The Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous ruling, has determined that the Alberta privacy law is unconstitutional and has given the province one year to amend it; A federal judge in Vermont has ruled there can be no expectation of privacy when it comes to data exposed online via a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, and the New Zealand Parliament has voted down a bill that would have given the privacy commissioner increased powers. Meanwhile, the FTC has asserted its power over parental-consent methods, Brazil is calling for a crackdown on government surveillance and Italy’s data protection authority and intelligence department have entered into a cooperation protocol. This week’s Privacy Tracker roundup has these stories and more.
In the U.S., guidelines and court rulings have offered insight on everything from drone use to workplace audio recordings, while, internationally, questions still loom about the future of Safe Harbor and national leaders have presented an Internet privacy resolution to the UN. Kazakhstan’s privacy law is scheduled to come into effect this month, and Indonesia is looking into consolidating its sectoral coverage into an overarching law. Also in this week’s roundup is analysis of India’s privacy bill, California’s spate of privacy laws and insight from the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on how to avoid the wrath of regulators.
This week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup highlights changing privacy laws from the U.S. to Bahrain. Revisions to the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act went into effect last week; the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will vote today on amendments to the proposed regulation and directive—including one that would see U.S. companies seeking permission from EU officials before complying with government access requests to EU data, and the Bahrain cabinet has preliminarily approved a data protection law. Meanwhile, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office is considering jail time for breaches at the same time as justifying its fining practices.
The California state Senate passed a bill that would require require certain website operators and online service providers to disclose whether they honor users’ “do not track” requests; a bill proposed to the Michigan Assembly could mean fines and jail time for law enforcement officers who track suspects using GPS without a warrant; Wisconsin is poised to be the ninth state this year to pass an employee social media privacy law, and, in Brazil, work is ongoing towards the nation’s first set of data protection and Internet governance laws—including a new amendment requiring data to be stored locally, which is raising concerns among U.S. tech companies.
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.
Europe and Brazil are looking at possible changes to their data protection enforcement regimes. In the U.S., the Senate hearing discussing NSA surveillance practices indicated possible changes to the USA PATRIOT Act, California is considering a digital license plate bill, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled warrants are needed for cell phone data and one report suggests the landscape for privacy class-actions may be changing.
Lawmakers recently released a draft of proposed legislation that would enact as law much of the Cybersecurity Framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
With new definitions of sensitive data, public data and privacy notice, and requirements for privacy policies and children’s data, among others, Colombia’s new data protection law “followed closely the European regulatory model on data protection matters.” Colombia joins Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua in Latin American countries whose regulations have followed the EU model.
A British Columbia, Canada, court has sided with patient privacy over the right to access, EU ministers are considering allowing states to determine their own fining regimes and Croatia has joined the EU meaning it will need to implement the directive.