Archives: Emerging Technologies

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White House Announces Artificial Intelligence Workshops and Working Group

Yesterday, the White House announced a series of workshops and an interagency working group devoted to the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence (AI).  The announcement cited the growing influence of AI, and specifically its potential applications in healthcare, education, and transportation.  On the other hand, the announcement noted the potential risks and policy challenges … 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

NTIA Release Requests for Comments on IoT Issues

Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, issued a Request For Public Comment (RFC) seeking comment on the benefits, challenges, and potential roles for the government in fostering the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT). NTIA issued the RFC as part of the Commerce Department’s Digital … Continue Reading

Report Questions Use of “Going Dark” to Describe Encryption Trends

A report released yesterday by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University addresses the recent debate over the use of encryption in communications technologies and its impact on government access to communication data.  The report focuses on the U.S. government’s use of the “going dark” metaphor to describe recent decisions by several … Continue Reading

Covington Attorneys Author Chapter on the Challenges of Managing Third-Party Outsourcing Risks

As businesses increasingly work with various types of third parties that process sensitive information and, in some cases, access a company’s networks, there is an inherent risk:  these third parties create new avenues of attack against a company’s data, systems, and networks.   Covington attorneys David Fagan, Nigel Howard, Kurt Wimmer, and Elizabeth Canter describe these … Continue Reading

Start With Security: Key Takeaways from the FTC’s Data Security Conference

By Lindsey Tonsager and Megan Rodgers The FTC held its “Start with Security” conference in San Francisco, California, last week, launching an initiative to provide companies with practical resources for implementing effective data security strategies. The event was targeted at tech start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses, but the panelists included representatives from companies with … Continue Reading

Multistakeholder Group Seeks Comment on Draft Framework for IoT Device Manufactures

Earlier this week, the Online Trust Alliance released a draft framework of best practices for Internet of Things device manufacturers and developers, such as connected home devices and wearable fitness and health technologies.  The OTA is seeking comments on its draft framework by September 14. The framework acknowledges that not all requirements may be applicable … Continue Reading

Covington Webinar on the Internet of Things

On Thursday, January 29, Covington’s Global Privacy and Data Security Practice Group will host a webinar on the Internet of Things (IoT).  The webinar will cover the full federal, state, and international legal landscape governing IoT technology. While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to release a report soon on privacy issues raised by IoT, the FTC … 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

The FTC’s Agenda to Tackle Big Data and Discrimination

Last Friday, the FTC announced an agenda for its upcoming workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place on Monday, Sept. 15, starting at 8:00 a.m.  As we’ve previously reported, the workshop will build on recent efforts by the FTC and other government agencies to understand how new technologies affect … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Releases Report on Mobile Shopping Apps: Finds Insufficient Disclosures to Consumers

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a staff report examining the consumer-protection implications of popular shopping apps.  These services are intended to ease and enhance the shopping experience by allowing consumers to, for example, compare prices in-store across retailers, collect and redeem deals, or pay for purchases while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.  The FTC … Continue Reading

Covington at #SXSW: If “Big Data Is the New Oil” Then “Privacy Is the New Green”

South by Southwest (“SXSW”) Interactive kicked off last week, and Covington was there to cover privacy and big data’s big buzz, a topic which dominated much of the conference.  Among the events that took place last Friday were “Big Data Inverted: The Best Candy from Strangers?” and “Privacy Under the Covers: The Naked Truth.”  The … Continue Reading

The FTC’s “Internet of Things” Workshop in Perspective; 5 Key Takeaways for How it Could Affect Consumer Privacy Going Forward

By Katie Gasztonyi & Steve Satterfield Last month, the FTC held a public workshop on the “Internet of Things” (or “IoT”), during which it examined the privacy and security implications of everyday objects being connected to the Internet and to each other.  The workshop—which considered “things” ranging from connected cars to remote-controlled defibrillators—brought together academics, … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Agenda for November 19th “Internet of Things” Workshop

The FTC has announced its agenda and panelists for its workshop on connected devices, which will be held on November 19, 2013. The workshop will focus on three industries that increasingly rely on the Internet of Things: (1) homes equipped with “smart” home appliances and connected devices; (2) health and fitness devices that transmit data … Continue Reading

Covington and the George Washington University’s Cybersecurity Initiative Release Issue Brief on Cyberespionage and Trade Secret Theft

At a co-hosted event last week, Covington & Burling LLP and The George Washington University’s Cybersecurity Initiative released an issue brief on the growing threats of cyberespionage and trade secret theft and responses to address these threats.  The paper provides an overview of existing laws and policy reforms being considered in the U.S. and European … Continue Reading

FTC Focuses on ‘Internet of Things’

The Federal Trade Commission’s announcement that it reached a settlement with a home security camera maker indicates a new focus on the privacy implications of everyday devices that are connected to the Internet. On Wednesday, the FTC announced a settlement with TRENDnet, which sells Internet-connected home cameras for security, baby monitoring, and other purposes. The … Continue Reading

Ramirez Says That FTC Will Use Tools To Protect Consumers From “Big Data” Privacy Concerns

Earlier this week, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez gave the keynote address at a technology conference, in which she focused on the privacy challenges of so-called “big data.”   Her remarks provide some guidance about what the FTC considers “best practices” in terms of deploying big data analytics without raising privacy concerns.   Data minimization … Continue Reading

Recommendations for Big Data in the Travel Industry

Last week, Amadeus, which provides one of the three major global distribution systems to the travel industry, published a report on big data authored by Thomas Davenport (currently a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School).  Davenport identifies data privacy issues as a major challenge to the use of big data and suggests that proceeding … Continue Reading

Personalization of travel shopping

Personalization of the shopping experience is a hot topic in the travel industry.  It has also prompted privacy regulators to consider the implications for the consumer.  For example, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party in April issued a letter to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) on this topic and a Department of Transportation committee recently … Continue Reading

China Regulates Smart Device Manufacturers’ Use of Pre-installed Apps

China’s Ministry of Internet and Information Technology (“MIIT”) has promulgated a new regulation targeting manufacturers of mobile smart devices (such as smart phones) that prohibits them from preinstalling certain apps that raise privacy, security, or prohibited content concerns.  Entitled “Notice Regarding Strengthening the Management of Network Access for Mobile Smart Terminals,” the new regulation forbids … Continue Reading

BYOD’s Rapid Growth Presents New Legal Challenges

Companies are increasingly allowing employees to access work email and apps on their personal devices, according to a new Gartner survey of chief information officers.  But employers confront many tough policy and legal questions when they adopt Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) programs. Thirty-eight percent of the CIOs said that their organizations will stop providing … Continue Reading

Boston Marathon Bombings Spark Renewed Debate Over Surveillance

In the wake of the Boston marathon bombings and in response to the quick work of law enforcement officials who were significantly aided in their identification of the suspected bombers by videos from government- and privately owned surveillance cameras, there has been renewed public discussion regarding the privacy implications of the proliferation of security cameras. … Continue Reading

Ex-Employee is Not Required to Produce iPhone in Discovery

A New York state appellate court recently ruled that a company does not have the right to access a former employee’s personal iPhone during discovery in employment litigation. As a financial analyst for AllianceBernstein, L.P., William Atha used his personal iPhone to contact clients, and he stored some clients’ contact information on the iPhone.  Shortly after … Continue Reading

Key Holdings in the In re iPhone Application Dismissal Order

By: Shel Abramson and Mali Friedman The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice most claims asserted by consumer plaintiffs in In re iPhone Application Litigation, including causes of action under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), the Wiretap Act, and other federal and state laws.  Plaintiffs asserted that Apple … Continue Reading
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