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.
While much of the news was focused on the EU Data Protection Regulation this week, a few other things of note happened in the legal realm as well. For example, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution to suspend SWIFT based on allegations that the U.S. NSA had access to EU citizen’s bank data; the FTC reached a settlement with Aaron’s, Inc., over the company’s consumer spying regime, and in Ecuador there are concerns that a new penal code could violate citizens’ online privacy. These are just a few of the stories—in addition to information on the LIBE vote and the future of Safe Harbor and the EU regulation—in this week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup.
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 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.
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.
Over the course of the last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken the position that certain geolocation data is sensitive data deserving of a greater level of privacy protection. Hogan Lovells’ team of privacy lawyers takes a look at the legislation that will shape the use of this data in the future.
A German court has told Apple to change its data-handling rules, Bloomberg reports. The court struck down eight of 15 provisions in the company’s data-use terms, stating they deviate too far from German law, the report states.