If you develop or offer mobile apps online, you must comply with the California mobile app privacy law regulations. Why? If you don’t, you will be fined $2,500 per user of your app by the California Attorney General.
Is this one of those news stories designed to scare you straight or is this something you really need to address in your business? It is a real threat. There is a sense the Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, is seeking to build a political career on the topic of privacy. Her conduct so far in seeking to enforce the California Online Privacy Protection Act is supporting this notion.
What about actual app developers? The assault has begun. The Attorney General sent out 100 notices to different developers recently regarding violations of the California Online Privacy Protection Act. If you are reading this, you might be one of them. Regardless, more notices should be going out each month as Harris has formed a team of attorneys to prosecute app developers on this issue.
Let me be blunt. The financial implications of failing to comply with the privacy requirements of California for an app are devastating. The fine is $2,500 per user. An app with a mere 1,000 downloads that fails to comply with the law would face a fine as high as $2.5 million. Now do I have your attention?
What if your app business isn’t located in California? It doesn’t matter. The way the law is written, you must comply as long as a single resident of California downloads your app. Given the population of the state, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where an app would be offered on iTunes or some other platform without at least one person from California being a user.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.