Privacy Rights
Home Internet Privacy Privacy Rights

Los Angeles Privacy Rights Attorney

California law protects victims of breaches of privacy. California law provides the victims with a possibility for damages against wrongdoers. It is a violation of law to publicly disclose private facts which would be offensive and/or objectionable to a reasonable person, including photographs and videos of sexual acts. Moreover, it is a violation of law to intrude upon the personal affairs of others.

At Wex Law, our attorneys represent victims of privacy violations in lawsuits involving:

  • Mug shots
  • Internet Privacy
  • Computer Privacy
  • Cell Phone Privacy
  • Use of Likeness

Privacy laws in the United States

Over the last fifty years, numerous federal and state privacy laws have been enacted and updated in response to new technologies, information products, and data storage capabilities. Although these laws have varying focuses, all of them protect against unauthorized use or collection of private records. Additionally, many of these laws allow consumers to file privacy lawsuits to hold companies accountable when they collect or use information unlawfully.

Below are examples of notable privacy laws:

Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552a)

Establishes a Code of Fair Information Practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.

Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988

The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988, P.L. 100–503, amended the Privacy Act of 1974 by adding certain protections for the subjects of Privacy Act records whose records are used in automated matching programs. These protections have been mandated to ensure:

  • procedural uniformity in carrying out matching programs;
  • due process for subjects in order to protect their rights, and
  • oversight of matching programs through the establishment of Data Integrity Boards at each agency engaging in matching to monitor the agency's matching activity.[3]

The Computer Matching Act is codified as part of the Privacy Act.

Cable Communications Policy Act (47 U.S.C. Section 551)

Cable television companies must inform their subscribers about the personal data collected and how that data is disclosed. The Act prohibits the collection and disclosure of personal information without authorization, and provides damage awards of at least $1,000, plus punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees in lawsuits against cable television companies found in violation of the Act.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (18 U.S.C. Section 2701 et seq.)

The ECPA is a computer privacy law that prohibits tampering with computers or accessing computerized records without authorization. Title I of the ECPA protects wire, oral, and electronic communications while in transit.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. Sections 6801 et seq.)

The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, is a financial privacy law that regulates the collection, disclosure, and protection of consumers’ personally identifiable, nonpublic information by financial institutions, such as banks, debt collectors, lenders, etc.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Pub. Law No. 104-191 Sections 262,264: 45 C.F.R. Sections 160-164)

HIPAA addresses the security and privacy of health data maintained or transmitted by health plans, healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and other related entities. Supplementing other health privacy laws, HIPAA requires health plans and healthcare providers to provide a written notice of how protected health information about an individual will be used, as well as an accounting of the circumstances surrounding certain disclosures of the information.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. Section 227)

The TCPA is a broad statute governing telemarketing in the United States and implicating cell phone privacy. It restricts the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages received by cell phones, and the use of fax machines to send unsolicited advertisements without consumer consent.

Video Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S.C. Section 2710)

The VPPA prohibits videotape sale or rental companies from disclosing customers’ names and addresses, or the subject matter of their purchases or rentals for marketing uses, unless the customers have been notified of their right to stop such disclosures. Video companies that violate the VPPA may be liable for damage awards of at least $2,500, punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Wiretap Statutes (18 U.S.C. S 2510 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. Section 605)

This Act prohibits the use of eavesdropping technology and the interception of electronic mail, radio communications, data transmission, and telephone calls without consent, safeguarding financial privacy and preserving other sensitive information.

California Privacy Laws

California Constitution, Article 1, section 1.The state Constitution gives each citizen an "inalienable right" to pursue and obtain "privacy.

California Law - General Privacy Laws

Automated License Plate Recognition Systems - California Civil Code §§ 1798.90.5-1798.90.55, 1798.29, 1798.82. This law regulates the privacy and usage of data collected by automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. It prohibits public agencies from selling or sharing the information except to another public agency, and imposes security and other requirements on system operators and on users of data from ALPR systems.

Automobile "Black Boxes" - California Vehicle Code section 9951. This law requires automobile manufacturers that install "event data recorders" in vehicles to disclose that fact in the owner's manual. It also limits the retrieval and use of data from such a device to the vehicle owner or others permitted by the owner, in response to a court order, for the purpose of improving vehicle safety, or for servicing or repairing the vehicle. Data retrieved for improving vehicle safety may not be released for any other purpose and must not reveal the owner's identity if shared with other vehicle safety organizations. Subscription services that install such devices must disclose the device's function in the subscription service agreement. Effective for vehicles manufactured after 7/1/04.

Bank Account Numbers, Reuse - California Financial Code section 4100. This law prohibits a depository institution, as defined, from using an account number previously held by a different customer until three years after the account was closed. Took effect July 1, 2006.
California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) - Penal Code section 1546 et seq. This law generally requires government entities to obtain a search warrant before accessing data on an electronic device or from an online service provider.

Computer Misuse and Abuse: Criminal Sanctions - California Penal Code section 502. In general, this section makes it a crime to knowingly access and, without permission, use, misuse, abuse, damage, contaminate, disrupt or destroy a computer, computer system, computer network, computer service, computer data or computer program. Depending on the particular violation, this section can support a variety of fines and imprisonment in criminal actions as well as remedies recoverable in civil actions.

Connected Televisions - Business & Professions Code sections 22948.20-22948.25. This law prohibits the operation of a voice recognition feature in an Internet-connected television without first prominently informing the user of the feature. It also prohibits the use or sale for advertising purposes of recordings of spoken words and conversations captured by a connected television for improving its voice recognition feature.

Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act - California Civil Code sections 1785.1-1785.36. This law, the state counterpart of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, regulates consumer credit reporting agencies. It requires them, among other things, 1) to provide free copies of credit reports to consumers who have been denied credit or who are identity theft victims, 2) to block information that appears on a report as the result of identity theft, 3) to place security alerts or freezes on the files of consumers who request them, and 4) to provide, for a reasonable fee, credit score information to consumers who request it. The law provides consumer credit reporting agencies with specific permission for the disclosure of public record information lawfully obtained from an open public record, to the extent otherwise permitted by law. It also prohibits the use of consumer credit reports for employment purposes, with certain exceptions.

Court Records: Protection of Victim and Witness Information - California Penal Code section 964. This law requires the district attorney and the courts in each county to establish a procedure to protect confidential personal information regarding any witness or victim contained in a police report, arrest report, or investigative report submitted to a court by a prosecutor in support of a criminal complaint, indictment, or information, or by a prosecutor or law enforcement officer in support of a search warrant or an arrest warrant.

Credit Card Address Change - California Civil Code section 1747.06. This law requires a credit card issuer that receives an application with a different address in response to a mailed unsolicited offer to verify the change of address. It also requires a credit card issuer that receives a request for an address change and within 10 days a request for an additional credit card to verify the change of address before mailing or activating the additional credit card.

Credit Card/Telephone Service Address Change - California Civil Code section 1799.1b. This law requires a credit card issuer or telephone company that gets a request for a change of address on an account and then within a specified period receives a request for a new credit card or service to notify the consumer at the former address of record.

Credit Card or Check Payment - California Civil Code sections 1725 and 1747.08. Any person accepting a check in payment for most goods or services at retail is prohibited from recording a purchaser's credit card number or requiring that a credit card be shown as a condition of accepting the check (Section 1725). Any person accepting a credit card in payment for most goods or services is prohibited from writing the collecting and recording cardholder's personal information on forms associated with the transaction. The law explicitly allows the collection of a zip code in a sales transaction at a gas pump or an automated cashier in a gas station and limits the use of the zip code information to the prevention of fraud. (Section 1747.08).

Credit Card Full Disclosure Act - California Civil Code sections 1748.10 - 1748.14. Allows credit card holders to opt-out of having their marketing information disclosed by credit card companies. Credit card issuers are also required to provide cardholders with a written notice of their right to prohibit the disclosure of their marketing information to marketers who disclose the cardholder's identity. This written notice must include both a preprinted form and a toll-free number which cardholders can use to exercise this right.

Credit/Debit Card Number Truncation - California Civil Code section 1747.09. No more than the last five digits of a credit card or debit card number may be printed on the customer copy of electronically printed receipts.

Credit Card "Skimmers" - California Penal Code section 502.6. The knowing and willful possession or use, with the intent to defraud, of a device designed to scan or re-encode information from or to the magnetic strip of a payment card (a "skimmer") is punishable as a misdemeanor. The devices owned by the defendant and possessed or used in violation may be destroyed and various other computer equipment used to store illegally obtained data may be seized.

Credit Cards, Substitutes - California Civil Code section 1747.05. A credit card issuer that issues a substitute credit card must provide an activation process where consumers are required to contact the card issuer to activate the credit card before it can be used.

Customer Electrical and Natural Gas Usage Data - California Civil Code sections 1798.98-1798.99.This law extends many of the consumer privacy protections that apply to customer usage data maintained by electric and gas utilities to other third-party businesses that may handle the customer usage data. It prohibits sharing, disclosing, or otherwise making customer usage data accessible to any third party without the customer’s express content. It requires conspicuous disclosure of with whom such data will be shared and how it will be used. It requires businesses, among other things, to implement and maintain reasonable security to protect the data from unauthorized disclosure.

Data Breach Notice - California Civil Code sections 1798.29 and 1798.82. This law requires a business or a government agency that owns or licenses unencrypted computerized data that includes personal information, as defined, to notify any California resident whose unencrypted personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person. The type of information that triggers the notice requirement is 1) an individual's name plus one or more of the following: Social Security number, driver's license or California Identification Card number, financial account numbers, medical information, health insurance, or information collected through an automated license plate recognition system; or 2) user ID and password or other specified credentials permitting access to online accounts. The notice must contain specific information, and it must use a title and headings, as specified. Any agency, person, or business that is required to issue a breach notice to more than 500 California residents must electronically submit a single sample copy to the Attorney General.

Disposal of Customer Records - California Civil Code sections 1798.80 - 1798.81 and 1798.84. These sections require businesses to shred, erase or otherwise modify the personal information when disposing of customer records under their control. It provides a "safe harbor" from civil litigation for a business that has come into possession of records containing personal information that were abandoned, so long as the business disposes of them as provided in the statute.

Domestic Violence Victim Privacy - California Civil Code section 1798.79.8 This law prohibits a domestic violence victim service provider from being required to reveal the personally identifying information of its clients or potential clients as a part of applying for or receiving grants or financial assistance for its services. It defines "victim service provider" to mean a non-governmental organization that provides shelter or services to victims of domestic violence.

Driver's License Information Confidentiality - California Vehicle Code sections 1808-1821. This law puts limits on disclosures of personal information in records maintained by the DMV.

Driver's License Information, Scanning or "Swiping" - California Civil Code section 1798.90.1. Prohibits bars, car dealers and others from collecting information by swiping driver's license for any purposes other than verifying age or authenticity of the license, check verification or when legally required.

Eavesdropping or Skimming RFID - California Civil Code section 1798.79 and following. This law makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally remotely read or attempt to read another person's identification document that uses radio frequency identification (RFID), without the person's knowledge or consent. It also makes it a misdemeanor to reveal the operational system keys used in a contactless identification document. Both crimes are punishable by a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,500.

Electronic Eavesdropping - California Penal Code sections 630-638. Among other things, this law prohibits, with exceptions, electronic eavesdropping on or recording of private communications by telephone, radio telephone, cellular radio telephone, cable or any other device or in any other manner. Violation can result in penalties of up to $10,000 and imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to one year (sections 631-632.7). It prohibits cable TV and satellite TV operators from monitoring or recording conversations in a subscriber's residence, or from sharing individually identifiable information on subscriber viewing habits or other personal information without written consent (section 637.5).

Electronic Eavesdropping by State Law Enforcement Officials - California Penal Code sections 629.50-629.98. With the approval of a Superior Court judge, specified law enforcement officials can intercept specifically described wire, electronic pager, or electronic cellular telephone communications. The law prescribes a procedure that requires officials to present to a Superior Court judge requests for authority to record, catalogue, maintain and report about recordings of all communications intercepted (except legally privileged communications). The law also requires authorities to notify the parties to such intercepted communications about the facts of the wiretapping activities, no later than 90 days after the termination of the activities or after the denial of an application seeking wiretapping authority. This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2015, and as of that date is repealed.

Electronic Toll Collection Systems - Streets and Highways Code sections 31490- 31490. This law requires a transportation agency that uses electronic toll collection systems to have a privacy policy regarding the collection and use of personally identifiable information. The transportation agency shall conspicuously post its privacy policy on its Internet Web site.

Electronic Surveillance in Rental Cars - California Civil Code section 1936. This law prohibits vehicle rental companies from using, accessing, or obtaining information relating to a renter's use of a rental vehicle obtained using onboard electronic surveillance technology, except in limited circumstances. It requires rental companies to obtain a renter's consent before using or disclosing information about the renter's use of the vehicle.

Employment Background Checks: Expunged Records - California Labor Code § 432.7. This law prohibits employers from asking job applicants about or using as a factor in employment decisions information about criminal records that have been expunged, sealed or dismissed.

Employment of Offenders - California Penal Code section 4017.1 and Penal Code section 5071 and California Welfare and Institutions Code section 219.5. Prison and county jail inmates may not have jobs that give them access to personal information. The same prohibitions apply to offenders performing community service in lieu of a fine or custody.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, California Civil Code Sections 1788 - 1788.33. This law prohibits debt collectors from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the collection of consumer debts and requires debtors to act fairly in entering into and honoring such debts. It also requires a collector to stop collection when an alleged debtor furnishes a police report of identity theft and other information. Before resuming collection, the collector, must make a good faith determination that the information does not establish that the consumer is not responsible for the debt.

Financial Information Privacy Act, California - Financial Code sections 4050 - 4060. This law prohibits financial institutions from sharing or selling personally identifiable nonpublic information without obtaining a consumer's consent, as provided. It provides for a plain-language notice of the privacy rights it confers. The law requires that (1) a consumer must "opt in" before a financial institution may share personal information with an unaffiliated third party, (2) consumers be given an opportunity to "opt out" of sharing with a financial institution's financial marketing partners, and (3) consumers be given the opportunity to "opt out" of sharing with a financial institution's affiliates, with some exceptions. When an affiliate is wholly owned, in the same line of business, subject to the same functional regulator and operates under the same brand name, an institution may share its customers' personal information with the affiliate without providing an opt-out right. *

Fourth Amendment Protection Act - California Government Code section 7599. This law prohibits the state of California from providing federal agencies with electronically stored information or metadata on any person if the state has actual knowledge that the federal request constitutes an illegal collection of that stored information or metadata.

Identification Devices, Prohibition on Bodily Implanting - California Civil Code section 52.7. This law prohibits a person from requiring, coercing, or compelling any other individual to undergo the subcutaneous implanting of an identification device. The law specifically requires that it be liberally construed to protect privacy and bodily integrity. The law also provides for the assessment of civil penalties for violation, as specified, and allows an aggrieved party to bring an action for damages and injunctive relief, subject to a 3-year statute of limitation, or as otherwise provided.

Information Practices Act of 1977 - California Civil Code section 1798 and following. This law applies to state government. It expands upon the constitutional guarantee of privacy by providing limits on the collection, management and dissemination of personal information by state agencies.

Information-Sharing Disclosure, "Shine the Light" - California Civil Code sections 1798.83-1798.84. This law lets consumers learn how their personal information is shared by companies for marketing purposes and encourages businesses to let their customers opt-out of such information sharing. In response to a customer request, a business must provide either: 1) a list of the categories of personal information disclosed to other companies for their marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year, with the names and addresses of those companies, OR 2) a privacy statement giving the customer a cost-free opportunity to opt-out of such information sharing. Financial services companies subject to the California Financial Information Privacy Act are exempted from this law. See the Recommended Practices, pdf in relation to this law.

Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act - California Insurance Code section 791 and following. This law sets standards for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information gathered in connection with insurance transactions by insurance companies, agents or insurance-support organizations. It generally prohibits disclosure of personal or privileged information collected or received in connection with an insurance transaction unless the disclosure (1) is authorized in writing by the individual or (2) is necessary for conducting business. The individual must be given an opportunity to opt-out of disclosure for marketing purposes.

Law Enforcement Interception of Mobile Communications - Government Code section 53166. This law establishes requirements that local agencies must meet before acquiring cellular communications interception technology. The requirements include maintaining reasonable security procedures to protect information collected through the technology, and implementing a usage and privacy policy that covers the authorized purposes for using the technology. It also makes requirements on the authorized users, including requirements on policies and restrictions on sharing the information, and the retention period for the information, among other things.

Library Records, Confidentiality - California Government Code sections 6254, 6267 and 6276.28. Registration and circulation records, of libraries supported by public funds, are confidential and are explicitly exempted from the Public Records Act.

Chapter 3.5. Inspection of Public Records:
6250-6270Article 1. General Provisions6275-6276.48Article 2. Other Exemptions from Disclosure
Locking Mail Boxes in Residential Hotels - California Civil Code section 1941.1 and Health & Safety Code section 17958.3. Effective July 1, 2008, all residential hotels must provide each residential unit with a locking mail receptacle, acceptable for mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. Failure to comply is a basis for considering a residential unit un-tenantable. The law also authorizes cities and counties to make and enforce ordinances that provide greater protections and penalties.

Marketing to State University Alumni - California Education Code sections 89090-89090.5 & 92630. This law authorizes the alumni associations of the California State University, the University of California, and Hastings College of Law to provide the names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of alumni to certain businesses ("affinity partners") for marketing purposes, provided the associations give alumni an opportunity to opt-out of having their information shared and provided the alumni have not, while students at those institutions, opted-out of information sharing.

Marriage Licenses, Addresses - California Family Code section 351.5 This law allows the parties or witnesses to a marriage to use a business address or a post office box rather than a residential address on a marriage license and certificate of registry.

Marriage Records - California Family Code section 509, California Health and Safety Code sections 102230, 102231, 103525, 103525.5, 103526, 103526.5 and 103527. These laws establish procedures for requesting a certified copy of a birth or death records. They also provide protection of specified confidential information in these records, including in marriage records. The law also requires that non-confidential marriage files contain the names of the parties and the date of the marriage.

Motor Vehicle Dealer Data Access - California Vehicle Code section 11713.3 and 11713.25 This law prohibits auto manufacturers and distributors from accessing, modifying, or extracting information from an auto dealer's computer system without providing safeguards to protect that information. It also prohibits a computer vendor from accessing, modifying, or extracting information from an auto dealer's computer system without first obtaining the dealer's express consent and providing safeguards to protect that information.

Office of Privacy Protection - California Government Code section 11549.5. Created by a state law enacted in 2000, the Office of Privacy Protection was defunded in 2012.

Physical & Constructive Invasions of Privacy - California Civil Code section 1708.8. This law defines physical invasion of privacy in terms of trespassing in order to capture an image, sound recording or other impression in certain circumstances. It also defines constructive invasion of privacy as attempting to capture such an impression under circumstances in which the plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Privacy of Customer Electrical and Natural Gas Usage Data - California Civil Code sections 1798.98-1798.99. This law requires electric and gas utilities to have a customer’s express consent before sharing that customer’s usage data with any other third-party business that may handle the data. It requires utilities to disclose with what third parties they will share the customer usage data and how they will use it. It requires businesses to implement and maintain reasonable security to protect the data from unauthorized disclosure. It also prohibits a business form offering incentives or discounts for accessing the data and provides a private right of action for damages for willful violation.

Privacy Protections for Energy Consumption Data - Public Utilities Code §§ 8380 - 8381. This law extends consumer privacy protections to electrical or gas consumption data that is part of an advanced metering infrastructure or “smart grid.” The law prohibits electrical and gas utility companies from sharing customer consumption data from the smart grid with third parties, and requires companies to use reasonable security measures to protect smart grid data.

Public Records Act - California Government Code sections 6250-6268. This law applies to state and local government. It gives members of the public a right to obtain certain described kinds of documents that are not protected from disclosure by the Constitution and other laws. This law also provides some specific privacy protections.

Public Record Exemption for Sex Offense Victims - California Government Code section 6254 and California Penal Code section 293. These laws prohibit the disclosure of the names and addresses of victims of specific sex-related crimes in documents provided in response to requests for records, including responses provided under the California Public Records Act.

Reader Privacy Act - California Civil Code sections Title 1.81.15 (commencing with section1798.90). This law protects the privacy of individuals who use the services of businesses that rent, sell, lend or otherwise offer books to the public. It requires a court order or the user's affirmative consent before such a business can disclose the personal information of its users related to their use of a book, with specified exceptions, including an imminent danger of death or serious injury.

Research Use of Personal Information - California Civil Code section 1798.24 and Welfare and Institutions Code section 10850. This law authorizes a state agency to disclose personal information for certain research purposes to the University of California or a nonprofit educational institution, but requires the agency to get the approval of the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects for the California Health and Human Services Agency before disclosing the information. It also establishes criteria for the review and approval of the request.

Security of Personal Information - California Civil Code section 1798.81.5. This law requires specified businesses to use safeguards to ensure the security of Californians' personal information (defined as name plus SSN, driver's license/state ID, financial account number, username or email address in combination with password or security question and answer, and health insurance information) and to contractually require third parties to do the same. It does not apply to businesses that are subject to certain other information security laws.

Social Security Number Confidentiality - California Civil Code sections 1798.85 and 1798.86, 1785.11.1, and 1785.11.6. This law restricts businesses and state and local agencies from publicly posting or displaying Social Security numbers. It also bans embedding SSNs on a card or document using a bar code, chip, magnetic strip or other technology, in place of removing the number as required by law. The law takes effect gradually, from 2002 through 2007. See the Recommended Practices in relation to this law.

Social Security Number Confidentiality in Family Court Records - California Family Code section 2024.5. This law establishes a procedure for keeping SSNs confidential in court filings for legal separation, dissolution, or nullification of marriage.

Social Security Number Truncation on Pay Stubs - California Labor Code section 226. This law requires employers to print no more than the last four digits of an employee's SSN, or to use an employee ID number other than the SSN, on employee pay stubs or itemized statements. Employers must comply by January 1, 2008.

Social Security Numbers in Abstracts of Judgments, Decrees, and Tax Liens - Code of Civil Procedure section 674 and California Revenue & Taxation Code section 2191.3. These laws delete the former provisions requiring that abstracts of judgments, decrees requiring the payment of money, and tax collector liens contain the full SSN of the judgment debtor or assesse. Instead, such documents may contain only the last four digits of the SSN.

Social Security Numbers in Local Government Records and Higher Education - California Civil Code section 1798.89, Commercial Code section 9526.5, Education Code section 66018.55, and Government Code section 27300 et seq. These laws require certain state and local government agencies to truncate SSNs in documents released to the public so as to display no more than the last four digits. (1) The Franchise Tax Board must truncate SSNs in documents released to the public. (2) The Secretary of State must create versions of Uniform Commercial Code filings that contain only truncated SSNs. (3) County recorders must create versions of documents recorded back to 1980 that contain only truncated SSNs, and if authorized by boards of supervisors may levy a fee to cover the cost of truncation. Also no one may record a document containing more than the last four digits of an SSN. (4) The law states the Legislature's intent that local agencies, other than county recorders, fully redact SSNs from public records before making the records publicly available, and excludes SSNs from the information that a local agency must disclose under the Public Records Act. (5) It requires the Office of Privacy Protection to create a task force to review the use of SSNs by California colleges and universities and to recommend practices to minimize such use, with a report due to the Legislature by July 1, 2010.

State Agencies: Information Security - Government Code § 11549.3. This law requires the California Information Security Office, in the Department of Technology, to conduct or require at least 35 independent security assessments of state agencies annually.

State Agency Privacy Policies - California Government Code section 11019.9. This law requires state agencies to enact and to maintain a privacy policy and to designate an employee to be responsible for the policy. The policy must describe the agency's practices for handling personal information, as further required in the Information Practices Act.

Supermarket Club Card Act - California Civil Code section 1749.60 and following. This law prohibits supermarket club card issuers (1) from requesting driver's license numbers or Social Security numbers, and (2) from selling or sharing personal customer information; limited exemption for membership card stores.

Telecommunications Customer Privacy - California Public Utilities Code sections 2891-2894.10. This law bars telecommunications companies from disclosing the calling patterns, personal financial information or other specified personal information of residential subscribers without first getting written consent of the subscriber. There are some exceptions, including disclosure for the purpose of debt collection, for responding to a 911 call, and as required by legal process. It also requires, among other things, that telephone companies must give annual notice to subscribers that calling an 800 or 900 number may result in the disclosure of the subscriber's telephone number to the called party.

Telephone Record "Pretexting" - California Penal Code section 638. This law prohibits the purchase or sale of any telephone calling pattern record or list without the written consent of the subscriber.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones): Liability - California Civil Code section 1708.8. This law expands liability for physical invasion of privacy to include a person knowingly entering into the airspace above the land of another person without permission, as provided.

Veterans' Discharge Papers, Notice of Public Record Status - California Government Code section 27337. This law addresses the risk of identity theft created when military veterans file their DD214s, which contain their SSN, with their county recorders. It requires the recorders to give such a veteran a written form indicating that the document becomes public when it is recorded.

Voter Privacy - California Elections Code sections 2194, 8105, 8202, 8204, 2166.7 and 8023, and California Government Code 6254.24 If authorized by a local board of supervisors, a local election official must make the voter registration information of specified public safety officials confidential, upon application. The application of a public safety official for confidentiality would be a public record. The law also includes a voter's signature on a voter registration card as part of confidential voter registration information and adds state and federal judges and court commissioners to the definition of public safety officials entitled to remove their home addresses and telephone numbers from public posting on the Internet.

Warranty cards - California Civil Code section 1793.1. Product warranty cards must clearly state that the consumer is not required to return the card for the warranty to take effect.

Wireless Network Security - California Business and Professions Code sections 22948.5-22948.7 This law requires devices that include an integrated and enabled wireless access point that are manufactured on or after October 1, 2007, to include a warning that advises consumers about how to protect their personal information and mitigate unauthorized use of their Internet access, and provide other specified protection measures.

Workplace Surveillance - California Labor Code section 435. This law prohibits employers from recording an employee in a restroom or room designated for changing clothes, unless authorized by court order, subject to certain exceptions.

Birth and Death Certificate Access - California Health and Safety Code sections 103525, 103525.5, 103526, 103526.5, 103527, and 103528. Authorization is required to obtain certified copies of the birth or death certificate of another person. State and local registrars that issue non-certified copies to non-authorized applicants must print the words "informational, not a valid document to establish identity" on the copies issued.

Birth and Death Record Indices - California Health and Safety Code sections 102230, 102231, and 102232. This law exempts specified compilations of birth and death records, called indices, from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. The State Registrar is required to establish separate non-comprehensive indices for public release, which do not contain Social Security numbers or mother's maiden names. Requesters of the indices must provide proof of identity and sign a form certifying, under penalty of perjury, that they will comply with prescribed usage guidelines.

Health Facilities Data Breach - California Health & Safety Code section 1280.15. This law requires certain health facilities to prevent unlawful or unauthorized access to, or use or disclosure of, a patient's medical information. It sets fines and notification requirements for breaches of patient medical information and requires facilities to report such breaches to the California Department of Public Health.

Legal and Civil Rights of Persons Involuntarily Detained - California Welfare & Institutions Code section 5328. This law provides for the confidentiality of the records of people who are voluntarily or involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation or treatment.

Medical Information, Collection for Direct Marketing Purposes - California Civil Code section 1798.91. This law prohibits a business from seeking to obtain medical information from an individual for direct marketing purposes without, (1) clearly disclosing how the information will be used and shared, and (2) getting the individual's consent.

Medical Information Confidentiality - California Civil Code sections 56-56.37. This law puts limits on the disclosure of patients' medical information by medical providers, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, and many businesses organized for the purpose of maintaining medical information. It specifically prohibits many types of marketing uses and disclosures. It requires an electronic health or medical record system to protect the integrity of electronic medical information and to automatically record and preserve any change or deletion.

Mandated Blood Testing and Confidentiality to Protect Public Health - California Health & Safety Code sections 120975-121020. This law protects the privacy of individuals who are the subject of blood testing for antibodies to the probable causative agent of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Office of Health Information Integrity - California Health and Safety Code sections 130200. This law established the Office of Health Information Integrity in the California Health and Human Services Agency, with the mission of ensuring enforcement of state law on the confidentiality of medical information.

Patient Access to Health Records - California Health & Safety Code section 123110 and following. With minor limitations, this law gives patients the right to see and copy information maintained by health care providers relating to the patients' health conditions. The law also gives patients the right to submit amendments to their records, if the patients believe that the records are inaccurate or incomplete.

Need Help?
Contact us today so we can deliver real solutions for you.
Call: (844) 4WEX-LAW

Awards & Memberships

The attorneys at Wex Law are proud to be part of these prestigious professional organizations.

Wex Law
1000 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2150
Los Angeles, California 90017
Phone: (844) 4WEX-LAW
Map & Directions

Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not legal advice. Contact an attorney directly to obtain advice for any particular issue or problem. Using this site or submitting a message via contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wex Law. Opinions expressed on this site may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Disclaimer | Sitemap