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AT&T: FTC Lacks Jurisdiction Even Under “Activity-Based” Interpretation of the Common Carrier Exemption

Last week AT&T filed a Reply in support of its Motion to Dismiss challenging the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the company pursuant to Section 5 of the FTC Act. As we previously reported, the FTC filed a complaint against AT&T alleging that the company misled consumers by reducing the data … Continue Reading

China’s Internet Gatekeeper Announces Legislation to Enhance Personal Information Protection

China’s principal internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”), announced this week that China will move forward new legislation to combat the improper collection, use, and sale of personal information. The new legislation, announced during an interview of a senior CAC official by state-owned Xinhua News, is reportedly being drafted by CAC, the Ministry … Continue Reading

New York Attorney General Unveils Data Breach Proposal

On the heels of a number of well-publicized data security breaches, a White House data breach proposal, and California’s recent changes to its data breach notification statute, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he will propose legislation to strengthen New York’s data breach notification law.   The legislation had not been made public … Continue Reading

European Parliament Nominates New European Data Protection Supervisor

On October 21, 2014, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE Committee”) voted the Italian Giovanni Buttarelli as top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).  Mr. Buttarelli spent the last five years as Assistant Supervisor to the current  EDPS, Mr. Peter Hustinx.  Referred to as the … 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

What the FTC’s Latest COPPA Settlements Mean for Mobile Apps

Making good on its warnings that mobile apps will be an enforcement priority under the revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, the FTC has announced two settlements with mobile app developers: TinyCo., the developer of several child-directed mobile apps, will pay $300,000 to settle charges that it violated COPPA by collecting children’s email addresses through its mobile app … Continue Reading

NIST Works on Building Privacy Engineering Guidelines

The National Institute of Standards and Technology publishes security risk management standards and guidance that apply to public entities but have been influential throughout the private sector.  Now, NIST is looking to provide similar guidance on privacy risk management, holding its Second Privacy Engineering Workshop earlier this week to consider draft privacy engineering definitions and … Continue Reading

Big Data Analysis is Possible Without Infringing Key Privacy Principles, Says International Working Group

“Data is everywhere. The amount of data on the global level is growing by 50 percent annually. 90 [percent] of the world’s data has been generated within the past two years alone,” explains the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications in their Opinion of May 6, 2014, titled, “Working Paper on Big Data … Continue Reading

American Arbitration Rule Now in Effect

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) now will require businesses seeking to use AAA’s services for consumer arbitrations to submit their arbitration clauses for AAA’s review and approval.  Approved clauses will become part of the AAA’s “Consumer Clause Registry,” which “will contain a list of businesses that have submitted their consumer arbitration clauses [to] the AAA … Continue Reading

New Version of Draft German Cybersecurity Law Published

The German Federal Ministry of the Interior recently published its revamped proposal for an “IT Security” Law. A similar proposal had already been adopted by the previous German Government in March last year (see InsidePrivacy, German Government Proposes Cybersecurity Law, March 22, 2014). However, that proposal ultimately failed to clear the legislative process in time … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Employee’s Facebook “Like” and Comment Protected By Labor Law

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that two employees of a sports bar and restaurant were unlawfully discharged for their participation in a Facebook discussion criticizing their employer.  In the Facebook discussion that prompted the firings, a former employee complained in a status update that she owed more taxes than expected because … Continue Reading

New Version of USA Freedom Act Introduced

By David Fagan, Richard Hertling, and Kate Goodloe Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy introduced a new version of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 (the “USA FREEDOM Act” or “Act”) in the Senate on Tuesday, more than two months House of Representatives passed … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Passes Three Cybersecurity Bills

By David Fagan, Richard Hertling, and Sumon Dantiki On July 28, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives (“House”) passed three cybersecurity bills, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014 (H.R. 3696) (“NCCIP Act”), the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act (H.R. 2952) (“CIRDA Act”), and the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act … Continue Reading

Extending Cybersecurity Breach Notice Requirements to Intelligence Community Contractors

By David Fagan and Susan Cassidy As an indicator of the continuing focus of government authorities on cybersecurity breaches and potential notification requirements, certain contractors for the federal government may soon face new rapid reporting requirements for successful network penetrations.  Specifically, President Obama signed the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act (“2014 IAA”) into law on July 7, … Continue Reading

Covington at #SXSWV2V: Lean Privacy Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs

At last week’s second annual South by Southwest (“SXSW”) V2V conference, described as “an extension and re-imagining of the legendary SXSW experience with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation,” three days of educational programming covered various topics of relevance to the legal/privacy community, including net neutrality, data privacy, competitive design, and … Continue Reading

FTC Staff Updates COPPA FAQs on Verifiable Parental Consent Methods

The FTC staff has posted revisions to three Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) related to obtaining verifiable parental consent under its COPPA Rule. For a comparison of the old and new FAQs, click here. Although the changes (which include a new FAQ H.16) may appear substantial, they mostly reaffirm the FTC’s longstanding position that the agency’s … Continue Reading

FTC Sues Amazon Over Allegedly Unauthorized In-App Purchases

By: Nora Diamond The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) brought suit last week against Amazon.com for allegedly collecting unauthorized in-app charges in connection with children’s apps. The FTC alleges that, by failing to require the account holder to enter a password before allowing a charge, Amazon unfairly billed parents for millions of dollars in unauthorized purchases. … Continue Reading

Senate Subcommittee Examines “Stalking Apps” Bill

This week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing to discuss the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014, a bill reintroduced in March by Senator Al Franken (D-MN).  Most concerned with the potential for misuse and abuse of location data for purposes of stalking and perpetrating domestic violence, Senator … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee To Examine “Stalking Apps”

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will hold a hearing on legislation reintroduced in March by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014.  The bill would regulate the development, operation, and sale of “stalking apps” and also would require companies to get consumer permission before collecting … Continue Reading

FTC Data Broker Report Calls for More Transparency and Consumer Control

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently released a report on the data broker industry that summarizes the FTC’s findings from an investigation of nine data brokers.  The report, Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability, recommends that Congress consider enacting legislation that promotes transparency and consumer access to information held by data brokers, and … Continue Reading

EU Parliamentary Elections: What Impact on the EU Data Protection Reform?

By: Sophie Noya On May 22-25, EU citizens elected Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) for a five-year term.  Several of the key parliamentary decision-makers on the data protection reform have been reelected, including the strongest supporters of far-reaching privacy rights such as the rapporteur, German Green Member Jan Philipp Albrecht, and Dutch Liberal Sophia … Continue Reading

Another Big Data Report, From the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (“PCAST”)

In conjunction with the White House’s comprehensive review of big-data and privacy issues that resulted in a 79-page report, last week the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”) released a parallel big-data report.  The White House report is more general and contains six major policy recommendations, whereas the PCAST report, authored by … Continue Reading

White House Releases Privacy Report, “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values”

Today the White House released its big data and privacy report, entitled “Big Data:  Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.”  The report is the result of a three-month review, which was led by White House counselor John Podesta and was first announced as part of the President’s January speech on NSA reform.  It primarily outlines the Administration’s … Continue Reading
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