Lydia Parnes

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The FTC Privacy Rulemaking: What’s Next?

On August 11, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took the first step toward creating national privacy and security rules that, if finalized, would apply across most sectors of the U.S. economy. The agency unveiled an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which asks for public comment on 95 questions, ranging from topics such as targeted advertising, … Continue Reading

Council of the EU Adopts Its Text on the ePrivacy Regulation

On February 10, 2021, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed on its version of the draft ePrivacy Regulation (Council Position). The long-awaited ePrivacy Regulation, which will repeal the existing ePrivacy Directive, overhauls the rules on cookies and regulates the use of and access to electronic communications data.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court May End Key FTC Consumer Protection Enforcement Practice

Justices Considered Whether Certain Court-Imposed Monetary Remedies Are Legal On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the much-anticipated case of AMG v. FTC, which challenges the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to obtain monetary relief in court under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act. The Court’s decision is likely to have a significant … Continue Reading

EU Privacy Regulators Issue Draft Guidelines on Connected Vehicles and Mobility Applications

On February 7, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published draft guidelines on the processing of personal data in the context of connected vehicles and mobility related applications. If adopted in their current form, the draft guidelines will have far-reaching consequences for connected vehicles and mobility applications that operate in Europe. They contain detailed interpretations of … Continue Reading

Data Brokers Must Register with California Attorney General by January 31

Given Broad Definitions, the Law Could Apply to Businesses That Do Not Consider Themselves Data Brokers While amending the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) last term, the California legislature also passed a CCPA-related privacy bill that applies to “data brokers.” Assembly Bill 1202 (AB 1202) requires businesses that qualify as data brokers to register, pay … Continue Reading

WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast: Privacy Law After LabMD

In the latest episode of the WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast, one of the leading national podcasts focused on tech law and policy debates driving the technology and communications sectors, Lydia Parnes, chair of the privacy and cybersecurity practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, discusses the state of privacy law after the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision … Continue Reading

California Enacts Sweeping Privacy Law to Avert Potential Ballot Measure

In a surprising twist, the California legislature rushed last week to pass one of the most comprehensive privacy laws in the country. The bill was introduced only a week prior, and within hours of passage, it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. As strict as the act is, it was enacted to avoid … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit LabMD Decision Significantly Restrains FTC’s Remedial Powers in Data Security and Privacy Actions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently released its highly anticipated decision in the long-running case pitting the now-defunct medical laboratory LabMD against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), vacating the FTC’s data security order. In reaching its conclusion, the court held that the order’s requirement that LabMD establish a comprehensive information security … Continue Reading

“Two Cops on the Beat is Nothing Unusual”: Ninth Circuit Reverses Panel Decision, Rules FTC Act’s “Common Carrier” Exemption is Activity-Based

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an en banc decision in FTC v. AT&T holding that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act’s “common carrier” exemption is activity-based, reversing the panel’s decision that the exemption is status-based, which would have opened a large enforcement gap for telecommunications companies … Continue Reading

Sears Petitions FTC to Reopen and Modify 2009 Order Concerning Online Browsing Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on a petition by Sears Holding Management requesting that the FTC reopen and modify a 2009 FTC order settling charges that Sears failed to disclose adequately the scope of consumers’ personal information it collected via a downloadable software app. For more information, click here to see our … Continue Reading

To Disclose or Not To Disclose: The FTC’s Dueling Concurrences over Deceptive Omissions in Lenovo

On September 5, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it and 32 state attorneys general had settled charges with Lenovo, Inc., regarding the company’s practice of pre-loading advertising software on its laptops that compromised consumers’ cybersecurity and privacy.1 In many respects, the case was reasonably straightforward: the facts as alleged were clear, and … Continue Reading

The European Start-Up’s Guide to U.S. Data Privacy

Complying with UK and EU data privacy regulations often presents a significant challenge for start-ups based in those regions. UK and EU start-ups expanding to the U.S. similarly need to be aware of U.S. data privacy regulations and whether their existing efforts will be sufficient. While the precise guidance will vary depending on the start-up, … Continue Reading

European Court of Justice to Rule on Validity of Standard Contractual Clauses

On October 3, 2017, the High Court of Ireland issued its decision in Data Protection Commissioner vs Facebook and Schrems concerning the validity of the EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs)—a mechanism used by a very large number of companies to transfer personal data outside of the European Union. The Irish High Court referred this question to … Continue Reading

Lenovo Settles FTC Charges Regarding Pre-Installed Software That Compromised Consumers’ Cybersecurity and Privacy

On September 5, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it and 32 state attorneys general had settled charges with Lenovo regarding the company’s practice of pre-loading software on its laptops that compromised consumers’ cybersecurity and privacy. As part of the settlement, Lenovo agreed to pay $3.5 million in penalties to the states, and per an … Continue Reading

The Serious and Immense Impact of a Medical Device Hack

On August 25, 2016, investment firm Muddy Waters Research announced it had taken a short position in St. Jude Medical, Inc., and released a report suggesting a “strong possibility that close to half of” St. Jude revenues were about to disappear for a period of roughly two years because St. Jude’s implantable cardiac devices were allegedly … Continue Reading

W-2 Phishing Scammers Are Targeting Tech Companies

The W-2 phishing scams are back. Fraudsters have learned that W-2 phishing scams can be highly effective when targeting businesses while they are handling and sending employee income-tax-related documents early in a new year. Once fraudsters obtain the information on W-2 tax forms about employees from businesses, they quickly attempt to commit tax identity theft … Continue Reading

HHS Brings Landmark HIPAA Enforcement Action Against a Business Associate for Alleged Data Security Failures

On June 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Resolution Agreement with Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS), settling charges that CHCS failed to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule. As part of the settlement, CHCS will pay … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Brings First Privacy Enforcement Action Against a Mobile Ad Network

On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has settled charges that InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, deceptively tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, to deliver geo-targeted advertising, and violated both the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This is the … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: EU Commission Publishes EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission unveiled the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The Privacy Shield is designed to replace the invalidated EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework and to provide a new legal framework for data transfers from the EU to the U.S. Although the Privacy Shield is based on the same principles as … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Settles with Manufacturer of Home Network Routers over Alleged Data Security Flaws

On February 23, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS). The ASUS settlement highlights the FTC’s position regarding security in the connected device market: connected device manufacturers are responsible for security shortcomings in their devices and are expected to promptly update or patch any identified … Continue Reading

DOJ Issues Guidance for Responding to Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks can result in significant monetary and reputational damage to a wide range of businesses. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) increased its efforts to engage businesses on cybersecurity issues. Earlier this year, as part of that effort, the department published a new resource for companies victimized by a cyber attack. The guidance, … Continue Reading

President Obama Creates New Sanctions Regime to Combat Foreign Cyberthreats

On April 1, 2015, President Obama issued an executive order declaring “cyber-enabled malicious activities” a national emergency due to the “increasing prevalence and severity” of such attacks originating from or directed by persons outside the United States.1 The executive order gives the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary … Continue Reading

Better Business Bureau Keeps Promise of Vigorous Enforcement of Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

Online interest-based advertising, sometimes called behavioral advertising, is big business. Advertisers—and the technology companies that make this business possible—use information collected from a particular computer or device, over time and across others’ websites, to predict preferences and target and display advertising that is most likely to interest the user. With encouragement from the Federal Trade … Continue Reading

FTC Recommends Improved Transparency and Security in Mobile Shopping Apps

In August 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a staff report that evaluates the consumer disclosures made by a number of popular mobile shopping applications and makes recommendations to the providers and users of those apps.1 The FTC staff did not address or find any fault with app platforms, like Google Play or Apple’s … Continue Reading
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