Monthly Archives: March 2006

Proposed Amendments to DATA Act Approved by Energy and Commerce Committee

Posted by Teena Lee On March 23, 2006, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that it reached a bipartisan agreement on the Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA), H.R. 4127. The amendments appear to address a couple of the concerns raised by various consumer advocacy groups to the original bill. As reported here previously, objectors compla… Continue Reading

FTC Announces “Largest Civil Penalty Yet” for Illegal Spam Under CAN-SPAM Act

Posted by Ronald London

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has entered a consent decree with Jumpstart Technologies requiring it to pay a $900,000 civil penalty for violating the CAN-SPAM Act by sending “disguised” and misleading commercial emails, or “spam.” The payment is the largest penalty ever for illegal sp… Continue Reading

House Data Breach Bill, H.R. 3997, Is Unbalanced and Flawed

Posted by Randy Gainer

Many businesses favor a federal data breach law. Businesses need to respond to the perception among consumers that, if consumers provide sensitive private data to businesses, the data are at risk of being misused for fraud and identity theft. That perception has apparently contributed to a decrease in the number of consumers who are … Continue Reading

IRS Proposes Changes That Would Allow Accountants To Sell Tax Return Information

Posted by Kraig Baker

The IRS has changed a rule that permits tax-return preparers to sell information from individual returns to marketers and data brokers. The proposed rules do require that taxpayers “opt-in” before the tax information could be sold. Does anyone really believe that it will be difficult to get taxpayers to “opt in?&… Continue Reading

The Risks of Using Service Providers to Store Confidential Information

Posted by Kraig Baker

Declan McCullagh reports that the FTC issued a subpoena to Google for all contents of a user’s Gmail account, including deleted e-mails. The subpoena relates to a fraud claim. As more and more small businesses and independent contractors choose to use Google products to save money and to facilitate portability, few of them are t… Continue Reading

While Congress Mulls Over the DATA Act, Customers’ Personal Information Remain at Risk

Posted by Teena Lee

On October 25, 2005, Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), introduced Bill H.R. 4127 in the House of Representatives, the Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA). Purportedly in response to the ChoicePoint and LexisNexis breaches and failures of security, the Act, in brief, charges the FTC to promulgate regulations requiring per… Continue Reading

FTC Retains Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule

Posted by Peerapong Tantamjarik On March 8, 2006, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it decided to retain, without changes, the regulations implementing COPPA, a federal law enacted in 1998 to better protect children’s personal information on the web. Generally, COPPA applies to operators of websites and online services directed to ch… Continue Reading

Senate Intelligence Committee Votes Against NSA Probe

Posted by Randy Gainer

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted today not to investigate the NSA domestic spying program. The Republican majority on the Committee instead is backing a bill that would retroactively authorize the NSA to conduct the types of domestic electronic surveillance the NSA has been conducting since at least 2001. The bill, termed t… Continue Reading

Electronic Health Records

Posted by Brian Bennett

The Chairperson of the House Federal Workforce subcommittee, Jon C. Porter, is proposing legislation to promote the use of electronic health records in the federal employee health insurance program. Health information technology is viewed by many health professionals as an important step towards the availability of accurate a… Continue Reading

Panelists Discuss Privacy of Personal Information and Provide Tips on Defending Against Security Breaches

Posted by Peerapong Tantamjarik

This morning, I dialed in to a brown bag discussion teleconference sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law’s Computer & Internet Committee, Consumer Protection Committee, held in Washington D.C. The topic of the presentation concerned Information Privacy in the Digital Age. A cop… Continue Reading