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(Apr 17, 2015) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently been busy with several data privacy enforcement actions, and with a new net neutrality order bringing in a whole new swath of services under the FCC’s Title II jurisdiction, the agency is set to get even busier. To explore the many implications of these developments, the IAPP will host the web conference, “The FCC’s New Rules for Online Providers—What They Mean for Your Business.” The program will be moderated by Hogan Lovells Partner Christopher Wolf and include insights and analysis from the FCC’s Matthew DelNero, Public Knowledge’s Harold Feld and CTIA’s Debbie Matties, CIPP/US. Read More

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SCOTUS Decision Could Have Huge Implications for Class-Actions

(Apr 17, 2015) The Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) is set to consider whether businesses can be held liable in civil cases for violating federal statutes when no one is harmed, potentially “opening the floodgates” for future civil litigation. Article III of the Constitution mandates that plaintiffs in federal court claim harm in order to sue, but modern financial regulation and privacy issues have challenged this principle. In Spokeo v Robins, the plaintiff claims Spokeo posted untrue information about him. The alleged misrepresentations, a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, are the basis of the suit, which represents a class that “consists of millions of individuals.” In the past, SCOTUS has said plaintiffs must show “injury in fact” that is “concrete and particularized,” the report states. (Registration may be required to access this story.) Read More

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The GDPR Is Coming, But When?

(Apr 17, 2015) The proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) is on its way, but Olivier Proust, CIPP/E, writes for Privacy Tracker that it’s probably going to take another year. “Recently, there have been several announcements stating that the GDPR could be adopted before the end of 2015. While possible, this seems very unlikely due to the complex and lengthy legislative procedure of the European Union,” Proust writes. Offering an overview of the EU’s “Ordinary Legislative Procedure,” Proust explains the potential path to passage for the GDPR, noting “things will certainly accelerate once the Council adopts its first reading position.” (IAPP member login required.) Read More

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Study Predicts Shortage of 1.5 Million InfoSec Workers by 2020

(Apr 17, 2015) A new study reveals a potential shortage of 1.5 million information-security professionals within the next five years, SC Magazine reports. The (ISC)² Global Information Security Workforce Survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, also connects workforce shortages as a key factor in data breaches and as “heavily impacting” customers. There is not agreement, however, on the cause of the shortage. “Our first workforce study was conducted in 2004 to illuminate critical concerns within information ... Read More

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Venture Capital Firm Launching Policy Compliance Division

(Apr 17, 2015) Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known venture capital firm, has hired former Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot to help launch a new policy division to help the firm’s portfolio companies navigate state and federal regulations when launching new services, Re/code reports. “As I look around the landscape today, you have many companies today in a similar position to where Facebook was in the early days,” Ullyot said. He added that he will advise companies that are facing regulatory or political hurdles, including issues around privacy compliance. Ullyot helped Facebook negotiate a privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the report states. Read More

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Lawmakers, Industry Groups Worry Breach Bill Could Stymy Cyber Bills

(Apr 17, 2015) Several Democrats and industry groups say they are concerned a number of “broadly supported” cybersecurity bills could be threatened by a partisan data breach notification bill, The Hill reports. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, “I would be concerned if the measures tied together in a way that slowed down the progress of cyber.” Next week, Congress is expected to take up a number of cybersecurity bills, including two in the House and one in the Senate. According to The Christian Science Monitor, a ... Read More

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Bell Facing $750M National Class-Action

(Apr 17, 2015) A $750 million national class-action lawsuit has been filed against Bell Canada, The Globe and Mail reports. The suit alleges breaches of privacy from Bell’s “recently discontinued target ads program,” suggesting Bell subsidiaries “used the program to track, collect and sell the sensitive account and Internet browsing information of their customers to advertisers.” The suit seeks the damages for “breach of privacy, breach of contract and breach of the Telecommunications Act,” the report states, ... Read More

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Will EU’s Next Antitrust Battle Be Data Mining?

(Apr 17, 2015) The Wall Street Journal reports the next battle between the EU and U.S. tech firms could involve how companies mine personal information. According to the report, certain companies may have developed such advanced dossiers of consumers for ad targeting that rivals would not be able to compete. However, an antitrust lawyer representing Google said, “Big data are ubiquitous, widely available and of fleeting value.” Last year, former European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx said, “In the d... Read More

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SEC Admits It Doesn’t Use Powers Derived from ECPA

(Apr 17, 2015) In what stunned many privacy advocates and lawmakers, Nextgov reports, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White said the agency has not recently used subpoenas to obtain U.S. citizens’ emails from Internet service providers (ISPs). “We’ve not, to date, to my knowledge, proceeded to subpoena the ISPs,” she said. “But that is something that we think is a critical authority to be able to maintain, done in the right way and with sufficient solicitousness.” Rep. Kevin Yoder (... Read More

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FTC Announces New Workshop on Sharing Economy

(Apr 17, 2015) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced it will host a new workshop to examine competition, consumer protection and economic issues related to the sharing economy. Peer-to-peer platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber, are part of a new spate of business models in industries subject to regulation. “We are seeing a dramatic growth in products and services that are built on peer-to-peer platforms, such as ride-sharing and property rentals, as more entrepreneurs harness the power of technology to reach more consumers,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. The FTC is now seeking public comment on five questions ranging from regulatory models to privacy and data security issues. Comments will be accepted until May 26, and the workshop will be held June 9. Read More

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