Meena Harris

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FCC Says It Will Not Require Websites to Honor ‘Do Not Track’

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rejected a petition from consumer advocates asking the FCC to extend its Open Internet Order by requiring edge providers such as Facebook and Amazon to follow the privacy regulations of Section 222 and to require those edge providers to honor “Do Not Track” requests from consumers.  The FCC … Continue Reading

CEA Releases Guidelines on Privacy and Security of Personal Wellness Data

Last week, the Consumer Electronics Association (“CEA”) announced its Guiding Principles on the Privacy and Security of Personal Wellness Data, a set of baseline, voluntary guidelines for private-sector organizations that handle the type of data often produced by wearable technologies.  The Guiding Principles are categorized into eight areas and generally include the following recommendations: Security.  Robust … Continue Reading

U.N. Appoints Special Expert to Monitor Privacy Issues

In an effort to improve international privacy rights, the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday established a special rapporteur on the right to privacy.  Special rapporteurs are expert individuals appointed with specific mandates to investigate, monitor, and report on particular human rights concerns that range from access to water to extrajudicial killings.  Yesterday’s Resolution on … Continue Reading

Recap of Covington’s Privacy By Design Workshop

As we previously reported, Covington was selected from thousands of applicants to host a Privacy by Design bootcamp and workshop during last week’s South by Southwest (“SXSW”) Interactive festival, which featured five days of compelling presentations and panels from industry leaders in emerging technology.  SXSW designs workshops in particular to provide in-depth, hands-on education taught … Continue Reading

FTC Announces November Workshop on Cross-Device Tracking

As the FTC continues to explore the Internet of Things (“IoT”) and IoT devices, today the agency announced that it will host a workshop in November on the topic of cross-device tracking.  Recognizing that today’s typical consumer daily uses a variety of connected devices while simultaneously interacting with numerous platforms, software applications, service providers, and … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Speaks at Industry Event for First Time Since Net Neutrality Vote

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s opening keynote at Mobile World Congress on Monday, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler took the stage yesterday.  As Wheeler’s first public appearance at an industry event since the FCC’s landmark vote last week to enforce net neutrality, the keynote was expected to be closely followed by global counterparts, and InsidePrivacy … Continue Reading

Study Shows Increase in Medical Identity Theft

This week, the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (“MIFA”) released its 2014 Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, finding that in the last year, medical identity theft incidents increased by 21.7% from 2013.  The study is annually conducted to determine the pervasiveness of medical identity theft in the United States, how it affects the lives … Continue Reading

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

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

Top 10 U.S. Privacy Developments of 2014

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

House Debates Federal Data Breach Legislation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parties Involved in TCPA Fax Litigation May Qualify for Relief

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 and Wyndham to Mediate Dispute Over FTC Data-Security Authority

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

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

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

Whisper’s Privacy Problem: Sen. Rockefeller Pushes for Probe While Editorial Team Is Suspended Pending Review

Following the Guardian’s recent exposé on Whisper’s consumer-privacy practices, alleging that the social-media app that supposedly allows people “to anonymously share [their] thoughts with the world . . . in a community built around trust and honesty,” in fact tracks the geolocation of users who opted out of such data collection, Chairman of the Senate … Continue Reading

Microsoft and Other Leading K-12 School-Service Providers Pledge To Protect Student-Data Privacy

Yesterday, several big tech companies that offer educational and school services signed the “Student Privacy Pledge,” introduced by the Future of Privacy Forum (“FPF”) and The Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”) to safeguard student privacy as it relates to the collection, maintenance, and use of students’ personal information.  Among the fourteen education tech companies … Continue Reading

IAPP Privacy Academy: “Data Brokers Demystified”

The International Association of Privacy Professionals hosted its annual Privacy Academy, at which one panel, “Data Brokers Demystified,” specifically focused on regulation of the data-broker industry.  The panelists included Janis Kestenbaum from the Federal Trade Commission, Jennifer Glasgow from Acxiom, and Pam Dixon from the World Privacy Forum.  Emilio Cividanes from Venable also participated. Major … Continue Reading

Video: A Conversation with Covington about the Latest NLRB Facebook Case

Meena Harris, a member of Covington’s Global Privacy and Data Security Practice Group, spoke with LXBN TV about the National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling that two employees of a sports bar and restaurant were unlawfully discharged for their participation in a Facebook discussion criticizing their employer.  You can view the interview here.… Continue Reading

FTC Public Workshop On Big-Data Discrimination: Assessing the Current Environment

On Monday, the FTC hosted a public workshop on the topic of big data and discrimination entitled, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” The first panel, which explored today’s big-data landscape, featured the following speakers from government, industry, and academia: Kristin Amerling, Chief Investigative Counsel and Director of Oversight at the U.S. Senate … Continue Reading

Schedule of Panelists for FTC’s Upcoming Big Data & Discrimination Workshop

As we have previously reported, in less than two weeks the FTC will host its anticipated workshop on big data and discrimination.  Today the FTC announced a full agenda and panelists for the September 15th event, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Constitution Center.  … Continue Reading
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