Having first been tabled in August 2009, the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) has taken just over four years to get to the point where it was passed by the South African National Assembly on 20 August. All that stands in the way of POPI becoming law is its translation into Afrikaans and the signature of South African President Jacob Zuma.
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.
Two pieces of legislation have come under fire this week for violating privacy rights. Five lawsuits filed on Monday claim a Florida law, which went into effect that same day, violates the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law, which aims to protect doctors facing malpractice suits, allows healthcare providers called as witnesses to give defendants’ attorneys information about patient treatment. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon axed a bill that would have created a database of workers who have filed workers’ compensation claims in the state.
The spate of state privacy laws—proposed and passed—continues in Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon. The Privacy Tracker reports on Louisiana’s new law to protect the identities of concealed-weapons permit holders, paralleling a number of other states in response to a map indicating the homes of gun owners published in NY last year. Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would protect student data in the cloud from third parties as it mulls participation in a Gates Foundation pilot program that aims to help schools simplify computer systems. And New Jersey and Oregon have seen movement on drone bills—with Oregon’s on its way to passage.
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.
The Maine Senate has passed LD 236, a bill requiring police to get a warrant for drone use except in emergencies, incensing the senate chair of the Judiciary Committee, which had recommended developing rules before moving forward with the bill, reports Portland Press Herald.
A new law about to be signed by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, which would give family members the right to keep private the photographs of victims of murder investigations, has the Freedom of Information Commission preparing for controversy, and the FCC has revised the TCPA to include requirements for written consent when making autodialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls and text messages to cell phones and prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines.
Over the past two weeks, several states have enacted or initiated privacy legislation. California has moved forward on a security breach notification law, and Maine has considered a 911 privacy bill. Topping state legislative action, however, are social media privacy laws. From Utah to New Jersey, states are clamping down on the employer practice of requiring employees and applicants to disclose social media passwords. In this roundup, we take a look at these initiatives and some concerns that these social media laws could conflict with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.