California has many formal acts of law. The Business and Professions Code Division 8, Chapter 32 provides for the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, which is contained in Sections 22947 to 22947.6. Chapter 32 was added in 2004 to Chapter 843. Section 22947 gives the name of the Act.
Section 22947.1 provides definitions for the following terms: “advertisement”; “authorized user”; “computer software”; “computer virus”; “consumer”; “damage”; “implement”; “intentional deception”; “Internet”; “man”; and, “personally identifiable information.”
Section 22947.2 provides that a person or entity who is an unauthorized user is prohibited, with actual knowledge, with the thoughtful avoidance of actual knowledge, or intentionally, from making computer software copyable to a computer. to a consumer in this state and use the software to do any of the following:
- Change, by deliberately deceptive means, any specific settings related to computer access to, or use of, the Internet.
- Collect, through deliberately deceptive means, personally identifiable information that achieves any specific conduct.
- Prevent, without the consent of an authorized user, by intentionally deceptive means, an authorized user reasonable efforts to prevent the installation of, or disabling, of the software, by to cause the software to be properly removed by the authorized user or prevented from automatically installing or modifying the computer without the consent of an authorized user.
- Intentionally misrepresenting that software can be uninstalled or disabled by the action of an authorized user, with the knowledge that the software cannot be uninstalled or disabled.
- By deliberately deceptive means, remove, disable, or render inoperative security, antispyware, or antivirus software installed on the computer.
Section 22947.3 provides that a person or entity who is not an unauthorized user, with actual knowledge, with deliberate avoidance of actual knowledge, or intentionally, is prohibited from making computer software copyable to a computer. a consumer in this state and use the software to do any of the following:
- Control the consumer’s computer by participating in specific activities.
- Modify any specified settings related to computer access to, or use of, the Internet.
- Prevent, without the consent of an authorized user, an authorized user in reasonable efforts to prevent the installation of, or disable, the software, by doing any specific activity.
Section 22947.4 prohibits a person or entity, who is an unauthorized user, from doing any of the following with respect to a consumer’s computer in this state:
- Inducing an authorized user to install a software component on a computer by intentionally misrepresenting that software installation is necessary for security or privacy reasons or to open, watching, or playing a particular type of content.
- Fraudulently causing the computer to copy and execute a piece of computer software with the intent to cause an authorized user to use the component in a manner that violates any provision of this section.
Section 22947.4 provides that it is the intention of the Legislature that this chapter replace and precede all laws adopted by a town, county, municipality and county, municipality, or local agency regarding spyware and notices of consumers from computer software providers regarding information collection.