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IoT Update: China Releases National Automatic Vehicle Road Testing Rules

In April 2018, China released its nationwide automatic vehicle road testing rules, the Intelligent Internet-connected Vehicles Road Test Administrative Rules (for Trial Implementation) (the “National Rules”), which took effect on May 1, 2018. “Intelligent Internet-connected vehicles,” as defined under the National Rules, are commonly referred to as “intelligent vehicles” or “autonomous vehicles,” which involve a … 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

Accessibility In The Workplace: What Businesses Need To Know: Part 4

By Fredericka Argent, Hannah Edmonds-Camara and Brandon H. Johnson This is the final instalment in our series looking at accessibility in the workplace. Part 1 looked at the importance of deploying accessible IT in order to benefit employees and businesses. Part 2 examined national equality laws requiring businesses to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees in … Continue Reading

Accessibility In The Workplace: What Businesses Need To Know: Part 3

By Fredericka Argent, Hannah Edmonds-Camara and Brandon H. Johnson Part 1 of our accessibility series explored the importance of businesses deploying accessible IT to recruit and retain employees with a view to reducing job polarization and inequality. Part 2 described how national equality laws are imposing affirmative obligations on businesses to make “reasonable accommodations” in … Continue Reading

Accessibility In The Workplace: What Businesses Need To Know: Part 2

By Fredericka Argent, Hannah Edmonds-Camara and Brandon H. Johnson As we noted in Part 1 of our series, there are strong business incentives to invest in accessible IT in order to recruit and retain employees with disabilities. However, aside from the business imperatives for ensuring workplace accessibility, businesses should also consider the compliance landscape — … Continue Reading

Accessibility In The Workplace: What Businesses Need To Know

By Fredericka Argent, Hannah Edmonds-Camara and Brandon H. Johnson In our increasingly hyper-connected, technology-reliant society, it is important to ensure that the information technology (“IT”) that we use is accessible for all individuals. “Accessible IT” refers to technology that individuals with disabilities can navigate, perceive, understand and interact with and that enables them to consume and … Continue Reading

Ad Blocking Declared Legal: German Court Dismisses Discrimination Claims Brought by Publishers, but AdBlock Plus Maker Eyeo is Not Home Free Yet

The Regional Court in Hamburg rejected complaints by newspapers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt seeking to have Eyeo GmbH prohibited from selling its AdBlock Plus software. The ruling establishes the important principle that ad-blocking is legal, however there are other cases pending against AdBlock Plus in Germany that suggest that there may be more to come … Continue Reading

Dutch Competition Authority Updates Guidance on Distribution Agreements

On 20 April 2015 the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) published new guidance regarding its enforcement priorities in relation to distribution agreements, noting that its enforcement efforts will be focused on agreements having the most significant impact on consumer welfare.  The 28-page document explains that before opening an investigation, the ACM will first … Continue Reading

FCO sends statement of objections to Booking.com

On 2 April 2015, the German Competition Authority (FCO) sent a statement of objections (SO) to Booking.com Deutschland GmbH in relation to its use of “best price” clauses in contracts with hotels in Germany.  The FCO takes the view that, following the decision of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirming the FCO’s decision in proceedings … Continue Reading

EU Announces E-Commerce Sector Inquiry

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Media Shield Law

 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

Courts Recognize First Amendment Right to Social Media Use

A North Carolina appellate court recently held that a statewide ban on sex offenders’ access to social media violates the First Amendment. The opinion is the latest in a string of recent federal and state court decisions to recognize a First Amendment right to access social media. In 2008, North Carolina’s General Assembly enacted the … Continue Reading

FTC, FCC Testify Before Senate On Robocall Fraud

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
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