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EU Announces E-Commerce Sector Inquiry

Posted in Uncategorized

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced today during a speech at the Bundeskartellamt (German Competition Authority) International Conference on Competition her intention to launch a sector inquiry in the e-commerce sector. The sector inquiry will be formally proposed to the Commission in May. Preliminary findings on the sector inquiry could be ready in mid-2016. Commissioner Vestager… Continue Reading

ECJ Confirms Application of Consumer Protection Measure to Cross-Border Services

Posted in Uncategorized

By Miranda Cole and Katharina Grosse-Ophoff In its UPC judgment this week the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has clarified the application of consumer protection laws to, and the jurisdiction of national regulatory authorities over, providers of electronic communications services (“ECS”) that are established in one member state who provide services in another.  The court also confirmed that… 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

Safeway Settles ADA Accessibility Lawsuit, Makes Grocery Website Accessible to Visually Impaired

Posted in Uncategorized

Safeway agreed in settlement of a lawsuit brought by visually-impaired customers in California and Washington State to ensure that its website, which allows people to order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes, is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Safeway has already made significant enhancements to its online shopping website to meet the… Continue Reading

House to Consider Bill Excluding Clinical and Health Software from Regulation as Medical Devices

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On October 22, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill serving to “provide for regulating medical software, and for other purposes” in the House of Representatives.  The bill, entitled the Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (“SOFTWARE”) Act (“the bill”), was co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers. The bill creates a regulatory… Continue Reading

FDA Releases Final Mobile Medical Apps Guidance

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On Monday, FDA released a final version of its guidance document, Mobile Medical Applications: Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.    The guidance describes FDA’s approach for regulating certain mobile applications (apps) as medical devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Although the final guidance retains the basic framework of… Continue Reading

New Opinion Examines Privacy Claims Against Online Media

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News organizations are more likely to be liable in privacy lawsuits if their reporting is factually incorrect, according to a federal court opinion issued this week. Shana Edme, who was pursuing a modeling career, uploaded her modeling photographs to Modelmayhem, an industry website.  She alleges that in 2011, the site released pictures of her in… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Media Shield Law

Posted in Uncategorized

 By Kurt Wimmer and Jeff Kosseff The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would prevent federal prosecutors, agencies and civil litigants from forcing journalists to reveal their confidential sources without court approval. In a 13-5 vote, the committee approved S. 987, the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA), which is sponsored by… Continue Reading

FDASIA Workgroup Releases Draft Recommendations for Regulation of Health IT

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FDA’s regulation of Health IT under its medical device authorities can be seen as proceeding on two separate tracks during the last year. Track one is FDA’s ongoing policymaking.  In 2011, FDA issued a draft guidance document on mobile medical applications and a final rule on medical device data systems, setting forth an approach for… Continue Reading

FTC, FCC Testify Before Senate On Robocall Fraud

Posted in Telecommunications, Uncategorized

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance held a hearing entitled, “Stopping Fraudulent Robocall Scams: Can More Be Done?”   The hearing takes place two weeks after the FTC celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the its implementation of the Do Not Call Registry and on the heels of the FTC’s recent… Continue Reading

‘The Lawyer’ Recognizes Covington’s Technology and Media Group

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We are pleased to share that The Lawyer has recently shortlisted our London technology and media group for its TMT Team of the Year Award (2013). The publication further recognized the firm’s data protection and sports law work over the past year and our involvement in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. We congratulate… Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Holds that States May Constitutionally Collect Sales Taxes from Out-of-State Internet Retailers If Those Retailers Pay Commissions to In-State Websites

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New York’s highest court on March 28 upheld a New York law subjecting out-of-state internet retailers to New York sales tax collection requirements on the basis of their “affiliate” advertising programs.  Although the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a state cannot constitutionally require a retailer to collect sales taxes unless the retailer has a… Continue Reading

The London Stock Exchange High Growth Segment Opens for Business

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By Matthew Edwards and Jacqueline Clover The new High Growth Segment (“HGS”) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) has officially opened for business, signalling London’s commitment to supporting the growth of technology companies incorporated in the European Economic Area. The equity-only HGS is targeted specifically at fast-growing companies, providing an alternative… 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

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

E-Books Pricing: The EU Antitrust Chapter Is About To Close

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The EU E-books antitrust probe is quasi-closed: the EU Commission announced yesterday that it accepted and made legally binding the commitments offered by Apple and four publishers to settle the investigation that was opened in December last year. The Commission was investigating whether the publishers may have colluded, with Apple’s facilitation, to jointly switch from… Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission Keeps a Watchful Eye on Internet Affiliate Marketers

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The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlement yesterday with an online marketer accused of using fake news sites to entice customers to buy acai berry weight-loss products and colon cleansers.  The settlement was the latest in a string of FTC actions aimed at Internet affiliate marketers using fake web sites to make weight-loss claims.