*This article first appeared in Law360 on May 15, 2019.
The California Consumer Privacy Act, known as the CCPA, is a new law set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The CCPA is the first U.S. law that will require businesses with an online presence in California to focus on user data and it regulates how businesses collect, share and use such data. One of the most significant risks to online business providers in California is that the CCPA provides for a private right of action for California consumers.
Terms and conditions generally specify the rules governing the use of a website or mobile application. Since every website is different, custom-drafted terms and conditions are necessary to protect a particular business. Well-crafted terms and conditions might address issues such as payment, taxes, refunds, gift certificates, accounts, disclaimers, user behavior on your site, warranties and limitations on liability.
On June 25, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Cullinane v. Uber Technologies, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 3099388 (1st Cir. 2018), evaluated the enforceability of arbitration provisions in online contracts. The First Circuit found Uber’s arbitration provision, which contained a class action waiver, unenforceable because Uber did not make its terms of service sufficiently conspicuous. Cullinane highlights the importance of obtaining customers’ affirmative consent to an online contract and reaffirms that conspicuousness of the arbitration agreement and the form of assent that retailers require from consumers remain paramount.