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Category Archives: Privacy & Data Security

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Annual FCC CPNI Certification Due by March 1

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Enforcement Bureau issued a reminder that annual CPNI certifications for calendar year 2013 must be filed with the FCC by March 1, 2014. The FCC requires telecommunications service providers (including paging providers, commercial mobile radio services providers, and calling card providers) and interconnected VoIP service providers to file an… Continue Reading

Do We Have a Right to Online Anonymity? Depends On Which Judge You Ask

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

The Edward Snowden leaks have forced Americans to question whether the government monitors their online activities.  But intelligence-gathering is not the only government threat to Internet privacy: plaintiffs in defamation cases are using court subpoenas to attempt to unmask Internet users’ identities. In some seedy corners of the Internet, commenters use the veil of anonymity… Continue Reading

Journalists Nationwide Face Surge of Subpoenas in Federal and State Courts

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Uncategorized

Reporters nationwide have faced a flurry of subpoenas in recent months, calling into question whether journalists can guarantee confidentiality to sources.  The repeated attempts to force journalists to reveal their confidential sources and other information about their newsgathering demonstrate the need for strong reporter “shield laws” on both the federal and state level. Among some… Continue Reading

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Earlier today, two entities — the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) and a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers (“Coalition”) — filed petitions at the FCC asking the agency to stay and forbear from enforcing, or clarify, certain aspects of the “prior express written consent” requirement that went into effect yesterday for prerecorded calls to residential numbers and autodialed… Continue Reading

New Opinion Examines Terminated Employee’s Access to Confidential Information

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

A Virginia federal court opinion issued this week illustrates the hazards of allowing employees to retain access to confidential company information after they learn of their termination. On November 3, 2011, ECS Federal, Inc. informed Jacqueline Marsteller, a senior vice president and account executive, that she would be terminated effective at the end of the year. … Continue Reading

New Jersey Restricts Employer Access to Employees’ Personal Online Accounts

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Social Media

New Jersey has enacted restrictions on the ability of employers to access employees’ social media accounts, becoming the twelfth state to enact such legislation. More than 30 state legislatures have considered bills on the topic in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Restrictions in New Jersey New Jersey’s new law, signed… Continue Reading

US Information Security and Privacy Board Expresses Concerns about Management of Cybersecurity in Wireless Medical Devices

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

The US Information Security and Privacy Board (ISPAB) voiced concerns over potential harms resulting from a lack of controlled management of cybersecurity in wireless medical devices in response to the FDA’s  draft guidance, “Content of Premarket Submissions for Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices.”  ISPAB operates under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in… Continue Reading

Senators, Justice Department Voice Support for Expanding Journalists’ Protections

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Privacy & Data Security

A group of senators announced on Wednesday that they would renew their push for federal legislation to limit the ability of federal authorities to compel journalists to reveal information about or obtained from confidential sources, after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would tighten its own standards for when to seek such information. The… Continue Reading

FCC: Customer Data Carriers Obtain Through Mobile Devices Subject to Existing Privacy Rules

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service with access to certain kinds of customer information collected through mobile devices are subject to existing privacy rules governing their use and disclosure of that information, the Federal Communications Commission announced in a declaratory ruling adopted at its June 27 meeting.  Significantly, the decision makes clear that… Continue Reading

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C…. Continue Reading

BYOD’s Rapid Growth Presents New Legal Challenges

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Companies are increasingly allowing employees to access work email and apps on their personal devices, according to a new Gartner survey of chief information officers. But employers confront many tough policy and legal questions when they adopt Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) programs. Thirty-eight percent of the CIOs said that their organizations will stop providing… Continue Reading

First Amendment Does Not Protect Hackers’ Identities, NJ Court Holds

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

The First Amendment does not protect the identities of computer hackers, a New Jersey appellate court held this month. Warren Hospital alleges that two anonymous individuals hacked into its web and email servers and sent inappropriate and defamatory messages to all hospital employees.  The hospital and some employees filed a civil action against the John… Continue Reading

Michigan Court Rejects First Amendment Balancing Test for Online Anonymous Speech

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

A Michigan appellate court ruled last week that state discovery rules provide adequate safeguards for anonymous online speech.  The opinion is a significant deviation from the rulings of other state courts, which have applied a First Amendment balancing test to determine whether to grant discovery requests for the identities of anonymous online speakers. Thomas M…. Continue Reading

Survey: Foreign Companies Fear Data, IP Theft in China

Posted in Cloud Computing, Intellectual Property, Privacy & Data Security

On March 29, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (“AmCham China”) released its 15th annual Business Climate Survey.  This year, AmCham China polled 325 of its members, most of which are U.S. companies operating in China.  According to AmCham China’s Chairman, this year’s results reflect “expectations for growth” tempered with “a more conservative business… Continue Reading

Proposed Florida Law Would Require Warrants for Cellphone Searches

Posted in Intellectual Property, Privacy & Data Security, Social Media

Florida lawmakers have proposed that the government be required to obtain a warrant before searching the contents of “portable electronic devices” or tracking their locations.  The bill, S.B. 846, was introduced by State Representative Jeff Brandes and would go into effect on July 1, 2013. The proposed Florida law would apply to “portable electronic devices,”… Continue Reading

President Obama Issues Cybersecurity Executive Order

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Uncategorized

In his State of the Union message on Tuesday, President Obama announced that he had signed an Executive Order addressing the cybersecurity of  critical infrastructure.  President Obama emphasized that in the face of threats to corporate secrets, the power grid, and financial institutions, among others, “We cannot look back years from now and wonder why… Continue Reading

FTC Settles Deception, COPPA Charges Against Social Networking App Path

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Social Media

Path, a social networking mobile app, has agreed to enter into a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) regarding charges that the company deceived consumers by collecting contact information from users’ mobile address books without notice and consent.  The agreement also resolves charges that the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”)… Continue Reading

China and U.S. Make Technology-Related Commitments at 23rd JCCT

Posted in Intellectual Property, Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Last month, senior officials from the U.S. and China conducted the 23rd U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, D.C.  The JCCT was founded in 1983 as a forum for high-level dialogue on bilateral trade issues.  This year’s JCCT resulted in several technology-related commitments from both China and the U.S. China’s technology-related… Continue Reading

FCC Provides Consumer Tips On Mobile Privacy And Security

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Spectrum & Mobile, Uncategorized

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Smartphone Security Checker, a tool designed to help consumers secure their smartphones against mobile security threats.  The tool provides consumers with tips that are customized for four different mobile operating systems.  Many of tips focus on security-related topics.  For instance, the tool recommends that consumers set a password… Continue Reading

China Moves to Further Regulate Smartphones

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Spectrum & Mobile

China appears to be moving forward with plans to further regulate smartphones.  The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently filed a notification with the WTO’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade of draft regulations governing applications that are pre-loaded on to smartphones.  The regulations were initially released for comment on June 1, and attracted… Continue Reading

ICO Issues £440,000 Fine to Telecoms Company for Illegal Direct Marketing

Posted in Privacy & Data Security

By Bonnie Drury and Ezra Steinhardt On 28 November 2012, following an 18-month investigation, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it had fined the joint owners of Tetrus Telecoms (Tetrus) a total of £440,000 under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).  The fine penalized Tetrus for sending millions of unsolicited text messages… Continue Reading