privacy law reform

On August 31, 2016, a bill was presented to the Luxembourg Parliament (the “Bill”) to amend the Law of August 2, 2002, on the Protection of Persons with regard to the Processing of Personal Data.

The Bill aims to reduce the current administrative burden and anticipates the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)

In February 2015, the Brazilian government issued a draft of Brazil’s first comprehensive privacy law, the Preliminary Draft Bill for the Protection of Personal Data (the “Draft Bill”).  The Draft Bill builds on and codifies certain concepts relating to the treatment of personal data already present in Brazilian constitutional, statutory and case law.

Although Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) may have received the most attention for his attendance at South by Southwest (“SXSW”) Interactive, many other members of Congress were represented this year.  Continuing our coverage of the conference, this past weekend we attended a panel on “The Future of Privacy,” featuring congressional representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and Blake Farenthold (R-TX).  All three representatives support legislation to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), and the panelists focused their remarks on the importance of extending warrant protections to electronic communications regardless of how long such communications are stored.

The panel began on a somewhat whimsical note with the panelists presenting photographs of themselves from the 1980s.  To drive home the point, Congressman Issa explained a great deal has changed since 1986 when ECPA was first enacted.  The panelists generally focused on the need to protect all electronic mail and other electronic communications no differently than paper records are protected.  Congressman Issa also noted that ECPA reform has an economic impact in light of the increased use of cloud services.
Continue Reading Covington at #SXSW 2015: Members of Congress Discuss Future of Privacy

On November 15, 2013, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled Information Resellers: Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace.  In the report, the GAO finds that the applicability of the primary federal privacy and data security laws — such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — to the collection and sale of personal consumer information by information resellers (commonly called “data brokers”) is limited and therefore, the current privacy framework “warrants reconsideration.”  The GAO  calls upon Congress to consider legislation to provide appropriate privacy protections to consumers’ personal information “while also ensuring that any limitations on data collection and sharing do not unduly inhibit the economic and other benefits to industry and consumers that data sharing can accord.”  The report also notes that the Department of Commerce agrees that strengthening privacy protections could better protect consumers and support innovation.

The report canvasses the existing primary federal laws and regulations governing consumer privacy and identifies gaps with respect to consumer data used for marketing purposes.  In particular, the GAO finds that the scope of current federal privacy laws is limited in addressing (1) individuals’ ability to access, control, and correct their personal data; (2) collection methods and sources and types of consumer information collected; and (3) new technologies, such as tracking of web activity and the use of mobile devices.  As a result of these gaps, the report suggests that current privacy law does not always align with the Fair Information Practice Principles, which are a set of widely recognized principles for protecting the privacy and security of personal information that have served as the basis for “best practices” for many organizations and governments.Continue Reading GAO: Congress Should Consider Strengthening the Current Consumer Privacy Framework