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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

FTC to Examine Impact of “Big Data” on Low-Income and Underserved Communities

This morning, the FTC announced that it would host a public workshop in September entitled “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” in order to examine the increasing use of big-data analytics and its potential impact on low-income, diverse, and underserved American consumers.  The FTC noted that while predictive-analytic techniques produce tremendous benefits by … Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Providing Online Protections For Minors

Earlier this month, we blogged about the California Senate’s passage of the bill titled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which prohibits certain targeted advertising to California minors and requires that minors be allowed to delete materials they have posted online.  Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, and it will … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Guidance on Refill Reminders under HIPAA

On September 19, HHS released additional guidance on the “refill reminder exception” in HIPAA, which allows — in some circumstances — paid communications regarding a drug or biologic currently prescribed to a patient. Background In January 2013, HHS finalized new restrictions on marketing as part of the final omnibus rule implementing changes to HIPAA under … Continue Reading

HHS to Issue Guidance on HIPAA Marketing Restrictions

In a court filing on September 11, 2013, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that HHS intends to issue further guidance on certain new marketing restrictions under HIPAA, finalized last January as part of the final HITECH omnibus rule, and to delay enforcement of those new marketing restrictions until … Continue Reading

Members of Congress Examine Impact of Media and Marketing On Children

Earlier today, members of Congress and regulators gathered for a symposium on “The Impact of Media on the Health & Well-Being of Children.”   Participants included Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, and Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, as well as researchers … Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Preliminary Agenda for Digital Advertising Disclosures Workshop

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a preliminary agenda for its upcoming public workshop called Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.  The goal of the workshop is to discuss revisions to the Dot Com Disclosures, the FTC’s current guidance document on online advertising disclosures, which was published in 2000. The Dot Com Disclosures discusses … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Moves Closer to New Privacy Amendment

On July 13, the Personal Data (Amendment) Bill 2011 was introduced to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council for final approval.  The Bill, which is designed to implement the recommendations of a April 2011 government report on privacy reform, aims to address a spate of recent concerns about the prevalence of direct marketing-related data sales and transfers … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strikes Down Vermont Law Restricting Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data

Today, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Vermont law restricting the sale, disclosure, and use of pharmacy records that reveal the prescribing practices of individual doctors.  In so holding, the Supreme Court found that speech in aid of pharmaceutical marketing is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.   … Continue Reading

HIPAA/HITECH Regulations are Coming: What do Pharmaceutical Companies Need to Know? (Part 2 of 5)

This is the second in our series on provisions of the HHS proposed rule implementing the HITECH Act that, if included in the final rule, are likely to have the greatest impact on the business operations of pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies.  We previously covered HHS’s proposed treatment of refill reminders and other communications … Continue Reading

HIPAA/HITECH Regulations are Coming: What do Pharmaceutical Companies Need to Know? (Part 1 of 5)

As we previously reported, the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has indicated that the final rule implementing changes to the HIPAA regulations under the HITECH Act will be issued in March.  The proposed rule, released last July, contains sweeping changes to the privacy, security, and enforcement rules … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Review of Second Circuit Medical Privacy Ruling

On January 7, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a Court of Appeals decision striking down Vermont’s prescription confidentiality law.  The State of Vermont had petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case on December 13, 2010, after the Second Circuit ruled that the law constituted an impermissible restriction on commercial speech under the … Continue Reading

Vermont Seeks Supreme Court Review of Second Circuit Medical Privacy Ruling

The State of Vermont is petitioning the Supreme Court to review a Court of Appeals decision holding that the State’s prescription confidentiality law is unconstitutional. The law at issue prohibits regulated entities from selling or using records containing prescriber-identifiable information—i.e., information linking prescribers to prescriptions for particular drugs—for marketing or promoting prescription drugs, unless the prescriber … Continue Reading

Quantcast, Clearspring Agree to Settle “Flash Cookies” Suits

Just two days after the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection announced that the agency would not tolerate an “arms race” aimed at developing technologies that subvert user choice regarding online tracking, two firms accused of employing such technologies agreed to settle lawsuits against them.  Quantcast and Clearspring–which provide web analytics and certain functionality to consumer-facing websites–were named in several … Continue Reading

Open Data Partnership Will Give Consumers Access To Online Profiles

On the heels of last week’s release of a proposed consumer privacy report by the FTC, a group of businesses that track online behavior announced that they will give consumers access to information collected about their interests.  The Open Data Partnership will also allow consumers to edit this online profile information.  This service, which will launch … Continue Reading
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