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.
The lasting legacy of California’s SB 1386, more about the court case that has some questioning BYOD policies and congressional delays to reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Plus, read about key changes included in amendments to the Ukrainian privacy law and a contentious New Jersey bill that would allow warrantless cellphone searches.
While Massachusetts lawmakers will soon vote on the “Act updating privacy protections for personal electronic information,” they, along with MA Attorney General Martha Coakley, are also considering S 654, which would expand the state’s wiretapping powers. Meanwhile, the Maine legislature voted 125 to 17 to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of “An Act To Require a Warrant To Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device,” but failed to override his veto of An Act To Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use.
What happens to an employee’s expectation of privacy regarding her personal e-mails on her company-issued Blackberry after she leaves the company? If a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio stands up to further scrutiny, the answer could be that a former employee has greater expectations of privacy after her departure than while she was still employed. In Lazette v. Kulmatycki, the court ruled the Stored Communications Act (SCA) applies to unauthorized access of employees’ personal e-mail accounts, among other determinations.
Privacy Tracker reports that while Texas already has a breach notification law on the books that applies to citizens of states without a notification law, it recently passed Senate Bill 1610, which increases the scope further. It also gives organizations the choice of reporting under Texas law or that of the state of the affected person, but Gant Redmon, writing for CO3Systems Blog, says “best practice will remain notifying under the law of the state where the affected party resides.” Meanwhile, Nevada has become the 11th state to pass a social media law prohibiting employers from asking for access information for employees’ or prospective employees’ social media accounts.
On Friday, Gov. Rick Perry signed what has been called the toughest e-mail privacy bill in the country into law, meaning state law enforcement will need to get a warrant in order to search e-mail—no matter how old it is. The bill unanimously passed both houses of the state legislature before reaching Perry’s desk, Courthouse News reports.
After unanimously passing both houses of the Texas state legislature, HB 2268 has landed on Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for enactment, Ars Technica reports. If signed, Texas would host the nation’s strongest e-mail privacy bill.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI have said they don’t believe they need search warrants for access to Americans’ electronic communications, CNET reports. That’s according to internal documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.