What You Need to Know Now About Privacy Laws for Your Online Business

What You Need to Know Now About Privacy Laws for Your Online Business
Beginning March 1 of this year, there will be a new paradigm shift in data security requirements for many online businesses.  This is because the Massachusetts legislature has enacted the strictest, and most far-reaching data security regulations for any person or business that owns or licenses “personal information” of a Massachusetts resident.  Even California business owners should pay close attention to the data security laws of other states, because as your business grows and it begins to operate on a nation-wide or even world-wide level, the laws of far-away jurisdictions can apply to your operations.
Your online business must comply with both federal privacy laws and the privacy laws of any given state if you have come to possess, own, or license the “personal information” of any resident of that state.  Complying with federal law is comparatively simple in that the law is uniform across the nation.  The general rule of thumb for complying with federal privacy law is that you better uphold those promises and obligations in your online Privacy Policy.  See 15 USC § 45a.
Complying with state law, by contrast, can be mind-numbingly confusing because your nation-wide online business must comply with 50 separate statutory schemes.  The easiest solution for many businesses is to identify the state with the strictest privacy laws, and make sure to abide by those laws.  Beginning March 1, 2010, that state will be Massachusetts when 201 CMR 17.00[hyperlink
Is there a way to make “201 CMR 17.00” a hyperlink? And the same for the other hyperlinks below, for California, notice, and Nevada, respectively
: http://www.mass.gov/Eoca/docs/idtheft/201CMR1700reg.pdf] goes into effect.
Many states, including California [hyperlink: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/24306397/California-Business-and-Professions-Code-Sections-22575-22579], require that you post a privacy policy and comply with it, and that your business discloses [hyperlink: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/CIV/5/d3/4/1.81/s1798.82] a breach in security if that occurs.  Nevada [hyperlink: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-597.html] takes a slightly stricter approach insofar as your business must have certain encryption procedures for the transmission of personal information of Nevada residents.  See NRS 597.970.  Massachusetts has far surpassed Nevada insofar as your business must comply with detailed and comprehensive data security requirements including, but not limited to, 1) comprehensive data security systems with encryption and restricted access, 2) comprehensive monitoring and maintenance protocols of these systems; and 3) comprehensive employment policies and procedures relating to data security.
The Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart can help your online business develop and implement a privacy policy that protects you and your customers, and complies with all applicable laws and regulations!  Please contact our firm for more information.

Beginning March 1 of 2010, there will be a new paradigm shift in data security requirements for many online businesses.  This is because the Massachusetts legislature has enacted the strictest, and most far-reaching data security regulations for any person or business that owns or licenses “personal information” of a Massachusetts resident.  Even California business owners should pay close attention to the data security laws of other states, because as your business grows and it begins to operate on a nation-wide or even world-wide level, the laws of far-away jurisdictions can apply to your operations.

Your online business must comply with both federal privacy laws and the privacy laws of any given state if you have come to possess, own, or license the “personal information” of any resident of that state.  Complying with federal law is comparatively simple in that the law is uniform across the nation.  The general rule of thumb for complying with federal privacy law is that you better uphold those promises and obligations in your online Privacy Policy.  See 15 USC § 45a.

Complying with state law, by contrast, can be mind-numbingly confusing because your nation-wide online business must comply with 50 separate statutory schemes.  The easiest solution for many businesses is to identify the state with the strictest privacy laws, and make sure to abide by those laws.  Beginning March 1, 2010, that state will be Massachusetts when 201 CMR 17.00 goes into effect.

Many states, including California, require that you post a privacy policy and comply with it, and that your business discloses a breach in security if that occurs.  Nevada takes a slightly stricter approach insofar as your business must have certain encryption procedures for the transmission of personal information of Nevada residents.  See NRS 597.970.  Massachusetts has far surpassed Nevada insofar as your business must comply with detailed and comprehensive data security requirements including, but not limited to, 1) comprehensive data security systems with encryption and restricted access, 2) comprehensive monitoring and maintenance protocols of these systems; and 3) comprehensive employment policies and procedures relating to data security.

The Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart can help your online business develop and implement a privacy policy that protects you and your customers, and complies with all applicable laws and regulations!  Please contact us for more information at info@chicolawfirm.com for more information.

Untangling the Web: Creating and Legitimizing Your Start-Up

Establishing and maintaining a successful start-up venture requires an imaginative spirit, keen attention to detail and a healthy breadth of business acumen. It takes a special type of individual to step up to the task and live up to the duty of ‘writing one’s own paycheck,’ so to speak. There is, indeed, a nearly limitless supply of new businesses setting up shop every day– both on-line and in your own hometown. The difference between businesses built to last and those that do not succeed lies in the solid foundation of the former.

Strong, knowledgeable legal representation is a necessary and vital requisite for succeeding in the world of commerce: informed counsel will aid and support burgeoning entrepreneurs through what often appears to be a dauntless task in growing their own companies. This is where a law firm such the Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart can provide its experience and counsel to entrepreneurs who wish to create a viable and powerful start-up.

As a fellow self-starter and owner of my own business, I understand the concerns and fears that are inherent in creating one’s own livelihood. The goal of my law practice is to help others reach and exceed their business goals. My firm will pinpoint the most efficient means of obtaining adequate financing and cost-saving strategies to maximize your company’s profit by collaborating with you to determine the appropriate entity structure for your organization.

The Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart provides counsel in the areas of business law, intellectual property law, Internet and e-commerce law, and employment law.

My office is eager to assist you with your business endeavors. All Inquiries and feedback are welcome via email at info@chicolawfirm.com or via phone at 530-345-2212. We look forward to making your entrepreneurial vision a reality.

Insurance Issues for the Growing Business

If you, like many of today’s growing business owners, plan on taking advantage of the Internet to develop e-commerce traffic for your business, there are important insurance issues that you should consider. Many business owners who make the transition to the online world do not realize that traditional insurance policies may not cover the most common risks associated with operating a business on the Internet.

Although each policy is different, the traditional Commercial General Liability policy can fall short of covering the following sources of Internet liability: 1) liability for business interruption; 2) liability for lost data; 3) liability for loss of economic value of data and/or breach of privacy; 4) liability for passing viruses and the like; 5) liability for infringing intellectual property; and 6) liability for non-physical torts, such as defamation.

The standard CGL policy typically covers only “physical” damage to a third parties “tangible” property. As a result, data losses and losses of the economic value of data are ordinarily not covered by such a policy. Data loss or business interruption can occur if your clients or customers are storing information on your website or your server, and your website or server slowed or crashed to the point it damages your client’s business. Your client or customer can also lose the economic value of their data in the event you inadvertently disclose their trade secret (the idea being that the data itself is not lost, but its value as a secret is).

One of the most common sources of website liability stems from the (often unintentional) infringement of someone else’s intellectual property. The surprising fact is that liability for the breach of someone else’s intellectual property is usually covered by standard CGL policies only to the extent that the infringement occurred because of “advertising” activities. This results in extremely limited coverage, which can be of little value, especially for websites where users are posting copyrighted images.

The Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart understands the various, and sometimes unusual, sources of liability with running an online business. Our goal is not only to protect you and your business to the maximum extent provided by the law, but also to help you to identify any gaps in your insurance coverage. The insurance industry has taken strides to catch up with the changing e-commerce landscape, and there are policies and riders that can cover your unique business model. While we are by no stretch of the imagination insurance brokers, we can identify those risks that should be covered so that you can work with your insurance agents to ensure that you are protected.

For more information from the California State Bar, see the following: http://tinyurl.com/ylxzwfe.  You can also contact us at info@chicolawfirm.com!

Do You Know Which Laws Apply to Your New Business Venture?

Starting a business can be very exciting! You’ve got a great idea and can’t wait to get underway. But have you considered which state laws may apply to your type of business? What about local regulations? These are questions that must be addressed during the planning phase so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
We would like to share some information about some laws, regulations, and ordinances that may affect you and your business based on the nature and location of your business‘s operations. Please consider the following during the initial planning stage of any business venture:
Zoning – Cities and counties often have strict zoning laws that govern what types of businesses are permitted in specific areas. In addition, there are often restrictions governing whether and what kind of businesses are permissible to operate from your home.
Licensing and Permits – Depending on the nature of your business, a special license may be needed. If sales are made, a resale permit may be required. It is crucial to be properly licensed prior to commencing business activities of any kind.
Taxes – As one of the two certainties in life, your business venture will invariably be subjected to taxes of some kind. Common taxes include those for sales, income, and employment. Cities or counties often assess tax on business property, as well.
Employees – There are many additional laws that apply to businesses with employees that govern everything from worksite safety to hiring and firing practices. The laws and regulations governing the employment relationship are complicated, numerous, and ever-changing
Health, Safety, and the Environment – Again, depending on the type of business, a variety of inspectors may be stopping by periodically to ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws and regulations. This is especially true for any business that deals with food or that produces any type of potentially hazardous waste products.
Intellectual Property – Copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets are various ways in which intellectual property can be protected. Although the laws governing these areas of law can be confusing and cumbersome, having the proper protection in place is essential.
To ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws from the beginning, we advise that you consult with a business law attorney during the planning stage for your business. Please give us a call at 530-345-2212 or e-mail us at info@calventurelaw.com if you would like more information or to set up an appointment. We would be happy to help you ensure that your business venture starts off on the right track.

Starting a business can be very exciting! You’ve got a great idea and can’t wait to get underway. But have you considered which state laws may apply to your type of business? What about local regulations? These are questions that must be addressed during the planning phase so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.

We would like to share some information about some laws, regulations, and ordinances that may affect you and your business based on the nature and location of your business‘s operations. Please consider the following during the initial planning stage of any business venture:

  • Zoning – Cities and counties often have strict zoning laws that govern what types of businesses are permitted in specific areas. In addition, there are often restrictions governing whether and what kind of businesses are permissible to operate from your home.
  • Licensing and Permits – Depending on the nature of your business, a special license may be needed. If sales are made, a resale permit may be required. It is crucial to be properly licensed prior to commencing business activities of any kind.
  • Taxes – As one of the two certainties in life, your business venture will invariably be subjected to taxes of some kind. Common taxes include those for sales, income, and employment. Cities or counties often assess tax on business property, as well.
  • Employees– There are many additional laws that apply to businesses with employees that govern everything from worksite safety to hiring and firing practices. The laws and regulations governing the employment relationship are complicated, numerous, and ever-changing.
  • Health, Safety, and the Environment – Again, depending on the type of business, a variety of inspectors may be stopping by periodically to ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws and regulations. This is especially true for any business that deals with food or that produces any type of potentially hazardous waste products.
  • Intellectual Property – Copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets are various ways in which intellectual property can be protected. Although the laws governing these areas of law can be confusing and cumbersome, having the proper protection in place is essential.

To ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws from the beginning, we advise that you consult with a business law attorney during the planning stage for your business. Please give us a call at 530-345-2212 or e-mail us at info@chicolawfirm.com if you would like more information or to set up an appointment. We would be happy to help you ensure that your business venture starts off on the right track.