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California Enacts Nations First State Online Privacy Protection Act

December 17, 2003

By John J. Altorelli and Amy L. Rosenberg

California has recently passed the nation’s first state Internet users’ privacy law entitled the Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003. Although a corresponding federal bill with the same name is currently pending in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce, states are increasingly considering passage of online privacy laws in response to a lack of strong federal legislative action in this area. The enactment of California’s new law, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2004, may indicate the beginning of a trend among states to adopt online privacy policy laws.