While much happened this week in privacy news; the NSA’s surveillance was deemed likely unconstitutional, consent was declared dead, the data broker industry was put on notice by a U.S. senator and the EDPS released its 2014 inventory, the news that hit home for us was that Peter Fleischer and two other Google executives were acquitted in Italy’s Supreme Court after an eight-year battle over whether they were legally responsible for content that users uploaded to Italy’s version of YouTube. Back in the day, the implications of this case were a little scary for privacy pros around the globe, and it seems now it’s finally over. Take a look at this and all the week’s developments in privacy law in this Privacy Tracker weekly roundup.
In the wake of news that the Supreme Court of Canada has deemed the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) unconstitutional, Shaun Brown of nNovation analyzes what the decision means for the province in this Privacy Tracker exclusive. “It was inevitable that freedom of expression would eventually clash with privacy legislation in the courts,” writes Brown, adding that the ruling was “not surprising.” The broad “prohibition-first” approach of PIPA means “there are bound to be certain purposes that maybe should be exempted from the requirement to obtain consent but could not be conceived by legislatures when privacy laws were initially drafted,” Brown says.
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 U.S. Supreme Court has ruled police can take DNA swabs from individuals upon arrest without warrant; an IAPP web conference indicates that while Latin American privacy laws have largely been based on European frameworks in order to facilitate business, their prescriptive nature on data breach disclosures and cross-border transfers may keep businesses away, and a look through headlines from the past week highlights concerns over the future of the proposed EU data protection regulation.
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.