introductory guide to U.S. online privacy law

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Despite The Lack Of A Universal Online Privacy Law, Several State Laws Affect The Entire Country

Online privacy is a much-discussed area of law, which is why many people are surprised to learn that the United States doesn’t have an all-encompassing, federal online privacy law. However, there are digital privacy laws that protect children’s personal information, in addition to regulations that apply to financial and health digital records.

Additionally, several states have online privacy laws on the books -- the most notable being California. So, if your commercial website is available to users in California, you’re required to meet the state’s digital privacy bar.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Digital platforms of any kind (i.e., websites, apps, ISPs, et cetera), which have the potential to attract children aged 12 and younger, must comply with operational rules laid out in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The Financial Modernization Act Financial Privacy Rules

Financial Modernization Act Privacy Rules Passed in the late 1990s, the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (a.k.a. the Financial Modernization Act) disassembled financial regulations implemented in the wake of the Great Depression; the law also outlines digital privacy standards to which businesses must comply.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPPA digital privacy laws The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act addresses health-related digital privacy issues. Commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the law “establishes national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information.”

California and Other State Online Privacy Laws

State online privacy laws The nation may not have an overarching online privacy law, but California sure has a lot. And if your website is accessible to people in California, following the state’s digital privacy rules is a must.