Header graphic for print
Inside Privacy Updates on Developments in Global Privacy & Data Security from Covington & Burling LLP

Category Archives: United States

Subscribe to United States RSS Feed

Wyndham: Third Circuit Requests Briefing on Whether FTC Declared Unreasonable Cybersecurity Practices Are ‘Unfair’

Posted in Federal Trade Commission

On February 20, the Third Circuit sent a letter to counsel in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., identifying at least one topic that will be addressed in the upcoming oral argument regarding the parties’ dispute over whether the FTC has the authority to regulate companies’ data security practices: whether unreasonable cybersecurity practices are “unfair.” The letter… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Urban Outfitters ZIP Code Lawsuit

Posted in Litigation, United States

Last week, the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in the lawsuit filed against Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie over their collection of customer ZIP codes at the point of sale.  The plaintiffs alleged that the practice of requesting ZIP codes at the point of sale during credit card transactions violated two D.C. statutes, the Consumer Protection… Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Executive Order to Encourage Information Sharing

Posted in Cybersecurity, United States

By Caleb Skeath During the White House’s inaugural Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection last Friday, President Obama signed an executive order designed to facilitate increased information sharing between the private sector and the federal government.  The order follows the introduction of the Cyber Threat Sharing Act of 2015 in the Senate, an information-sharing bill… Continue Reading

Top 10 U.S. Privacy Developments of 2014

Posted in United States

By Jeff Kosseff, Meena Harris, and Caleb Skeath Data Breaches Studies show increase.  Amidst a flurry of high-profile breaches during 2014, several studies confirmed that data breaches as a whole have risen significantly over the past few years.  The California Attorney General released a study showing a 28% increase in breaches in 2013 as compared… Continue Reading

White House Releases Drone Privacy Memorandum

Posted in United States

On Sunday, the White House released a memorandum that outlines privacy protections that federal agencies must take when they use drones, and directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to work with the private sector to establish voluntary privacy practices for commercial drone use. The White House issued the memorandum on the same day that… Continue Reading

Senate Holds Internet of Things Hearing

Posted in Congress, United States

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on February 11, 2015, entitled The Connected World: Examining the Internet of Things.  The panelists included Justin Brookman, director of the Consumer Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology; Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center;… Continue Reading

FTC Says Common Carrier Exemption to Section 5 Jurisdiction is Activity-Based, Not Status-Based

Posted in Federal Trade Commission

Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opposed a Motion to Dismiss filed by AT&T that challenged the FTC’s attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the company in connection with certain of its mobile broadband service activities. As we previously reported, the FTC filed a complaint against AT&T in late 2014 alleging that AT&T engaged in… Continue Reading

White House Issues Report on Big Data and Differential Pricing

Posted in United States

Yesterday the White House released a report discussing how companies are using big data to charge different prices to different customers, a practice known as price discrimination or differential pricing.  The report describes the benefits of big data for sellers and buyers alike, and concludes that many concerns raised by big data and differential pricing… Continue Reading

Data Breach Notification Bills Introduced in House and Senate

Posted in Congress, United States

By Caleb Skeath Last week, Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) re-introduced the Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA Act) in the House of Representatives.  The bill (H.R. 580), which has been introduced several times in previous years, would provide a nationwide data security standard, backed by FTC enforcement and civil penalties, as… Continue Reading

Connected Cars and Other Web-Connected Devices

Posted in United States

Last week, a group of privacy experts, including regulators and representatives of the automobile and consumer electronics industries, spoke at a Continuing Legal Education Program hosted by the Federal Communications Bar Association.  The panel discussed, among other things, the relatively new set of privacy principles that has been developed for vehicle technologies and services, which… Continue Reading

FTC Internet of Things Report Outlines Privacy and Security Recommendations for Industry

Posted in Federal Trade Commission

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission released a staff report on the Internet of Things (“IoT”) that provides best practice recommendations for addressing privacy and security risks associated with IoT products and services.  The report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, also summarizes findings from the FTC’s 2013 IoT workshop.  In the… Continue Reading

House Debates Federal Data Breach Legislation

Posted in Congress, United States

This morning, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), held a hearing to determine what elements should be included in federal data breach legislation.  Despite the momentum for legislation created by high-profile breaches at retailers like Target and Home Depot, and most recently at Sony, ongoing efforts in… Continue Reading

House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing and Begin Drafting Data Breach Bill

Posted in Congress, United States

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing to determine what elements should be included in federal data-breach legislation.  The following witnesses are scheduled to testify: Elizabeth Hyman, Tech America Executive Vice President of Public Policy Jennifer Glasgow, Acxiom Chief Privacy Officer Brian Dodge, Retail Industry Leaders Association… Continue Reading

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