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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.

FTC to IoT Developers: Get Serious (or at Least Reasonable) About Security

By Matt Gibson on Feb 02, 2015
Just last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a staff report on the Internet of Things (IoT) outlining specific recommendations and its views on best practices that IoT developers should implement to protect consumer privacy and security of IoT devices. The FTC defines IoT as devices – other than computers, smartphones and tablets – that “connect, communicate or transmit information with or between each other through the Internet.”

New Law Requires New Jersey Health Insurance Companies to Encrypt Personal Information

By Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley on Jan 14, 2015
New legislation signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie late last week mandates that health insurance companies in the state protect the personal information they compile or maintain through encryption or “by any other method or technology rendering it unreadable, undecipherable, or otherwise unusable by an unauthorized person.”

In Visit to FTC, President Outlines Broad Privacy Agenda, Offers Scant Details

By Matt Gibson on Jan 13, 2015
On Monday, January 12, President Obama gave a speech at the Federal Trade Commission in which he announced a multi-faceted legislative agenda aimed at creating a uniform national breach notification requirement, establishing national standards for consumer privacy, and expanding protections for educational data. While the President’s speech and the accompanying fact sheet outlined a broad privacy agenda, both were short on detail, leaving the public – and Congress – to speculate about the specifics of the President’s plan.

Privacy and Security Issues Faced by Tech Companies

By Behnam Dayanim on Dec 15, 2014
In a recent interview (from before reports of the Sony data breach!), I discuss some of the most pressing privacy and security issues facing tech companies today.

Self-Regulatory Organization Enforcement Agreements Aim to Increase Transparency in Personalized Ads

By Devon Winkles and Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley on Nov 06, 2014
Last week, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program released agreements with five website operators addressing their compliance with the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (“OBA Principles”).

FCC Enters New Area of Privacy and Data Security Regulation with Proposed $10 Million Fine

By Matt Gibson on Oct 28, 2014
In a split vote last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invoked a seldom-used provision of the Communications Act and signaled its intent to impose a $10 million fine on two affiliated telecommunications carriers, TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc., for allegedly failing to protect consumers’ personal information. By flexing previously unused statutory muscles, last week’s decision is a strong signal of the Commission’s desire to expand its role as a privacy and data security regulator. In particular, the Commission appears to be attempting to create an entirely new data breach notification requirement under federal communications law. Telecommunications carriers should take note.

Certain Financial Institutions Can Save Money by Posting Privacy Notices Online, Says the CFPB

By Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley on Oct 22, 2014
Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a final rule permitting financial institutions to post privacy notices online – instead of distributing an annual copy by mail – but only if they comply with several important conditions.

TCPA Update: Second Circuit Agrees with FCC and Limits Scope of Son-In-Law’s Consent

By Matt Gibson on Oct 20, 2014
Last week, the Second Circuit agreed with the FCC’s analysis in Nigro v. Mercantile Adjustment Bureau

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