Tag Archives: Congress

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Legislation to Update ECPA

Last Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the ECPA 2.0 Act, H.R. 6529, which would strengthen the legal standards for law enforcement to gain access to electronic communications and location information.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is more than 25 years old and is widely seen as needing modernization to address changes in digital … Continue Reading

Senator Rockefeller Requests Cybersecurity Information from Fortune 500 Companies

In the wake of the Senate’s failure to pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation in August and amid continued discussion about the possibility of a cybersecurity executive order, Senator Jay Rockefeller has sought information directly from Fortune 500 companies.  Senator Rockefeller has urged President Obama to issue a cybersecurity executive order, but in a letter sent to … Continue Reading

Senate Hearing Considers Updates to 1974 Privacy Act

Yesterday, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management held a hearing to consider updates to the Privacy Act of 1974.  The Privacy Act of 1974 governs federal government agencies’ collection, use, and transfer of individuals’ personal information.  In general, the Act limits federal agencies’ disclosure of such information from … Continue Reading

Congressmen Seek Information from Leading “Data Brokers”

Last week, a group of eight House members sent letters to nine “major data brokerage companies,” seeking detailed information about “the business of data brokerage,” which the Congressmen described as “the collecting, assembling, maintaining and selling to third-parties of consumers’ personal information.”  The letter appears to have been spurred by a June 16 New York … Continue Reading

House to Weigh Reauthorization of FTC’s Cross-Border Enforcement Authority

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) plans to introduce legislation to renew the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to take action against cross-border spam, spyware, and fraud. Among other provisions, the U.S. SAFE WEB Act of 2006 gave the FTC authority to share information with foreign law-enforcement agencies, to take action against foreign conduct that is unfair … Continue Reading

Sufficiency of Self-Regulation Debated in Senate Commerce Hearing

By Ryan Mowery In a hearing held by the Senate Commerce Committee last Thursday, a representative from the advertising industry vigorously defended its self-regulatory regime for online behavioral advertising.  Other witnesses were less sanguine about the efficacy of self-regulation, while Committee Chairman Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) decried the current state of consumer privacy protection in … Continue Reading

Sen. Toomey’s Federal Breach Notification Bill Would Preempt More Restrictive State Laws

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) recently introduced a bill in the United States Senate that would establish a federal breach notification requirement for certain companies and preempt state breach notification laws that are currently in effect for 46 states.  The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2012, S.3333, would require companies that “collect and maintain … Continue Reading

House Hearing Discusses Merits of Comprehensive Federal Privacy Legislation, Self-Regulation

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet recently held a hearing entitled “New Technologies and Innovations in the Mobile and Online Space, and the Implications for Public Policy.”  Much of the discussion focused on the relative merits of self-regulation versus the enactment of comprehensive federal privacy legislation.  (Separately, the Senate Commerce Committee … Continue Reading

Biometric Data Under the Privacy Microscope

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Immigration Policy Center last week released an interesting report on law enforcement’s increasing efforts to gather biometric data, and associated risks of data inaccuracy, racial profiling, erroneous deportations, security breaches, and privacy invasions.  The report calls for greater accountability in the biometrics context, including collection and retention limitations; clear … Continue Reading

Rep. Engel Introduces Federal Bill to Limit Access to Social Networking Accounts

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) recently introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit employers from requiring current and prospective employees to disclose website usernames, passwords, and other online content.  The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA), H.R. 5050, also would apply to students at colleges, universities, and K-12 schools, and impose a … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Official Testifies Before Congress on Mobile Financial Services

On March 29, 2012, Director of the Federal Reserve’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs Sandra Braunstein testified before the Senate Banking Committee on consumers’ use of mobile financial services.  Ms. Braunstein distinguished between “mobile banking,” which is a consumer’s use of a mobile device to interact with a financial institution, including checking balances and transferring … Continue Reading

Do Not Track Kids Bill Gains Cosponsors

Over the last few weeks, a number of cosponsors have been added to the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 (H.R. 1895), bringing the total number of cosponsors to 29.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Markey and Rep. Barton on May 13, 2011.  Earlier this month, the two members also hosted a Congressional briefing to discuss how … Continue Reading

Republican Senators Introduce SECURE IT Act

Yesterday Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act of 2012 (SECURE IT Act). The bill's cosponsors include Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Coats (R-IN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Richard Burr (R-NC).… Continue Reading

Senate Holds Hearing on Newly Introduced ‘Cybersecurity Act of 2012’

By David Fagan Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on the “Cybersecurity Act of 2012.” Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced the bill, S. 2105, on Tuesday with co-sponsors Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-WV). S. 2105 builds on prior cybersecurity bills … Continue Reading

Korean Regulators to Investigate Google’s Privacy Policy Changes

The Korean Herald reports that the Korea’s Communications Commission (KCC) has opened an investigation into Google’s rollout of its new privacy policy in that country.  The investigation reportedly will focus on whether the company has received sufficient consent to the changes to Google’s existing policy and whether Google is collecting more data than is required … Continue Reading

Congress Continues to Ponder Data Security Legislation

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, is still working to reach consensus on the data security bill that he and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) introduced in June.  A scheduled markup was canceled in September, and the committee decided not to consider the bill at yesterday’s executive session.  Nonetheless, a spokesman for … Continue Reading

Senator Rockefeller Requests Information Regarding Visa and Mastercard Data Collection Practices and Proposals

On October 27, 2011, Senator John D. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sent letters to Visa and Mastercard requesting information regarding the companies’ data collection and aggregation practices and proposals.  An October 25, 2011, Wall Street Journal article outlined various initiatives from the two companies pertaining to online behavioral advertising.  Senator … Continue Reading

Video Privacy Protection Act Consent Bill Passes House Committee

Following up on a meeting last week, today the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s proposed amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). The Committee favorably reported (i.e., approved) a modified version of Rep. Goodlatte’s bill, H.R. 2471, which would permit consent to be given to sharing video usage information … Continue Reading

House Subcommittee Discusses COPPA Updates, Teen Privacy

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held the latest in its series of hearings on Internet privacy Wednesday morning. The hearing — titled “Protecting Children’s Privacy in an Electronic World” — focused on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed updates to the regulations implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act … Continue Reading

The Office of Financial Research and Legal Entity Identifiers

As covered in our earlier blog post, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act establishes the Office of Financial Research (OFR) to collect and analyze U.S. financial data for financial regulators.  The OFR is tasked with, among other responsibilities, supporting the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s oversight of systemic risk, developing tools for measuring risk … Continue Reading

Senator Schumer Calls on FTC to Investigate OnStar’s Privacy Practices

Today, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent letters to Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Liebowitz and OnStar executive director Linda Marshall regarding recent controversial changes to OnStar’s privacy policies.  OnStar provides in-vehicle GPS navigation, emergency response, and concierge services for millions of U.S.-manufactured vehicles.  In providing these services, OnStar collects data regarding customers’ location, speed, driving … Continue Reading

House Subcommittee to Examine COPPA Reform

Politico and other news sources are reporting that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade plans to hold a hearing on the FTC’s proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act rule.  We previously analyzed the FTC’s proposal here.  The hearing has not yet been formally announced but is … Continue Reading
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