On July 21, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Personal Information Privacy Protection Act (PIPPA) (S. 1913), which limits the circumstances under which “retail establishments” (retailers) can collect and use information obtained by scanning the state-issued identification cards of customers.

The new law limits the ability of retailers to scan the barcode or other machine-readable section of a customer’s ID to the following eight purposes:

  1. To verify the authenticity of the card or the identity of the person;
  2. To verify age when providing age-restricted goods and services;
  3. To prevent fraud or other criminal activity if the person returns an item or requests a refund or an exchange;
  4. To prevent fraud or other criminal activity related to a credit transaction to open or manage a credit account;
  5. To establish or maintain a contractual relationship;
  6. To record, retain, or transmit information as required by law;
  7. To transmit information to a consumer reporting agency, financial institution, or debt collector; and
  8. To record, retain, or transmit information by a covered entity governed by the medical privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.


Continue Reading New Jersey Enacts Law Limiting Ability of Retail Establishments to Scan State-Issued IDs

By Caleb Skeath

You’ve added a passcode to your phone, checked your social network privacy settings (twice), and kept close tabs on the cookies in your web browser. But have you ever thought closely about the information your car collects about you?

New Jersey legislators are debating two identical bills that would provide additional safeguards against the disclosure of data contained in a car’s “black box,” which track a vehicle’s technical status and operational performance. These devices, often referred to as event data recorders or EDRs, are present on 90% of all cars and light trucks in the U.S. and may soon become mandatory on all new vehicles. In addition to assisting mechanics with car repairs, EDRs can assist law enforcement and insurance companies in crash investigations.

Continue Reading New Jersey Legislature Considers Additional Protections for Car “Black Box” Data

New Jersey has enacted restrictions on the ability of employers to access employees’ social media accounts, becoming the twelfth state to enact such legislation. More than 30 state legislatures have considered bills on the topic in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Restrictions in New Jersey

New Jersey’s new law, signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 29 and effective December 1, generally prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that employees or prospective employees “provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to, a personal account through an electronic communications device.” Employers also may not require individuals to waive the law’s protections or retaliate against individuals who refuse prohibited requests or file complaints with the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development about violations of the law. An earlier version of the law, passed by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Christie, also would have allowed aggrieved individuals to file civil suits for injunctions, damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Continue Reading New Jersey Restricts Employer Access to Employees’ Personal Online Accounts

New Jersey earlier this month became the latest state to bar college and university officials from demanding access to students’ or applicants’ personal online accounts.  Gov. Chris Christie signed the law, which takes effect immediately, on Dec. 3.

Under the new law, which applies to public and private higher-education institutions, schools cannot require a student or applicant to “in any way provide access” to “a personal account or service through an electronic communications device,” nor may schools “in any way inquire as to whether a student or applicant” has a social-media account. Schools may not retaliate against students who refuse to provide access to their accounts, and the law voids any agreement to waive the statute’s protections.

Continue Reading New Jersey Restricts Colleges’ Access to Students’ Personal Accounts, Considers Similar Protections for Employees

Last Friday, New Jersey federal District Judge Freda Wolfson dismissed a misappropriation suit against videogame maker Electronic Arts concerning the characteristics of virtual players in its college football series NCAA Football.  Ryan Hart, former quarterback for Rutgers University, claimed that EA misappropriated his likeness by including a player bearing his characteristics in the