It's a Wrap! Enforcing Online Agreements in Light of the CPRA

Business meeting with technology and notebooks

Recently, the CPRA, passed by the voters of the State of California, includes new language specifying how consent is supposed to be obtained for the collection of personal information, amending the CCPA.

March 8, 2021
Kyle Janecek – Newmeyer Dillion

We're all familiar with it at this point. A popup comes up on your device informing you of a change to terms and conditions, or otherwise asking for permission. For those operating websites, they know that this inconvenience is required to comply with various legal requirements. What they may not be aware of yet, is that these requirements, and popups, are about to become much, much, more prevalent. Recently, the California Privacy Rights Act ("CPRA"), passed by the voters of the State of California, includes new language specifying how consent is supposed to be obtained for the collection of personal information, amending the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA"). This new manner of consent rules out browsewrap agreements, and would require that popups increase as website operators shift focus to clickwrap agreements, if they have not already.

Browsewrap and Clickwrap

Typically, online agreements comprising Terms of Service or a Privacy Policy can be broken into either (a) browsewrap agreements - agreements that imply assent or agreement to online terms by the mere act of using a website or an online service after a clear and conspicuous notice that terms exist or (b) clickwrap agreements - agreements that show assent or agreement to online terms by having an individual click or otherwise agree to. While the best option to ensure enforceability is always the one that leaves the most documented signs of assenting to terms (i.e. a clickwrap agreement), both are typically recognized and enforced under California law. The practical effect of this is that to get consent, all that is technically needed is either to (a) show actual consent by having the person click on an "I agree" button, or (b) provide that the website visitor had ample notice that terms existed.

Mr. Janecek may be contacted at kyle.janecek@ndlf.com



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