Caveat Vendor

Internet of Things: Continued Regulatory Focus and Consistent Themes, But Not Without Discord

by Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley on Jun 24, 2015
A program yesterday at Georgetown Law offered a number of governmental and private perspectives on current and future legal trends related to the Internet of Things (“IoT”), i.e., the ability of everyday objects to connect to the Internet and to send and receive data.

California Court of Appeals Fine Tunes the Reach of the Song-Beverly Act

by Thomas Counts and Elizabeth Dorsi on Jun 09, 2015
Last month, the California Court of Appeals issued long-awaited guidance for retailers concerned that the collection of personal information from their in-store customers subjects them to liability under the Song-Beverly Act.

FCC Chairman Proposes a Broad Ruling to Clarify and Expand Telemarketing Rules

by Matt Gibson on May 28, 2015
In a blog post and an accompanying Fact Sheet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced yesterday proposed measures aimed at enhancing consumer protections under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Kansas Recognizes Fantasy Sports

by Behnam Dayanim on May 21, 2015
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback may be a social conservative, but he apparently does not object to fantasy sports. On Tuesday of this week, Gov. Brownback signed into law a bill that will recognize fantasy sports as lawful in the Sunflower State.

Minnesota Online Lottery Gambling Takes A Step Back

by Behnam Dayanim on May 18, 2015
Last week, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that will require the Minnesota Lottery to stop offering online games within four months. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who vetoed a similar bill last year, allowed this year's version to take effect without his signature just today.

Video Privacy Protection Act Does Not Protect Device Identifiers, Another Court Rules

by Adam M. Reich on May 08, 2015
On May 7, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle) joined other courts in narrowly construing the phrase “personally identifiable information” under the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2710 (the “VPPA”) to exclude a device identifier, even if a third party could use that identifier in combination with other information to identify the individual. The VPPA prohibits video service providers from knowingly disclosing “personally identifiable information” about their customers without their consent.

LinkedIn Reference Searches Do Not Violate the FCRA, Says a Federal Court

by Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley on Apr 23, 2015
Last week, Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued an order for the Northern District of California granting LinkedIn Corporation’s (“LinkedIn”) Motion to Dismiss a proposed class action alleging that its “Reference Searches” – which enable employers to find people with whom a job applicant may have worked previously – violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

The Video Privacy Protection Act - Recent Decisions Further Narrow the Contours of Liability

by Behnam Dayanim and Kevin P. Broughel on Apr 14, 2015
The Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) came into existence in the wake of a Washington Post report of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental history. Although the days of renting VHS tapes are now gone, the VPPA endures. Over the last several years a number of high profile lawsuits have been filed against online video and service providers for alleged violations of the VPPA, causing anxiety among content providers of all stripes. However, two recent decisions perhaps point to an emerging sense among courts that some limitations on the statute’s application are warranted.

Clear and “Present” (Capacity): In the Absence of FCC Guidance, Federal Judge Interprets Scope of Autodialer Definition under TCPA

by Sherrese Smith and Matt Gibson on Feb 10, 2015
Late last week, GroupMe, Inc. won an important victory in Glauser v. GroupMe, Inc., a federal class action stemming from allegations that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) by sending unauthorized text messages to the plaintiff. Perhaps more significantly, in granting summary judgment to GroupMe, the trial court took a step that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) thus far has not taken and addressed a lingering question of how the TCPA and the FCC’s implementing regulations define an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).

In Sweeping Proposal to Regulate Broadband Internet Service, FCC Sets Stage for Greater Privacy and Data Security Oversight

by Sherrese Smith and Matt Gibson on Feb 05, 2015
As described in our recent Stay Current, yesterday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Fact Sheet outlining many aspects of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s draft order to reclassify broadband internet services as a “telecommunications service” thereby enhancing the FCC’s ability to regulate different aspects of broadband internet service.

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