U.S. Courts and states have been taking things into their own hands in terms of privacy law these days, and this week is no exception. While recent cases have mainly tackled the Stored Communications Act, this week’s news highlights a court decision upending the way the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been interpreted. California continues to push forward privacy bills, with the “eraser law” that would allow youths to erase misguided posts, and while industry and regulators clash on the EU data protection law’s timeline, France is pushing the EU to adopt a plan that would see non-EU tech firms regulated and taxed based on where their websites are used.
A U.S. District Court cited the Stored Communications Act as protecting “friend-only” posts on Facebook; one expert questions whether the False Light Tort is still relevant, and Apple’s new fingerprint authentication could bring up interesting questions about invoking the Fifth Amendment when it comes to accessing biometrically protected data and devices. Plus, more on HIPAA, California’s leading role in privacy legislation, breach notification in the EU and Brazil’s struggle to pass a privacy law.
Last week saw a new law in South Africa, new guidelines from the Australian privacy commissioner, a new breach notification requirement in effect in the EU and U.S. states tackling big issues like e-mail and location privacy in the absence of forward motion on a federal level. Also, a series of cases in Minnesota questions the liability of government agencies when an employee violates the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
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.