On February 1, 2019, China’s National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee (“TC260”) released a set of amendments to GB/T 35273-2017 Information Technology – Personal Information Security Specification (“the Standard”) for public comment.  The comment period ends on March 3.

Although not legally binding, the Standard has been highly influential since becoming effective in May 2018, as it set out the best practices expected by Chinese regulators (see our previous blogpost on the Standard here).  The Standard has been widely used by companies to benchmark their compliance efforts in China.

The draft amendments reflect Chinese regulators’ evolved thinking on a number of important topics that are hotly debated around the world, such as enhanced notice and consent requirements and requirements for target advertising.  The draft amendments would also introduce new requirements for third party access to data and revise notification requirements for data beaches, among other proposed changes.
Continue Reading China Releases Draft Amendments to the Personal Information Protection Standard

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) has published long-awaited draft guidance on transparency and consent under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  We are continuing to analyze the lengthy guidance documents, but wanted to highlight some immediate reactions and aspects of the guidance that we think will be of interest to clients and other readers of InsidePrivacy.  The draft guidance is open for consultation until 23 January 2018.
Continue Reading EU Regulators Provide Guidance on Notice and Consent under GDPR

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 AIR”) Act were each introduced but not enacted in a previous session of Congress.  In a joint press release, the Senators noted that the legislation was designed to “implement and improve cybersecurity standards for cars and aircraft.”

The SPY Car Act

The SPY Car Act would require cars manufactured for sale in the U.S. to comply with “reasonable measures to protect against hacking attacks,” including measures to isolate critical software systems from non-critical systems, evaluate security vulnerabilities, and “immediately detect, report, and stop attempts to intercept driving data or control the vehicle.”  It would also require “driving data” collected by cars to be “reasonably secured to prevent unauthorized access,” including while such data is in transit to other locations or subsequently stored elsewhere.  Violations of these cybersecurity requirements are subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.
Continue Reading Senators Reintroduce Cybersecurity Legislation for Cars and Planes

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it issued warning letters to mobile app developers that installed software created by an entity called Silverpush that could allow third parties to monitor the television-viewing habits of consumers who have downloaded the mobile apps of those developers.  The letters were sent to 12 developers whose apps are available for download in the Google Play store and appear to include the Silverpush software.
Continue Reading FTC Issues Warning Letters to App Developers Using Technology That Could Monitor What Users Watch on TV

By Lala Qadir

A bipartisan data security bill was unveiled last week as part of a renewed push to create standardized requirements around data breach and security issues.  Both co-sponsors of the bill, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), are members of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, and Blackburn also serves as Vice Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Entitled the “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015,” this draft legislation creates requirements on companies that collect and store personal information of individuals.  Under this bill, companies would be required to use “reasonable security measures” to protect an individual’s personal information.  The bill would also require a company to notify affected individuals as “expeditiously as possible” but no later than 30-days after the company has taken the “necessary measures to determine the scope of the breach and restore reasonable integrity, security, and confidentiality of the data system,” unless the delay is attributed to law enforcement or national security reasons.   Companies would not be obligated to provide individual notice if there was no reasonable risk that the breach of security resulted in, or would result in, identity theft, economic loss or harm, or financial fraud.   A violation of this legislation would constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice and violations could be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission or state attorneys general.  Further, both the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general would be able to obtain civil penalties for violations of the data security and breach notification requirements.  However, no private right of action would be extended under the current draft.  And the draft bill would effectively preempt the current patchwork of state statutes governing data breach notification and data security.
Continue Reading Bipartisan Data Security Bill Put Forth For Review

By Caleb Skeath

As we reported last this week, the Congressional Privacy Bill (S. 547/H.R. 1053) contains provisions that would establish a national data breach notice law, along with the Commercial Privacy Rights Act of 2015 and the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2015.  Following our analysis of the Commercial Privacy Rights Act, we have analyzed the bill’s data breach provisions below.  These provisions would allow for up to 60-days for individual notifications following discovery of a breach, and the bill’s definition of “personally identifiable information” (PII) is significantly broader than any anologous definition within the current state data breach notification laws.  Continue reading for an in-depth analysis of the data breach provisions, and stay tuned for forthcoming analysis of the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2015.
Continue Reading Congressional Privacy Bill: Data Breach Notice Provisions

By Caleb Skeath

As we reported yesterday, the Congressional Privacy Bill has been released, following the release of the White House’s proposal for a privacy bill in late February.  The bill contains the Commercial Privacy Rights Act of 2015, the Congressional counterpart to the White House’s proposal, along with data breach notification provisions and the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2015,” which proposes substantial revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  As with the White House proposal, the Privacy Rights Act would implement a comprehensive regime of substantive privacy requirements.  Our analysis of the Commercial Privacy Rights Act is below, and we will separately post further analysis of the data breach provisions as well as the Do Not Track Kids Act.
Continue Reading Congressional Privacy Bill: Commercial Privacy Rights Act of 2015

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission released a staff report on the Internet of Things (“IoT”) that provides best practice recommendations for addressing privacy and security risks associated with IoT products and services.  The report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, also summarizes findings from the FTC’s 2013 IoT workshop.  In the report, the FTC staff defines “IoT” as “devices or sensors – other than computers, smartphones, or tablets – that connect, communicate or transmit information with or between each other through the Internet.”  Examples of IoT products and services include smart home appliances, connected car services, and fitness trackers.

For industry, the most significant sections of the report are the staff’s privacy and security recommendations, which fall into three main categories: (1) security, (2) data minimization, and (3) notice and choice.  These recommendations are technology-neutral and applicable across a wide range of technologies.  The report also addresses the staff’s view on the need for legislation.

The Commissioners voted 4 to 1 in favor of issuing the report.  Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen issued a separate statement that generally supported the report while declining to endorse a couple of its recommendations.  Commissioner Joshua Wright dissented from the issuance of the report.   The remainder of this blog post analyzes the report’s recommendations and the commissioners’ statements in greater detail.Continue Reading FTC Internet of Things Report Outlines Privacy and Security Recommendations for Industry

On May 14, a judge in the Northern District of California granted in part and dismissed in part four motions to dismiss filed by defendants in the consolidated class action, Opperman v. Path (No. 3:13-CV-00453-JST). The plaintiffs alleged that apps offered by a number of developers (“App Defendants”) accessed and uploaded information from plaintiffs’ mobile devices—including contact information—without plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent. The plaintiffs further alleged that, among other things, Apple had control over these apps, failed to exclude the apps from its App Store, and misrepresented that private information could not be accessed by third-party apps without the user’s express consent. The FTC made similar allegations last year when it claiming that Path deceived customers by collecting contact information from users’ mobile address books without notice and consent. Path settled these charges by entering into a consent decree in February 2013. Continue Reading Court Dismisses CFAA, ECPA, and Other Claims in Privacy Class Action Opperman v. Path

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has sued the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan for failing to promptly notify employees about a 2011 data breach.  California’s breach notice law requires breaches of personal information to be disclosed “in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay.” Harris alleges that Kaiser violated this requirement after taking too