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California Consumer Privacy Act: Industry, Advocate, and Enforcement Concerns and Legislative Amendments

On September 23, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB-1121, a bill that makes several amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA or the Act). The controversial privacy law, which is set to take effect in 2020, recently sparked a war of words among industry, privacy advocates, and the California Attorney General, each … Continue Reading

Vermont Enacts Groundbreaking Data Broker Regulation

Recently, Vermont became the first state to enact legislation that regulates data brokers who buy and sell personal information. Under the new law, data brokers in Vermont will now have to register with the state, adopt standard security measures, and provide information to the state regarding their data collection practices. The law was passed in … Continue Reading

Feeling BLU: What You Need to Know About Overseeing Your Service Providers

On April 30,2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with mobile phone manufacturer BLU Products and its owner over allegations that the company failed to implement appropriate procedures to oversee their service providers’ security practices, which allowed the service provider to install software containing commonly known security vulnerabilities on consumers’ mobile devices and … Continue Reading

Facebook Biometric Suit Moves Forward

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently ruled that a certified class action on behalf of Illinois Facebook users alleging that the social network unlawfully collects biometric data from photo tagging will go forward, denying both parties’ summary judgment motions. This case is one of the first major tests of the … 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

What’s Old Is New Again: FTC Takes Rare Step of Withdrawing and Reissuing Expanded Data Security Settlement with Uber in Light of 2016 Data Breach

On April 12, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was withdrawing its proposed August 2017 privacy and data security settlement with Uber Technologies and issuing a new and expanded proposed settlement.1 According to the FTC, the reason for this extraordinary step was to address additional allegations of misconduct by the ride-sharing company … Continue Reading

Congress Enacts the CLOUD Act, Granting Law Enforcement Access to Information Stored Abroad, and Mooting U.S. v. Microsoft

On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which contained a section entitled the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. The CLOUD Act significantly revises the rules underlying law enforcement requests for access to communications information stored abroad, and may have far-reaching implications for companies that collect, … Continue Reading

New FTC Report Recommends Steps to Improve Mobile Security Updates

In February 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report that explores the complexities of the mobile ecosystem and makes recommendations for industry to improve the mobile security update process for consumers. The report is part of the FTC’s effort to address concerns that mobile devices are not receiving the operating system patches they … Continue Reading

FTC Grants Sears’ Petition to Reopen and Modify 2009 Order Concerning Online Browsing Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently granted 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. Sears’ 2009 Order On August 31, 2009, the FTC entered … Continue Reading

Alabama Becomes Final State to Enact Data Breach Notification Law

On June 1, 2018, the Alabama Data Breach Notification Act of 2018 will take effect. In addition to being the last state to enact a breach notification law, Alabama’s new law distinguishes itself in a variety of unique ways. Consistent with other state breach notification laws, the new law defines “sensitive personally identifying information” maintained … Continue Reading

Regulating Big Tech: Top of Mind Interview with Christopher Kuner

In a new interview appearing in “Regulating Big Tech,” published by Goldman Sachs Global Macro Research, Dr. Christopher Kuner, Senior Privacy Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, discusses the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect on May 25, 2018. In the article, Dr. Kuner explores the global implications … 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

FTC Announces Settlement with PayPal for Alleged FTC Act and GLBA Violations by Venmo

On February 27, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced1 that it had reached an agreement with PayPal to settle allegations that its peer-to-peer payment service, Venmo, engaged in deceptive acts and practices and violated the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)’s Safeguards Rule2 and Privacy Rule.3 Since 2011, Venmo has offered peer-to-peer payment services through an app … Continue Reading

Online Talent Agency Stars in FTC’s 30th COPPA Case

On February 5, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its most recent Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) case against Explore Talent, an online talent agency marketed to aspiring actors and models.1 According to the FTC’s complaint, the company provided a free platform for users to find information about auditions, casting calls, and other … Continue Reading

New Policy for Device Searches at Borders Issued by CBP

In early January 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced an updated policy for searching electronic devices at U.S. borders. The new directive supersedes a previous directive that was released in August 2009. Under the policy, CBP agents—with or without suspicion—may conduct a “basic search” of electronic devices encountered at the border, including smartphones … Continue Reading

New SEC Cybersecurity Guidance Highlights Disclosure Controls

On February 21, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its latest Interpretive Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures. Although cybersecurity has been a focus of the SEC for many years, the release is the first formal guidance issued by the agency. Previously, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued informal staff guidance … Continue Reading

A Look Ahead at Privacy and Data Security in 2018

2018 promises to be an interesting year in the world of privacy and cybersecurity. In this article, we highlight a few of the most notable developments we expect this year, including major developments in Europe, changes and pending cases at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), notable U.S. Supreme Court cases scheduled to be decided this … Continue Reading

FTC Carves New Path for Collecting Voice Recordings from Children Without Parental Consent

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided new guidance on how it will enforce the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) against companies collecting voice recordings from children, loosening the rules on how companies can collect and use voice data. Under the guidance, online services covered by COPPA can now collect voice recordings from children … Continue Reading

NAI Issues 2018 Update to Its Code of Conduct

On December 4, 2017, the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), a self-regulatory body comprised of more than 100 digital advertising companies that collect and use consumer information for online behavioral advertising (OBA),1 issued an update to its Code of Conduct (the “Code”).  The Code imposes notice, choice, accountability, data security, and use limitation requirements on NAI … Continue Reading

FTC Holds Workshop on Informational Injury

On December 12, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop to examine consumer injury in the context of privacy and data security. The motivation for the workshop, according to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, was to help the FTC better understand consumer informational injury, weigh effectively the benefits of intervention against its inevitable … Continue Reading
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