The privacy news seems to have stirred up more legal questions than answers this week. With effective dates coming up for HIPAA in the U.S. and FOIA reforms in the UK, privacy pros are figuring out the new lay of the land. Court cases in the U.S. and France bring up e-mail privacy questions, both in and out of the workplace, and in the UK one court ruling may reveal a need for stronger data destruction policies. Lastly, an article from The New York Times questions the new trend of class-actions leaving plaintiffs empty-handed.
New challenges to a Utah surveillance law; an interesting turn of events in a case deciding whether government authorities can extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant; legislative initiatives related to FISA and the USA PATRIOT Act; questions about the future of Safe Harbor, and information on developments in Italy, France and Australia.
In this week’s Privacy Tracker Global News Roundup, read about court decisions, hearings and proposals that may affect the future of privacy legislation in the U.S.; the declaration by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office that one town violated privacy law with its use of traffic cameras; China’s latest privacy rule, and a United Arab Emirates law that forbids photographing or videoing another individual without their permission.
Yesterday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), with the co-sponsorship of Sens. Lee (R-UT), Udall (D-CO), Wyden (D-OR), Blumenthal (D-NY) and Tester (D-MT), proposed the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 to “strengthen privacy protections, accountability and oversight related to domestic surveillance conducted pursuant to the USA PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.” Privacy Tracker reports on the proposed changes, including allowing challenges to gag orders in court, expanding public reporting of national security letters and requiring a comprehensive review of the FISA Amendments Act by the inspector general of the intelligence community.
TechNewsDaily says that, as part of the fallout from the NSA leak, there has been a “surge in proposed privacy legislation concerning devices and their growing monitoring capabilities.” In addition to the Texas e-mail law and action in Maine to restrict drone use; federal lawmakers are working toward vehicle and TV consumer privacy bills, and others are working to restrict government collection of data. Whether due to the NSA revelations or not, anti-surveillance does seem to be the latest trend in privacy law.