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Senators Reintroduce Cybersecurity Legislation for Cars and Planes

Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced a pair of bills today relating to the cybersecurity of cars and aircraft, which would impose affirmative security, disclosure, and consent requirements on manufacturers and air carriers.  The Security and Privacy in Your Car (“SPY Car”) Act and Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience (“Cyber … Continue Reading

House Democrats Propose Three Bills that Would Bolster FCC Influence over Cybersecurity

On March 2nd, Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced three pieces of legislation that would expand the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority over the cybersecurity practices of communications network providers. The first bill, the “Securing IoT Act of 2017” (introduced by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)), would expand the FCC’s certification authority … Continue Reading

California Judge Upholds CPUC Order to Share Confidential Subscriber Data, But Subject to Adequate Protective Order

On November 3, Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California held that federal law does not bar the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from requiring telecommunications companies to hand over, under an adequate protective order, confidential subscriber data to The Utility Reform Network (TURN) as part of an … Continue Reading

Consumer Groups, Stakeholders React to Petition Requesting Halt in Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Service Due to Cybersecurity Concerns

A variety of advocacy groups and industry stakeholders filed comments yesterday in response to a petition by non-profit Public Knowledge to halt operation of the Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) service.  The nascent DSRC service, which operates in the 5.9 GHz band, enables vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to protect the safety of drivers and passengers and … Continue Reading

Senate Panel Passes “Internet of Things” Bill

Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill meant to increase government involvement in the development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). By a voice vote, the committee approved the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and … Continue Reading

FCC Releases NPRM on Broadband Privacy Rules

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) setting forth and seeking comment on proposed rules to govern the privacy practices of broadband internet access service providers (BIAS providers).  Among other things, the NPRM outlines the FCC’s proposed rules for broadband privacy policies, the level of customer approval … Continue Reading

FCC Votes to Proceed With Broadband Privacy Proposal

At its open meeting today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to proceed with a proposed rulemaking to regulate the privacy practices of broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  The 3-2 vote was divided along party lines. Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of the proposal.  Republican … Continue Reading

FCC Releases TCPA Enforcement Advisory Directed to Political Campaigns

Yesterday, the FCC released an Enforcement Advisory to remind political campaigns about their obligations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The Advisory did not set forth any new rules for calls and texts; rather, it confirmed existing rules and reminded political campaigns that they are subject to them. The Advisory first confirmed that prerecorded … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Fact Sheet Regarding Privacy Proposal for Broadband ISPs

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a fact sheet summarizing rules Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing to regulate the privacy practices of broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs).   Chairman Wheeler also will be circulating today to other FCC commissioners a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which fully sets forth the proposed rules.  That NPRM … Continue Reading

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

Cox Communications to Pay $595,000 in Data Breach Settlement

By Hannah Lepow Yesterday the FCC announced that it has entered into a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to protect its customers’ personal information when it suffered a data breach in 2014.  This is the first privacy  and data security enforcement action the FCC Enforcement … Continue Reading

Ten Key Takeaways From Last Week’s TCPA Order

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited order addressing certain aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules.  The order addressed a total of 21 petitions seeking “clarification or other actions” regarding the TCPA, principally in connection with automated calls and text messages. Although the … Continue Reading

Carriers Agree to $3.5 Million FCC Fine For Alleged Privacy Violations

In a consent decree adopted yesterday by the Federal Communications Commission, two telecommunications carriers — TerraCom, Inc., and YourTel America, Inc. — agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty and adhere to a three-year compliance program to settle allegations that the carriers violated the federal Communications Act by failing to adequately protect “proprietary information” … Continue Reading

FCC Ruling Tightens TCPA Restrictions; Dissenters Warn of Increased Class-Action Abuse

In an order adopted at Thursday’s Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission acted on 23 petitions or other requests for clarification regarding the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a federal law that restricts telemarketing  and certain other types of calls.  The FCC has issued a news release describing yesterday’s order as an effort to … Continue Reading

FCC’s Agenda for April 28th Broadband Consumer Privacy Public Workshop

The FCC has announced its agenda and panelists for its public workshop on protecting the privacy of consumers who use broadband Internet access services, which will be held on April 28. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will give opening remarks and Matt Blaze, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will … Continue Reading

AT&T Court Narrowly Interprets FTC Common Carrier Exception and Permits Throttling Case To Go Forward, Addresses Net Neutrality Issue

As we previously reported, in January AT&T filed a Motion to Dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) complaint alleging that AT&T engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act when it “throttled” mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan.  AT&T moved to … Continue Reading

FCC to Hold Workshop On Broadband Privacy

The Federal Communications Commission will hold a workshop on April 28 to explore its role in protecting the privacy of broadband Internet access users. The Commission’s recent net neutrality order applied certain privacy requirements to broadband access providers, including Section 222 of the Communications Act.  That statute requires telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of … 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

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 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

Ten Ways the 2014 Election May Affect Privacy and Data Security Law

When Republicans take over the Senate in January, new leaders will control key committees that oversee privacy and data security issues, and their priorities will differ significantly from those of their predecessors.  Privacy issues, however, generally tend not to break neatly along party lines and there will remain bipartisan support – and bipartisan opposition – … Continue Reading

Officials Comment on the Future of FTC, FCC, and CFPB Privacy Enforcement Authority

By Caleb Skeath At a recent IAPP privacy event, officials from the FTC and CFPB offered insight into their respective agencies’ future enforcement plans, as well as the shifting landscape of privacy enforcement actions.  Although such enforcement actions have historically been the domain of the FTC, the FCC recently entered the privacy enforcement arena, announcing … Continue Reading

FCC Expands Application of Customer Privacy Provisions with $10 Million Fine Against Carriers

By Caleb Skeath Last Friday, the FCC announced that it intends to fine two telecommunications carriers — TerraCom, Inc., and YourTel America, Inc. — a total of $10 million for failing to protect certain customer data.  According to the FCC, the two carriers, which provide discount phone services to low-income individuals, posted customer “proprietary information” … Continue Reading
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