While industry leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, called for new rules surrounding data protection, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear two cases involving warrantless searches by law enforcement of suspects’ cellphones. And, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced settlements with 12 companies over false claims of alignment with Safe Harbor rules. In this Privacy Tracker roundup, learn about these as well as bills being considered by U.S. state legislatures, how Obama’s NSA plans may affect EU law and more.
Looking at the federal and state bills being introduced in the U.S., this Privacy Tracker weekly roundup reports on lawmakers’ efforts to get privacy-protecting laws on the books; however, FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen has called for legislators to look to existing laws, saying “We simply do not need new talk, new laws or new regulations.” Also take a look at new compliance hurdles for organizations in Canada and Australia as new laws are set to roll out in those countries. Also, in the EU, the LIBE has published amendments it would like to see in the Network and Information Security Directive.
Shaun Brown of nNovation offers a detailed breakdown of the newly published regulations under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) in this Privacy Tracker blog post. Implementation of CASL will come in three waves, the first of which, rules that apply to computer programs, is already in force. While many of the regulations mirror those pre-published in the draft released at this time last year, there are some changes, including new exceptions for closed platforms, limited-access accounts where organizations communicate directly with recipients, messages targeted at foreign persons and fundraising by charities and political parties.
While states don’t have the authority to shut down National Security Agency surveillance, many state lawmakers are doing their best to enact legislation that will put limits on state and local law enforcement’s abilities. From cellphone location data to drones, online browsing to license-plate scanning, coast to coast and left to right, state lawmakers are proposing anti-surveillance laws. This Privacy Tracker roundup offers a glimpse of what’s coming down the pike.
In the past year, legislative trends in workplace privacy have steadily been moving in “a direction that favors employee privacy,” writes Philip Gordon of Littler Mendelson in this Privacy Tracker blog post, and indications are that this shift will continue. Gordon sums up laws that went into effect as of January 1, including “ban-the-box” laws, employee social media laws and laws that limit the use of credit information for employment purposes and offers recommendations for employers on how to navigate these laws and the challenges of BYOD.
This week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup includes legislation introduced in both Missouri and Kansas aiming to protect electronic communications and data from government intrusion. This comes after an Arizona representative announced she will propose legislation to effectively ban the National Security Agency from that state. The roundup also includes news of Pennsylvania considering an expansion of its DNA collection to those arrested for felonies and misdemeanors that require registration as sex offenders and the release of a new draft of the Data Protection Bill in the Cayman Islands.
In this week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup, see BakerHostetler’s year-in-review on international privacy laws and read about cases you may have missed while enjoying the holiday season. For example, a U.S. District Court has deemed a Florida drug-screening law unconstitutional; U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ruled in the Hulu privacy lawsuit that no proof of injury is needed for viewers to recover damages, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission settled with Accretive Health over the company’s failure to protect consumer data. Also, read about the contradicting rulings over the NSA’s data collection practices.
While much happened this week in privacy news; the NSA’s surveillance was deemed likely unconstitutional, consent was declared dead, the data broker industry was put on notice by a U.S. senator and the EDPS released its 2014 inventory, the news that hit home for us was that Peter Fleischer and two other Google executives were acquitted in Italy’s Supreme Court after an eight-year battle over whether they were legally responsible for content that users uploaded to Italy’s version of YouTube. Back in the day, the implications of this case were a little scary for privacy pros around the globe, and it seems now it’s finally over. Take a look at this and all the week’s developments in privacy law in this Privacy Tracker weekly roundup.
On December 16, the District Court in the District of Columbia issued an opinion finding that the NSA program that has gotten significant attention due to the revelations of Edward Snowden was likely unconstitutional. In Klayman v. Obama, five plaintiffs sued a variety of government officials as well as private companies and sought preliminary injunctive relief based upon the assertion that the NSA program was unconstitutional and violated other statutes. In what ended up making big news, the court concluded there was a substantial likelihood the plaintiffs would prevail on their Fourth Amendment claims and issued an injunction. In this article, Andrew Serwin unpacks the court’s decision.
Last year, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate privacy issues pertaining to companies that collect, aggregate and sell personal information about consumers. In late November, the GAO publicly released the resulting report, “Information Resellers: Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace.” What did the GAO examine, and, in the short term, how might Congress respond to the GAO’s findings and, when they are published, Senator Rockefeller’s own scheduled report?