Laura Brookover

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Industry Do Not Track Efforts Remain Unresolved

The Worldwide Web Consortium’s Tracking Protection Working Group concluded a three-day international stakeholder meeting in Amsterdam on October 5 without reaching consensus on certain key issues concerning a global do-not-track standard.  There are reportedly three major unresolved questions:  (1) what the default setting should be—whether do not track should be turned on or off by … Continue Reading

Mobile Device Tracking Bill Introduced

A new bill introduced by Rep. Ed Markey, titled the Mobile Device Privacy Act, would require mobile device sellers, manufacturers, service providers, and app offerors to disclose to consumers the existence of any monitoring software.  Monitoring software is defined as “software that has the capability to monitor the usage of a mobile device or the … Continue Reading

Twitter to Appeal NY Ruling that It Must Hand over Occupy Protestor’s Tweets

Twitter has announced that it will appeal a New York state judge’s ruling that the company must hand over an Occupy Wall Street protestor’s tweets to the Manhattan district attorney.  The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct for his participation in a protest march in October 1, 2011.  Following that incident, the district attorney subpoenaed … Continue Reading

Two Recent Privacy Reports on Consumer Confidence and Website Tracking Practices

Two reports have recently been released that look at consumer perceptions of online privacy issues and examine user tracking practices on popular websites. TRUSTe Privacy Index TRUSTe released its Privacy Index for the second quarter of 2012, which measures consumer confidence in their online privacy.  The numbers show that consumers are concerned about web privacy … Continue Reading

What Happened at the FTC Advertising and Privacy Workshop? (Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday, the FTC held a public workshop titled “In Short: Advertising & Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.”  The workshop explored whether and how the FTC should revise its 2000 guidance concerning advertising and privacy disclosures in the new era of online and mobile technology.   This post will highlight the morning workshop sessions on … Continue Reading

NY Legislature Introduces Bills to Curtail Anonymous Online Commenting

Two bills have been proposed in the New York State Legislature that aim to de-anonymize online commenting. The proposed Internet Protection Act — introduced in the identical bills S.6779 and A.8688 —would amend New York civil rights law to require a website administrator upon request to “remove any comments posted on his or her web … Continue Reading

Carrier IQ Class Action Sent Back to State Court

Judge Feess of the Central District of California recently rejected Carrier IQ’s attempt to litigate in federal court a class action concerning whether Carrier IQ’s software, installed on a wide range of smart phone devices from many different manufacturers running on various wireless networks, violated California law.  Judge Feess remanded the case to state court … Continue Reading

Maryland and Illinois Introduce Bills to Limit Employer Access to Employees’ Social Networking Accounts

Lawmakers in Maryland and Illinois have introduced bills that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants or employees to grant access to their social networking accounts.  The bills arose from reports that employers have impliedly or explicitly required access to social networking accounts as a condition of hiring or employment. A few bills have been … Continue Reading

White House Releases “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”

The White House released a report today containing its “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” referring to the new privacy framework as a “comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled.”  The report is entitled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Claims Against Pharmacy for Selling Customers’ Medical Information

Judge Mary McLaughlin of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently dismissed a class action complaint brought against CVS Pharmacy and CVS Caremark for selling information provided by prescription drug purchasers.  Notably, in its decision in Steinberg v. CVS Caremark Corp., the court found that information on a customer’s prescription drug and medical history “carries with … Continue Reading

Personal Injury Defendant Denied Access to Plaintiff’s Private Facebook Content

An Eastern District of Michigan judge held that a personal injury defendant could not discover the plaintiff’s private Facebook content under Rule 26(b) governing the discoverability of evidence.  Tompkins v. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, No. 2:10-cv-10413-BAF-RSW (E.D. Mich, Jan. 18, 2012).  Although—as the court noted—the private portions of a user’s Facebook account are not generally privileged … Continue Reading

Ontario Recognizes Intrusion Upon Seclusion Privacy Tort for the First Time in Canada

The Ontario Appeals Court last Wednesday recognized—for the first time in Canada—the intrusion upon seclusion privacy tort.  In Jones v. Tsige, 2012 ONCA 32, the plaintiff sued a coworker for looking through her financial records.  The motion judge granted summary judgment for the defendant on the ground that Ontario law does not recognize plaintiff’s claim.  … Continue Reading

House Cybersecurity Bill Promotes Information Sharing Between Businesses, Federal Government

Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee—Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking Democrat Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.)—introduced a bill yesterday that would shield businesses from liability for sharing information relating to cyber threats with the federal Government and other entities. The bill—H.R. 3523—is intended to promote the sharing of cyber threat intelligence among businesses and … Continue Reading

ECPA Class Action Settlement Overturned

The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s approval of a class action settlement last Monday in Nachshin v. AOL, remanding the two-year old case back to the district court for a new round of settlement negotiation and approval. No. 10-55129 (9th Cir. Nov. 21, 2011).  The class action was brought in 2009, alleging that the … Continue Reading

Stanford Researcher Unveils Latest Internet Privacy Study

Jonathan Mayer of Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society unveiled the Center’s latest research report, “Tracking the Trackers: Where Everybody Knows Your Username,” at the National Press Club Tuesday morning. The event also featured remarks from Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Christian Fjeld … Continue Reading
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