CA Digitized License Plate Bill, Cost Saver or Illegal Tracking?
A bill proposed in the California Senate (SB 806) would authorize the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to create a three-year program to test digital license plates. The bill aims to improve the vehicle registration process therefore saving the DMV money, but privacy advocates are saying the plan undermines a SCOTUS ruling requiring authorities to get a warrant in order to use vehicle tracking devices, reports The Sacramento Bee.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken notice of the bill and voiced concern that it “seems to be proceeding without any serious exploration of the privacy risks.” One EFF representative noted that "If the technology is already on the car, then the government wouldn't need a warrant to place the device because it's already there."
The lobbyist hired by Smart Plate Mobile, which holds the patent on the technology, says while privacy concerns have come up, they have been dismissed as the program is opt-in.
NJ Supreme Court: Get a Warrant for Cellphone Info
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that law enforcement must acquire a warrant prior to obtaining tracking information from a suspect’s cellphone. The ruling “puts the state at the forefront of efforts to define the boundaries around a law enforcement practice” that has divided courts around the country, and, The New York Times reports, the issue will likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a House appropriations panel has unanimously adopted an amendment that would require law enforcement to get a warrant before accessing e-mail and other online messages. The amendment was added to the Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill and the privacy requirement covers the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
The Future of Consumer Privacy Class Actions
The New York Law Journal explores the potential future of consumer privacy class-action lawsuits in light of the recent comScore decision, noting that it and “other recent decisions allowing privacy cases to proceed in the absence of actual damages suggest that the legal landscape may be changing, and that privacy could be the next significant frontier in class-action litigation.” Meanwhile, The Sun Sentinel reports malpractice lawyers have argued that a new Florida law, Ch. 2013-108, may violate patient privacy.
Industry Groups Push for Federal Breach Notification Law
At a House hearing on Thursday, industry groups called on Congress to move toward a federal data breach notification law, The Hill reports. According to some witnesses, the current patchwork of state notification laws are burdensome for business. Though the hearing was mostly informative, according to the report, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE) expressed interest in pursuing legislation. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) warned that federal legislation should not undercut state standards that already “have strong breach notification laws.” The Senate last month introduced federal legislation.
Committee Hears Testimony; USA PATRIOT Act Must Change
At a House Judiciary hearing yesterday exploring the Obama administration’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities, representatives from the Justice Department, National Security Agency (NSA), Office of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were questioned by lawmakers, specifically on Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of FISA. This exclusive for The Privacy Advisor reports on new revelations from the NSA and the varying reactions from lawmakers, including warnings about the future of Section 215, possible data retention obligations and the Justice Department’s plans for allowing companies to disclose FISA requests to the public.
Warning Bells for an Enforcement Tsunami?
In recent weeks, various European regulators have come down on Google for its policy on data collection. The UK’s Information Commissioner even went so far as to tell the company it had until September 20 to revise the policy or face “formal enforcement action.” In this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor, CPOs and regulators weigh in on whether recent actions against Google are a sign that enforcement actions are about to increase significantly. The message: "Accountability is required, and the big and small should prepare."
German Chancellor Calls for New ISP Agreement; NSA Fallout Continues
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a strict European agreement on data protection that would require all Internet service providers operating in Europe to reveal the personal information they keep and with whom they share it, CNN reports. Merkel has suggested that the requirement could be codified within the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but there’s some doubt as to the feasibility of that. Meanwhile, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said revelations surrounding the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance program helped add momentum to the case of those already calling for stronger data protection measures in the EU. Meanwhile, Politico reports on privacy issues’ impact on U.S.-EU trade talks.
Brazil Again Considering the Need for Privacy Law and Regulating Body
The surveillance scandal surrounding the U.S. National Security Agency has been the catalyst for many conversations around data protection in the past weeks, one of which concerns the creation of a data protection law and agency in Brazil. Pablo Palazzi writes that while a law was drafted nearly two years ago, it was never introduced to Congress. Also, though according to Palazzi it is unenforceable, during a meeting of Mercosur foreign ministers there were discussions of the possibility of requiring foreign companies to locate servers within Mercosur nations as a condition of operating within those countries.