California’s new SB 568 law changes online privacy for minors

October 2, 2014
Posted by: Matthew Hammer, VP- Marketing

What does this mean for your brand?

Download the Point of View on the new law below. 
CA SB 568 law -2SB 568, a California law stipulating new requirements for protecting the privacy of teens online, is set to go into effect on January 1, 2015. LiveWorld has written a POV document with recommendations on the new law. Download the POV document below.
Many teens have discovered that inappropriate pictures or posts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can diminish future college or job prospects. Therefore, the intent of the law is to ensure that youths are able to remove damaging content and scrub their public images any time prior to turning 18.
Dubbed an “online eraser,” the new law — which applies only to registered users under the age of 18 who reside in California — has three main provisions for website and app publishers:

  • Requires that minors have the ability to delete publicly posted content on a website or app, or have the provider remove or anonymize the content for them
  • Defines certain instructions and notifications to be sent to minors informing them how to remove content, detailing responsibility, liability, and restrictions for removing content from the website or app
  • Prohibits site operators and third-party publishers from targeting minors for marketing or advertising purposes with certain products and services

What SB 568 does mean for you and your brand?
The law is aimed at sites and apps that are “directed to minors,” so unless you are an operator of a website or app that is “created for the purpose of reaching an audience that is predominately comprised of minors, and is not intended for a more general audience comprised of adults,” then you are NOT affected.
However, the provisions in the California law help define industry best practices for safeguarding teens online. Even if you are not required to comply with every facet of the law, you should adopt these principles in your websites and apps because it just makes for a good user experience.
Looking ahead – what this means long term

Historically, California’s laws tend to set a precedent for industry best practices. Throughout the country, there is a growing chorus to change how brands are allowed to market to minors. It’s likely that these rules will eventually encompass minors using ALL websites and apps, not just those specifically targeted to minors.