(a) Any person who, in the course of business, provides mailing lists, computerized or telephone-based reference services, or similar products or services utilizing lists, as defined, knowingly does any of the following is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(1) Fails, prior to selling or distributing a list to a first-time buyer, to obtain the buyer’s name, address, telephone number, tax identification number if the buyer is a forprofit entity, a sample of the type of material to be distributed using the list, or to make a good-faith effort to verify the nature and legitimacy of the business or organization to which the list is being sold or distributed.
(2) Knowingly provides access to personal information about children to any person who he or she knows is registered or required to register as a sex offender.
(b) Any person who uses personal information about a child that was obtained for commercial purposes to directly contact the child or the child’s parent to offer a commercial product or service to the child and who knowingly fails to comply with the parent’s request to take steps to limit access to personal information about a child only to authorized persons is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) Any person who knowingly distributes or receives any personal information about a child with knowledge that the information will be used to abuse or physically harm the child is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) (1) List brokers shall, upon a written request from a parent that specifically identifies the child, provide the parent with procedures that the parent must follow in order to withdraw consent to use personal information relating to his or her child. Any list broker who fails to discontinue disclosing personal information about a child within 20 days after being so requested in writing by the child’s parent, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) Any person who, through the mail, markets or sells products or services directed to children, shall maintain a list of all individuals, and their addresses, who have requested in writing that the person discontinue sending any marketing or sales materials to the individual or the individual’s child or children. No person who is obligated to maintain that list shall cause any marketing or sales materials, other than those that are already in the process of dissemination, to be sent to any individual’s child or children, after that individual has made that written request. Any person who is subject to the provisions of this paragraph, who fails to comply with the requirements of this paragraph or who violates the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(e) The following shall be exempt from subdivisions (a) and (b):
(1) Any federal, state, or local government agency or law enforcement agency.
(2) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
(3) Any educational institution, consortia, organization, or professional association, which shall include, but not be limited to, the California community colleges; the California State University, and each campus, branch, and function thereof; each campus, branch, and function of the University of California; the California Maritime Academy; or any independent institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by the federal Department of Education. For the purposes of this paragraph, “independent institution of higher education” means any nonpublic higher education institution that grants undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, or both undergraduate and graduate degrees, is formed as a nonprofit corporation in this state, and is accredited by an agency recognized by the federal Department of Education; or any private postsecondary vocational institution registered, approved, or exempted by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Vocational Education.
(4) Any nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 23701d of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(f) As used in this section:
(1) “Child” means a person who is under 16 years of age.
(2) “Parent” shall include a legal guardian.
(3) “Personal information” means any information that identifies a child and that would suffice to locate and contact the child, including, but not limited to, the name, postal or electronic mail address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, physical description of the child, or family income.
(4) “List” may include, but is not limited to, a collection of name and address records of individuals sharing a common interest, purchase history, demographic profile, membership, or affiliation.
(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 763, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018