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Category Archives: United States

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Senate Subcommittee to Continue to Focus on Privacy Issues

Posted in Congress

The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to dedicate a subcommittee to privacy and technology issues. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced today that Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Former Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy created the… Continue Reading

Court Finds FTC Entitled to Partial Summary Judgment Against Dish Network for Telemarketing Violations

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, United States

Last month a federal court found Dish Network liable for calls that were alleged by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to violate various provisions of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”).  Specifically, the FTC’s 2009 complaint asserted that Dish Network initiated, or caused a telemarketer to initiate, calls to numbers on the National Do Not… Continue Reading

President Obama Addresses Privacy, Cybersecurity in State of the Union

Posted in United States

Data security and privacy concerns received special attention in President Obama’s State of the Union address last night.  As expected, the President advocated his recently released data security and privacy legislative proposals, which InsidePrivacy has covered extensively. With regard to data security, President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation to guard against cyber-attacks, combat identity… Continue Reading

President Obama Proposes New Legislation and Model Terms of Service to Protect Student Privacy

Posted in United States

During his speech earlier this week at the Federal Trade Commission, President Obama unveiled a set of proposals to enhance student privacy protections.  These proposals will include publishing a draft Student Digital Privacy Act, promoting an existing Student Privacy Pledge for educational technology providers, and introducing new privacy tools through the Department of Education.

FTC Warns Foreign Mobile-App Developer To Comply With COPPA

Posted in Children's Privacy, Federal Trade Commission

In late December 2014, the FTC staff sent China-based mobile app developer BabyBus a letter warning the company that several of its apps may violate the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. Staff alleged that the apps are marketed for young children and “use cartoon characters to teach children letters, counting, shapes, music,… Continue Reading

AT&T Challenges FTC Jurisdiction Over Non-Common Carrier Activities of Common Carriers

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, United States

As we previously reported, in October 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against AT&T in federal court alleging that AT&T’s “throttling” practices for mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan were unfair and deceptive in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  On Monday, AT&T… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing Potential Drone Privacy Regulation with LXBN TV

Posted in Congress, Federal Trade Commission

Following up on his post on Senator Jay Rockefeller’s proposed privacy legislation, Covington & Burling privacy attorney Jeff Kosseff had the opportunity to discuss what it means with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In the short interview, Jeff explains that, while this likely won’t become law, it does hint at Congress’ priorities on this front and should raise some… Continue Reading

New State Privacy Laws Go Into Effect on Jan. 1, 2015

Posted in State Legislatures, United States

State legislators have recently passed a number of bills that impose new data security and privacy requirements on companies nationwide. The laws include new data breach notification requirements, marketing restrictions, and data destruction rules. Below is an overview of the new laws and amendments that will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Senate Proposal Would Impose Severe Regulations on Drone Use

Posted in Congress, Federal Trade Commission

In his final days as a United States senator, West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller released a draft bill that would subject drone operators to unprecedented new privacy regulations. Currently, commercial organizations cannot operate drones unless they get special approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is preparing a proposal to allow the commercial use… Continue Reading

Looking at Police-Community Relations Through the Lens of Body-Worn Cameras

Posted in United States

As protests have continued across the nation in the wake of back-to-back decisions by grand juries in Missouri and New York not to indict white police officers for their involvement in the deaths of unarmed black citizens, civil rights advocates, along with state leaders and the federal government, are exploring measures to better relationships between… Continue Reading

Congress Passes Five Cybersecurity Bills

Posted in Congress, United States

By Caleb Skeath Congress approved a package of five cybersecurity bills after a series of votes in the House and Senate this week, increasing the likelihood that some cybersecurity-related legislation will be signed into law by the end of this year. None of the bills address some of the larger, more contentious cybersecurity issues, such… Continue Reading

Financial Industry Regulators Increase Data Security Oversight

Posted in United States

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, financial industry regulatory and enforcement agencies issued statements that their organizations will increase scrutiny of financial industry cybersecurity practices going forward. In New York, the State’s Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky issued new guidelines to banks, detailing how their cybersecurity practices would be evaluated. The memorandum—sent to all… Continue Reading

Parties Involved in TCPA Fax Litigation May Qualify for Relief

Posted in Federal Communications Commission, United States

The FCC recently agreed to grant limited waivers for violations of its “opt out notice” rule for solicited faxes (i.e., faxes sent with the recipient’s prior express invitation or permission).  That rule requires that senders of faxes include opt-out notices on fax transmissions that contain advertisements or promotions.  The FCC initially promulgated its opt-out notice… Continue Reading

FTC Denies AgeCheq Parental Consent Application But Trumpets General Support for COPPA Common Consent Mechanisms

Posted in Children's Privacy, Federal Trade Commission, United States

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently reiterated its support for the use of “common consent” mechanisms that permit multiple operators to use a single system for providing notices and obtaining verifiable consent under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA generally requires operators of websites or online services that are directed to children under… Continue Reading

FTC Alleges TRUSTe’s Certified Privacy Seals Misled Consumers

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, United States

Last week, TRUSTe, Inc. (“TRUSTe”) settled Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that it misrepresented its certification programs and non-profit status to consumers.  TRUSTe offers clients Certified Privacy Seals, representing to consumers that the website, software, data processing service, or mobile application is compliant with the relevant TRUSTe program.  These programs include specifications related to transparency… Continue Reading

FTC and Wyndham to Mediate Dispute Over FTC Data-Security Authority

Posted in Litigation, United States

Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas directed the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts to seek mediation to resolve their landmark dispute over whether the FTC has the authority to regulate companies’ data-security practices.  As we’ve previously reported, the FTC alleged that Wyndham violated Section 5 of the FTC… Continue Reading

Bill Restricting the NSA’s Data Collection Practices Blocked in the Senate

Posted in Congress, United States

By Randall Friedland Yesterday, the USA Freedom Act (S. 2685), a bill aimed at curbing the National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) data collection practices, fell two votes short of the 60 votes necessary for cloture in the Senate.  The bill was largely blocked by Senate Republicans who expressed concern that the legislation would harm the government’s… Continue Reading

FTC Closes Investigation After Verizon Fixes Encryption Problems With FiOS and DSL Routers

Posted in Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, United States

Earlier this week, the FTC notified Verizon by letter that it has closed its investigation into whether Verizon violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to secure certain routers supplied to the company’s broadband subscribers.  The FTC’s investigation centered on Verizon’s practice of supplying routers that incorporated an outdated default security setting, an… Continue Reading

Recent Ninth Circuit Decisions Address Whether Consumers Must Explicitly Agree to User Terms

Posted in Litigation, Privacy Policies, United States

The Ninth Circuit recently issued two opinions addressing whether companies should require customers to explicitly agree to key provisions of user terms and other policies. On Monday, a unanimous three-judge panel issued an opinion in Knutson v. Sirius XM Radio.  In this case, the plaintiff purchased a Toyota that included a trial subscription to Sirius. … Continue Reading

Ten Ways the 2014 Election May Affect Privacy and Data Security Law

Posted in Congress, Cybersecurity, Data Breaches, Data Security, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, United States

When Republicans take over the Senate in January, new leaders will control key committees that oversee privacy and data security issues, and their priorities will differ significantly from those of their predecessors.  Privacy issues, however, generally tend not to break neatly along party lines and there will remain bipartisan support – and bipartisan opposition –… Continue Reading

Officials Comment on the Future of FTC, FCC, and CFPB Privacy Enforcement Authority

Posted in Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, United States

By Caleb Skeath At a recent IAPP privacy event, officials from the FTC and CFPB offered insight into their respective agencies’ future enforcement plans, as well as the shifting landscape of privacy enforcement actions.  Although such enforcement actions have historically been the domain of the FTC, the FCC recently entered the privacy enforcement arena, announcing… Continue Reading