Tag Archives: Congress

Twin Proposals Would Reform Section 230’s Liability Protections and Broadly Affect Online Content

On Wednesday, two proposals were unveiled that would reform the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.  Section 230 immunizes online platforms from civil liability based on third-party content, and provides immunity for acting in “good faith” to restrict or remove content that is “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Bill Introduced in Senate Would Regulate COVID-19 Apps

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced bipartisan legislation this week to address privacy issues in the COVID-19 era.  The proposal, entitled the “Exposure Notification Privacy Act,” would regulate “automated exposure notification services” developed to respond to COVID-19.  This bipartisan legislation comes on the heels of dueling privacy proposals from both political parties.  … Continue Reading

Democrats Introduce COVID-19 Privacy Bill That Differs in Key Respects From Republicans’ Proposal

House and Senate Democrats recently unveiled proposed legislation—tentatively titled the “Public Health Emergency Privacy Act”—that would regulate the collection and use of health and location information in connection with efforts to track and limit the spread of COVID-19. Below we describe the proposed Public Health Emergency Privacy Act and how it differs with a separate … Continue Reading

Four Federal Privacy Trends to Watch in 2020

Heading into the new year, California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) readiness remains top of mind for many businesses, especially as continued developments, such as the California Attorney General’s forthcoming implementing regulations, may implicate compliance efforts.  State legislation will likely move forward in 2020.  At the same time, however, companies should not lose sight of legislative … Continue Reading

House Energy and Commerce Committee Circulates Draft Privacy Bill Expanding FTC Authority

On December 18, 2019, staffers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee circulated a draft of a bipartisan privacy bill.  The draft is currently unnamed and unfinished, but it lays out a comprehensive framework that expands both individuals’ rights to their data and the FTC’s enforcement role over digital privacy.  Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) and … Continue Reading

Democratic Senators Introduce the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act

On November 26, 2019, a group of Democratic senators introduced the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA).  This comprehensive privacy bill—sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Ed Markey (D-MA)—would grant individuals broad control over their data, impose new obligations on data processing, and expand the FTC’s enforcement role … Continue Reading

Business Roundtable Proposes Framework for Consumer Privacy Legislation

On September 10, 2019, 51 members of the Business Roundtable sent a letter to congressional leaders advocating principles for a national consumer data privacy law. The Business Roundtable’s Framework for Consumer Privacy Legislation offers a guide for potential federal legislation that would harmonize existing privacy regulations and preempt existing state and local data privacy laws. … Continue Reading

Dark Patterns: What They Are and What You Should Know About Them

You may have heard the phrase “dark patterns” as shorthand for various user interfaces designed to influence users’ decisions. They can range from the perfectly innocent to the unethical, and even illegal. Whatever the form, dark patterns have recently drawn attention from the mainstream press. Dark patterns are coming out from the shadows. And when … Continue Reading

Republicans, Democrats Offer Different Views on Preemption During Senate Privacy Hearing

At a February 27, 2019 hearing on “Privacy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States,” Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee offered different perspectives on whether new federal privacy legislation should preempt state privacy laws.… Continue Reading

House Subcommittee Holds Initial Hearing On Potential New Privacy Bill

On February 26, 2019, a key House subcommittee held a hearing to explore the possible contours of new federal privacy legislation.  At the hearing, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)—who chairs the Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce—said the hearing on “Protecting Consumer Privacy in the Era of Big Data” was only the … Continue Reading

GAO Report Calls for Federal Privacy Law

This month, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report recommending that Congress consider enacting a federal internet privacy law in the United States.  The 56-page independent report was requested by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has scheduled a hearing on data privacy on February 26, during which it plans to discuss the GAO’s … Continue Reading

Covington to Host Webinar on Connected and Automated Vehicles

One week from today, Covington will host its first webinar in a series on connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”). The webinar will take place on February 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. During the webinar, Covington’s regulatory and legislative experts will cover developments in U.S. law and regulations relating to CAVs. Those topics … Continue Reading

Senators Klobuchar and Kennedy Introduce Privacy Legislation

On April 24, 2018, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act of 2018.  The bill aims to protect consumers’ online data by increasing the transparency of data collection and tracking practices, and requiring companies to notify consumers of a privacy violation within 72 hours. “Our … Continue Reading

President Trump Nominates Four New Commissioners to FTC

Last week, President Trump nominated four new commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”):  Joseph J. Simons, an antitrust attorney, as Chairman; Noah Joshua Phillips, chief counsel for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), for the second Republican seat; Christine Wilson, an executive for Delta Air Lines, for the third Republican seat; and Rohit Chopra, … Continue Reading

House Passes Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act

On January 9, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act by voice vote.  The Act directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to prepare a report describing the policies and procedures that DHS developed to coordinate the cyber vulnerability disclosures.  Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 … Continue Reading

Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus Discusses Vulnerability Disclosures

Last week, the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus hosted “Hacking: What Color Is Your Hat? Vulnerability Disclosures and the Law,” a discussion on the importance of vulnerability disclosures to protect information systems and  the nation’s cyber security defenses, and how private and public actors can safely encourage vulnerability reporting.  Technology and security companies … Continue Reading

A Summary of the Recently Introduced “Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017”

On August 1, 2017, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation (fact sheet) that would establish minimum cybersecurity standards for Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices sold to the U.S. Government.  As Internet-connected devices become increasingly ubiquitous and susceptible to evolving and complex cyber threats, the proposed bill attempts to safeguard the security of executive agencies’ … Continue Reading

Bill Criminalizing “Revenge Porn” Introduced in Congress

Today, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would criminalize the non-consensual distribution of sexually explicit images, commonly referred to as “revenge porn.” The Internet Privacy Protection Act would make it a federal crime for individuals to knowingly distribute sexually explicit images or video of a person without or with a “reckless disregard” for their … Continue Reading

White House’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) Includes Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Creation of Federal Privacy Council

Following the announcement of the President’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), an initiative designed to “enhance cybersecurity capabilities within the Federal Government and across the country,” the White House has released a fact sheet outlining the different components of the CNAP.  The announcement of the CNAP follows the President’s request for $19 billion in funding … Continue Reading

Scope of Preemption in Proposed Data Security Legislation is Uncertain

According to a recent analysis by the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”), the extent of state law preemption in recent federal legislative proposals relating to data security is unclear.  Several bills introduced in the 114th Congress would impose federal data security or breach notification requirements on covered entities, similar to existing requirements in nearly every state. … Continue Reading
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