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ALERT – FTC Issues Updated Guidance for Compliance with COPPA

On June 21, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  COPPA regulates websites and other online services in connection with collection of information from children under 13.  The full version of the FTC’s updated guidance is available at https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule-six-step-compliance The FTC guidance instructs … Continue Reading

Two New Developments in Website Accessibility Cases: Nation’s First Website Accessibility Trial Verdict Is Far From a Winn for Retailers, and Hobby Lobby Is Dealt a Blow in California Decision

As numerous retailers know firsthand, website accessibility has become a hotbed for litigation in recent years. Despite plaintiffs filing scores of website accessibility claims against retailers each year, very few of these cases make it past pleadings, and there has been little to no guidance from the courts. This changed on June 13, 2017, in … Continue Reading

FTC Report Highlights Privacy Concerns and Best Practices for Cross-Device Tracking

On January 23, 2017, the FTC released a Staff Report (the Report) on cross-device tracking, a commonly used practice that allows companies to associate multiple internet-based devices with the same consumer in order to track behavior across devices. The Report follows the FTC’s Workshop on cross-device tracking, and alerts companies engaged in cross-device tracking of certain best … Continue Reading

Governmental Updates You Need to Know About

In the past few weeks, the government issued alerts and guidance on two noteworthy topics involving data security issues: phishing and ransomware – discussed below: Don’t Get Phished: OCR Warns of Phishing Scheme Targeting HIPAA Covered Entities & Business Associates As previously reported in the March 21, 2016 and July 12, 2016 Blog Posts, the … Continue Reading

FCC Announces New Rules to Protect Online Privacy

On October 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), by a 3-2 vote, approved new rules regarding how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) handle their customers’ browsing history, mobile location data and other sensitive information generated by virtue of their customers’ use of the Internet. The agency is looking to restrict ISPs ability to share with advertisers … Continue Reading

OCR: Businesses Sharing Consumer Health Information Must Also Comply With FTC Act

In October 2016, the OCR issued a bulletin clarifying that businesses collecting and sharing consumer health information must comply with the FTC Act. The OCR specifically called out disclosure statements, declaring “You must also make sure your disclosure statements are not deceptive under the FTC Act.” Businesses dealing with health information are likely already familiar … Continue Reading

Wearable Tech: Where Data Privacy Collides with Employment Law

As wearable devices like FitBit, Garmin, and Jawbone and a culture of wellness in the workplace proliferate, employers who adopt such technology should be mindful of federal and state privacy laws, as well as the myriad of employment laws that are implicated by the use of these devices. The aggressive stance taken by federal employment … Continue Reading

House Committee Report Details Extent of OPM Security Failures Resulting In Breach of Over 30 Million Records

According to a report by the Republicans on the U.S. House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, the hack of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was the direct result of the agency’s long-standing failure to properly “prioritize cybersecurity and adequately secure high value data.” The breach, which has been attributed to at least two Chinese … Continue Reading

FCC Net Neutrality Rules Upheld by Federal Appeals Court

Today, a federal appeals court upheld the FCC’s recent net neutrality rules which purportedly make internet service providers treat all web traffic equally, delivering a major defeat to cable and telephone companies. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 vote, affirmed the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which have been supported by both consumer … Continue Reading

Congressional Inquiries Into Facebook’s “Trending” Topics – In Context

There have been anonymous allegations, published by Gizmodo, that former Facebook “curators” had allegedly ignored Facebook’s algorithms and guidelines for its Trending topics section and suppressed links to conservative news stories. This prompted a letter to Mark Zuckerberg from Senator John Thune (R.-S.D.) seeking information about the algorithm, guidelines, enforcement of the guidelines, auditing of … Continue Reading

ALERT — President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Marking a sea change in the protection of US trade secrets, on May 11, President Obama signed into law S. 1890, titled the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” (DTSA), which establishes the first federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation and opens the doors of federal courts to trade secrets litigants. In … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Proposes To Provide Broadband Consumers With Choice, Transparency & Security

Next week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a new proposal for privacy rules governing internet service providers (ISP). This follows on the FCC’s decision last year that high-speed internet carriers should be treated as public utilities (providing telecommunications services as opposed to information services). The decision was part of last year’s net … Continue Reading
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