Archives: Privacy Law

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Let the Sunshine In: Failure to Post Contact Information on Website Does Not Violate California’s Shine the Light Law

On December 19, 2013, the California Court of Appeal joined several federal courts in holding that a plaintiff lacked standing to sue under California’s Shine the Light law, Civil Code sections 1798.83 and 1798.84 (the “STL”), when he failed to allege that he made, or attempted to make, a disclosure request under the law.  Importantly, the Court … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Ushers in a New Privacy Era in California and Beyond

Late Friday, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the already infamous AB 370 as well as significant amendments to California’s existing breach notification laws via SB 46 and AB 1149.  These laws break new ground in the privacy legal landscape – and it will be interesting to see if other states follow suit, as they … Continue Reading

Discussing the FTC’s Proposed Settlement with TRENDnet on LXBN TV

Following up on Senior Counsel Rich Santalesa’s recent post on the FTC officially entering the “Internet of things” space by proposing a consent order settlement with TRENDnet, he spoke with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN TV on the subject. In the below concise video interview, he explains what TRENDnet did to draw the FTC’s ire and … Continue Reading

Wiretap Act Exception Did Not Protect Google’s Collection of Street View Wi-Fi Data

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Google concerning the company’s collection of Wi-Fi information in connection with the development of its Street View service. Background Google collected data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks as it drove around taking photos for Street View. That data included the network’s name (SSID), the router’s MAC address, … Continue Reading

Sweepstakes and Contests Now Easier To Run on Facebook

Yesterday (Aug. 27, 2013) Facebook updated the section of its Pages Terms applicable to administering sweepstakes and contests on Facebook (see HERE and HERE).  In essence, Facebook removed almost all of the prior restrictions they imposed.  For example, companies no longer have to run their sweepstakes or contests via an app, nor are they prohibited … Continue Reading

Georgia Supreme Court Holds That Gramm-Leach-Bliley Statutory Policy Statement Does Not Create Legal Duty Under State Negligence Law

The Georgia Supreme Court recently reversed a plaintiff’s state law claim for negligence against a bank premised upon an alleged Gramm-Leach-Bliley violation, concluding that the statutory provision used as the basis for the claim does not provide a legal duty under Georgia negligence law. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Jenkins, No. S12G1110, 2013 WL 2927096 … Continue Reading

Arkansas Becomes Seventh State to Enact Employer Social Media Law; Questions Arise Regarding Supervisor-Employee Connections

Last week, Arkansas enacted H.B. 1901, joining California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, and Utah in restricting employer access to social media or personal accounts. A total of seven states now have such laws. New Jersey’s harsh bill, which we have covered, has cleared the Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. The Arkansas law … Continue Reading

FTC UPDATED FAQs FOR AMENDED COPPA RULE: KEY POINTS

For operators of web sites, apps and other online services, change is definitely coming – and quickly.  On April 25, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued updated Frequently Asked Questions (the “FAQs”) for its amended implementing rule (the “Rule”) for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).  The FAQs give some additional insight regarding … Continue Reading

California’s “Right to Know Act”: Are New Privacy Disclosure Requirements on the Horizon?

And you thought the privacy legal landscape couldn’t get any more challenging to traverse for online operators.  Guess again. California legislators recently proposed a bill that would significantly broaden its “Shine the Light Law,” Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.83.  Enacted ten years ago, the Shine the Light Law became the de facto federal law regulating … Continue Reading

Illinois Court Protects Identity of Anonymous Online Speaker

Brompton Bldg., LLC v. Yelp!, Inc., 2013 WL 416185 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. January 31, 2013) The Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of the petition that an aggrieved real estate owner filed to discover the identity of a tenant who was badmouthing the petitioner’s rent-collection practices. The decision is a win … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court: Online Sales of Downloadable Products Not Covered by Song-Beverly Credit Card Act

The California Supreme Court ruled this week in a 4-3 decision that an online retailer may request personal information when selling a downloadable product.  See Apple, Inc. v. Superior Court, Case No. S199384 (Cal. Feb. 4, 2013). This decision, interpreting the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, Cal. Civ. Code § 1747.08 (the “Credit Card … Continue Reading

Does the Stored Communications Act Protect an Email’s Subject Line From Disclosure?

In other words, is the subject line considered “content” which the SCA says a service provider cannot disclose to a third party? Optiver Australia Pty. Ltd. & Anor. v. Tibra Trading Pty. Ltd. & Ors., 2013 WL 256771 (N.D.Cal., January 23, 2013) Plaintiff served Google with a subpoena seeking, among other things, the subject line of … Continue Reading

New Ponemon Study Lists Top Privacy Features Consumers View As Important, Ranks Most Trusted Companies for Privacy

The Ponemon Institute released the 2012 results of its annual “Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study,” which was quite the present on Data Privacy Day. The study has been conducted annually since 2006. While the rankings themselves certainly are interesting, other tidbits in the study about consumers’ attitudes toward privacy are more interesting. Some particularly … Continue Reading

California AG Releases Mobile App Guidelines; Industry Responds

Last week, California Attorney General Kamala Harris released a set of recommendations titled “Privacy on the Go” directed toward the mobile app industry that seeks to “educate the industry and promote privacy best practices.”  The guidelines separately address app developers, app platform providers, mobile ad networks, operating system providers, and mobile carriers. A coalition of … Continue Reading

FTC Report: Mobile Apps For Kids Not Making The Grade (NOTE: Not Just A Privacy Report)

On December 10, 2012, the FTC released a follow-up to its February 2012 report on mobile apps for kids.  The February 2012 report found that little or no information was available to parents about the privacy practices of the mobile apps the FTC surveyed on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.  The FTC’s follow-up report finds … Continue Reading

California Attorney General Sues Delta Air Lines for Failing to Have a Mobile App Privacy Policy

Keeping good on her threat from October, the California Attorney General has brought her first lawsuit over a company’s failure to include a privacy policy in its mobile app.  The suit, against Delta Air Lines, alleges a violation of the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”), which requires operators of online services to make a … Continue Reading

Trick or Treat: California’s AG Notifies Nearly 100 Apps of Need for Privacy Policy

A few weeks ago, many of us took note when California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris used Twitter to note that United Airlines’ new mobile app did not include a privacy policy:  “Fabulous app, @United Airlines, but where is your app’s #privacy policy?” It may have been “just a tweet” at the time, but Harris clearly means … Continue Reading

GAO Study Gives Low Marks to Companies Regarding Transparency to Consumers of Use of Location Data

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a study in September, 2012 analyzing the collection, use and disclosure practices of fourteen companies operating in the mobile field regarding location data collected from consumers.  In the absence of laws or regulations regarding the collection of location data specifically, the GAO compared the policies of the fourteen companies to … Continue Reading

Employers Must Consider Social Media Risks to Life and Limb, Not Just Pocketbook

It should be no surprise that the use of social media creates risks – legal and financial risks related to privacy and data security issues are among the most examined concerns.  But the use of social media also may create risks that can’t be valued by a dollar sign – risks to human life and … Continue Reading

Illinois Second State to Enact Law Barring Employers from Obtaining Current or Prospective Employees’ Social Media Account Credentials

By Boris Segalis and Nihar Shah. Earlier this week, following in the footsteps of Maryland, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law amending the state’s Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to prohibit employers from asking current and prospective employees for their personal social media account credentials. The Maryland and Illinois legislation is a response to reports that circulated earlier this … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Public Comment on Mobile Carrier Privacy Policies Following Data Collection Controversy

In re-launching the inquiry into carriers' data privacy and security practices, the FCC argues that not informing customers about the software or its data practices may have violated the carriers' responsibility pursuant to Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 to protect customer data "that is made available to a carrier solely by virtue of the carrier-customer relationship." The law allows such data to be used only in "limited circumstances," a term which is not defined in Section 222. It appears that one of the goals of the renewed inquiry is for the FCC to define the scope of the "limited circumstances." … Continue Reading
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