Archives: Privacy & Data Security

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Covington IoT Update: Mobile Phone Manufacturer Settles with FTC Over Allegations that Its Vendor Collected Personal Data without Consent

Mobile phone manufacturer BLU Products, Inc. entered into a settlement agreement with the FTC last week to resolve allegations that one of BLU’s China-based vendors collected personal information about its consumers without proper consent. The settlement agreement, which took the form of a consent order, applies not only to BLU but also to its CEO … Continue Reading

AI Update: House of Lords Select Committee publishes report on the future of AI in the UK

Reflecting evidence from 280 witnesses from the government, academia and industry, and nine months of investigation, the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence published its report “AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?” on April 16, 2018 (the Report). The Report considers the future of AI in the UK, from perceived … Continue Reading

The UK Government Seeks Views on the Regulation of Digital Markets for a Post-Brexit Great Britain

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has just released a 75-page Green Paper on Modernising Consumer Markets, setting out the Government’s main priorities for the digital economy in a post-Brexit Britain. The Green Paper reflects on the current state of consumer markets and regulation, and lays down the key challenges and … Continue Reading

UK House of Lords Inquiry on ‘The Regulation of the Internet’

The UK House of Lords Select Committee on Communications has recently opened a Public Consultation on ‘The Regulation of the Internet’, with submissions being accepted until Friday 11 May. The Call for Evidence can be accessed here. The nine questions posed are relatively broad in scope, including: whether there is a need to introduce specific … Continue Reading

AI Update: Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Artificial Intelligence at Washington Post Transformers Series

In its latest installment of the Transformers series, The Washington Post hosted key industry and thought leaders to discuss the current and future implications of artificial intelligence (“AI”). A number of themes emerged from the two-hour discussion. First, all panelists agreed that AI will be a useful tool to amplify and extend human skills, but … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: U.S., U.K., and E.U. Regulators Turn Focus to IoT

The “Internet of Things” (IoT)—the network of consumer devices connected to the Internet through digital connections and sensors—has dramatically grown over the past five years. A McKinsey analysis estimated that the potential annual economic impact of IoT in 2025 could be between $4 trillion and $11 trillion, with value accruing in manufacturing, urban spaces, human … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: “Secure by Design” – UK Government’s Proposed Code of Practice

The UK government has published a Proposed Code of Practice for Security in Consumer IoT Products and Associated Services promoting a “secure by design” approach to designing, manufacturing and delivering internet-connected products and services. The Proposed Code forms part of the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy (2016-2021) and complements the government’s focus on making the … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: Promise and Peril — IoT and Your Insurance

Two hundred billion IoT devices could be in use by 2020, according to one estimate cited in the World Economic Forum’s recent report, Mitigating Risk in the Innovation Economy.  This rapid integration of the digital world and the physical world presents unprecedented opportunities for businesses in a wide array of industries.  But it also creates … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: Latest NIST Draft Report a Call to Action for Federal Agencies and Private Companies

Inflection Point for IoT In a relatively short amount of time, the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications— from smart cars to the myriad of interconnected sensors in the General Service Administration building reminiscent of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey— has rapidly proliferated, providing significant opportunities and benefits. However, … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: Off to the races – How will policy shape autonomous vehicles tech in 2018?

At the start of 2018, we find ourselves in the midst of an autonomous vehicles revolution.  In the private sector, leading, and some nascent, autonomous mobility innovators have forged ahead with a surge of investment.  Last year, The Brookings Institution found that during a snapshot between 2014 and 2017, more than 160 investments worth more … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: Voice Technologies, Meet the EU E-Privacy Regulation

This post was originally published on the Covington InsidePrivacy blog on January 19, 2018. On January 12, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas closed its doors for another year.  Each CES raises a new set of technology themes, ranging from robots to smart fridges — and this year, the winner was voice … Continue Reading

AT&T Challenges FTC Jurisdiction Over Non-Common Carrier Activities of Common Carriers

As we previously reported, in October 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against AT&T in federal court alleging that AT&T’s “throttling” practices for mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan were unfair and deceptive in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  On Monday, AT&T … Continue Reading

Annual FCC CPNI Certification Due by March 1

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

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

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

Courts Diverge on the Tests for Anonymous Online Speech

For more than a decade, a New Jersey appellate court’s opinion guided courts nationwide as they determined whether to enforce subpoenas for the identities of anonymous online speakers. But in 2013, courts increasingly moved away from the New Jersey court’s test, leading to further divergence in the methods that courts use to determine whether a … Continue Reading

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

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

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

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

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

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

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
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