to a new California law.

Starting in 2015 there are new requirements impacting your app or website.

The first of which is that you will not be able to market certain categories of products to the minor.  There are categories you would probably guess: obscene material, drugs, weapons, and alcohol.  But there are others you may not have guessed, such as tanning products.

(If you own a tanning salon a huge bullseye  has been painted on your business by the state and federal government the last few years, with advertising restrictions and extra taxes not applicable to other businesses.)

The second restriction is that if the minor has posted content to your website you need to remove the content if the minor requests removal.  This is to protect children from making dumb and embarrassing posts they later want removed when they become old enough to hold a job.

(Don’t we wish we all had this magic button.)

These rules apply for minors who are California residents.  As a practical matter, to align your website or app with California law this may universally protect any minor using your site.

How do you know if a minor is using your services?  Apart from the obvious – a date listed on their profile – the law says information in their posts, such as saying they are going to the local junior high school, will be enough to give you notice that you need to comply with the law.

Attorney Brian Kindsvater

 

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October 11, 2013 - Posted by | Law

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