On Friday, December 4, 2020, President Trump signed the bipartisan Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 into law. The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act empowers the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) to create cybersecurity standards for internet-connected devices purchased and used by federal agencies. For more information on the law, please
Jayne Ponder is an associate in the firm's Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Jayne’s practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, and technology issues. She provides ongoing privacy and data protection counsel to companies, including on topics related to privacy policies and data practices, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and cyber and data security incident response and preparedness.
The bipartisan Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (S. 734, H.R. 1668) has passed the House and the Senate and is headed to the President’s desk for signature. The bill was sponsored in the House by Representatives Hurd (R-TX) and Kelly (D-IL), and in the Senate by Senators Warner (D-VA) and Gardner (R-CO). President Trump is expected to sign the measure into law.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Congress Passes IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020
On April 6, 2020, Tapplock, Inc., a Canadian maker of internet-connected smart locks, entered into a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to resolve allegations that the company deceived consumers by falsely claiming that it had implemented reasonable steps to secure user data and that its locks were “unbreakable.” The FTC alleged that these representations amounted to deceptive conduct under Section 5 of the FTC Act. In its press release accompanying the settlement, the FTC provided guidance for IoT companies regarding the design and implementation of privacy and security measures for “smart” devices, as discussed further below in this post.
Continue Reading IoT Update: FTC Settles with Smart Lock Manufacturer and Provides Guidance for IoT Companies
IoT Update: Federal Lawmakers Focus on Smart Cities
Since the beginning of the year, lawmakers in this Congress have introduced a number of proposals to study, cultivate, and guide the growth of smart cities. This blog post summarizes seven smart cities bills introduced in this Congress. Some bills focus broadly on Federal efforts to prioritize smart cities, whereas others focus on specific topics, like transportation and smart utilities.
Interestingly, most smart cities legislation introduced this year includes a grant program, which could reflect Congressional interest in demonstrating best practices capable of being replicated, as well as interest in providing financial support to accelerate smart cities growth. The size of these grant programs typically hovers around $20-50M, though some bills leave the funding amount to the grant administrator.
Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Protecting Personal Health Data Act (S. 1842), which would provide new privacy and security rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) for technologies that collect personal health data, such as wearable fitness trackers, social-media sites focused on health data or conditions, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, among other technologies. Specifically, the legislation would direct the HHS Secretary to issue regulations relating to the privacy and security of health-related consumer devices, services, applications, and software. These new regulations will also cover a new category of personal health data that is otherwise not protected health information under HIPAA.…
Continue Reading IoT Update: Senators Introduce Legislation to Regulate Privacy and Security of Wearable Health Devices and Genetic Testing Kits
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address to reinforce the need for legislation to update the nation’s infrastructure. In the speech, he urged both parties to “unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure” and said that he is “eager to work” with Congress on the issue. Significantly, he said that any such measure should “deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future.” He emphasized: “This is not an option. This is a necessity.”
President Trump’s push on infrastructure is particularly noteworthy because infrastructure remains popular in both parties and the new House Congressional leadership has echoed the push for an infrastructure package.
While the State of the Union provided few details about the kinds of “cutting-edge industries” that could be the focus of a bipartisan infrastructure package, three key technologies are likely candidates: 5G wireless, connected and automated vehicles (“CAV”), and smart city technologies. A fact sheet on infrastructure released by the White House after the speech reiterated the call to “invest in visionary products” and emphasized the importance of “[m]astering new technologies” including 5G wireless. Such investments may not only improve “crumbling” infrastructure, but also spur the development of these technologies—and Congress is already holding a series of hearings devoted to identifying infrastructure needs.