Smartphones

In a speech delivered at the United States Naval Academy on October 10, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein waded into the public debate between data privacy and law enforcement interests.  As part of a discussion moderated by former Covington cybersecurity attorney Jeff Kosseff, Rosenstein’s remarks discussed cyber issues facing law enforcement with a particular focus on the advent of “warrant-proof” encryption.  In his view, warrant-proof encrypted data and devices are unable to be intercepted or unlocked by law enforcement, even with a court order.

Noting that “[p]rivate sector entities are crucial partners” in the fight against cyber threats, Rosenstein expressed concerns about the role played by tech companies in advancing warrant-proof encryption.  While recognizing the need to balance important privacy interests against law enforcement priorities, Rosenstein argued that “[w]arrant-proof encryption defeats the constitutional balance by elevating privacy above public safety.”  He emphasized the threat posed to public safety when technology developers deprive law enforcement of “crucial investigative tools.”  Rosenstein advocated for “responsible encryption,” recognizing that this approach would not be one-size-fits-all and that solutions would likely look different depending on the company and technology at issue. 
Continue Reading Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Warns Against Warrant-Proof Encryption

By Dan Cooper and Philippe Bradley

This week the Article 29 Working Party released its Opinion 2/2013 on apps on smart devices (WP 202), a 30-page report on mobile app privacy and data protection considerations. This development follows on the Working Party’s Statement on the draft General Data Protection Regulation on 27 February 2013 (which we previously discussed here). 

The report sets out several sets of prescriptive, but non-binding, recommendations that target app developers, app stores, OS and device manufacturers, and other third party participants in app ecosystems, such as advertisers and network operators that bundle apps with devices. 

This short post sets out a summary of some of the report’s less conventional prescriptions and recommendations, which could present participants in the European digital/mobile ecosystem with significant compliance challenges.Continue Reading EU Data Protection Working Party Sets Out App Privacy Recommendations

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Smartphone Security Checker, a tool designed to help consumers secure their smartphones against mobile security threats.  The tool provides consumers with tips that are customized for four different mobile operating systems.  Many of tips focus on security-related topics.  For instance, the tool recommends that consumers set a

A court in Texas recently dismissed a lawsuit it described as “an aspiring class action against a veritable who’s-who of social media companies.”  The Plaintiffs in Opperman v. Path claimed that the Defendants improperly used their smartphone apps to copy, upload, and store Plaintiffs’ address book information without their consent.

According to the court, the

China’s internet regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”), has released two draft regulations that could significantly impact how mobile smart device manufacturers (such as smartphones) and internet information service providers (“IISPs”) handle users’ personal information in China.Continue Reading Draft Chinese Rules Target Mobile Smart Devices and Online Content Providers

On Monday, the Article 29 Working Party released its new Opinion on geo-location data collection and processing in smart mobile devices.  The paper comes on the heels of a recent furor over the extent to which smart phones collect, process and transmit location data without the full knowledge and consent of the phone’s users.  It represents

Smartphone Location Data

Last week two UK-based researchers revealed that Apple iPhones record location-based data in an unencrypted file stored on each phone. The information, gleaned from WiFi routers and cellular towers within the phone’s signal range, has been collected without the knowledge of the phones’ owners, and would allow Apple to track each phone’s