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FCC Announces Broadband Consumer Privacy Workshop – April 28

Commission makes good on Chairman Wheeler’s promise following adoption of new Net Neutrality rules

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced that will hold a public workshop on April 28, exploring the FCC’s role protecting consumer privacy in relation to broadband Internet services. The FCC stated that the event will give …

Chairman Wheeler Says the FCC Didn’t Just Fall Off the Turnip Truck – It Has Experience with Protecting Consumer Privacy, Too

Last night the Center for Democracy & Technology held its annual dinner (a.k.a. the “Tech Prom”) in Washington, D.C., where  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was featured as the keynote speaker.  Wheeler’s remarks came on the heels of the Commission’s vote to adopt new open Internet rules, which are expected to …

State AGs Looking to Crack Down on Telemarketers Press FCC and FTC

A majority of the nation’s state and territorial Attorneys General have collectively urged the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to revisit rules and policies in ways that would help law enforcement crack down on telemarketing practices.

Recently, the FCC issued a public notice seeking comment on a request

Privacy Certification Body TRUSTe Settles FTC Charges

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it settled charges with privacy certification body True Ultimate Standards Everywhere, Inc., popularly known as TRUSTe, regarding allegations that the organization deceived consumers with false and misleading statements relating to the privacy assessment and certification services it provides online businesses, mobile apps and similar …

“Th-th-th-that’s All, Folks!” Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action against Cartoon Network, Finds Anonymous User IDs Don’t Qualify as Personal Information under VPPA

On October 8, Georgia Federal District Judge Thomas Thrash, Jr., dismissed a putative class action against The Cartoon Network, Inc., where the plaintiff alleged that the animation company violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) by sharing its mobile app users’ data with third parties without consent. Specifically, the …

Google Street View Plaintiffs on the Hunt for “a Needle in a Haystack” to Demonstrate Standing, but District Court Grants Plaintiffs Greater Role in Examination of Google’s Data

Back in April, Google filed a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Street View case, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision holding that unencrypted Wi-Fi signals are protected from interception by the federal Wiretap Act. Over the summer, the U.S. Supreme Court denied

Ninth Circuit Confirms Consultants and Other Middlemen May Be Vicariously Liable Under the TCPA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Company holding that the defendant marketing consultant could be liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for unsolicited text messages that it arranged for a separate third-party to send on behalf of a …

When Does Texting Become Autodialing?

Seventh Circuit Provided Opportunity to Consider Just What “Capacity” Equipment Must have to Fall Within TCPA Restrictions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit could entertain arguments on what “capacity” equipment must have to be considered an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). An Illinois federal …

FTC Releases 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update, Touting Its Efforts and Achievements in Protecting Consumer Privacy

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update, summarizing the FTC’s major enforcement actions, policy initiatives, rules, reports, workshops, and outreach efforts in the privacy and data security arenas from approximately January 2013 until March 2014. In the 2014 Update, the …

Government Officials Continue to Reference NIST Framework

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, while delivering remarks on cybersecurity at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler challenged businesses to be more proactive in addressing increasingly prevalent threats to their cybersecurity, urging them to embrace a “new paradigm” in which the private sector …

SEC Commissioner Calls on Corporate Boards to Address Cybersecurity—Refers to NIST Cyber Framework as “the Bible”

While attending the “Cyber Risks and the Boardroom” Conference at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Luis Aguilar called on corporate boards to make sure they are taking the necessary steps to address and oversee their companies’ cybersecurity risks. In a …

UPDATE on Breslow v. Wells Fargo – Same as the Old Boss: Eleventh Circuit Withdraws Opinion Just Four Days Later, But to Little Practical Effect

Just a few days ago, we reported on the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Breslow v. Wells Fargo, which reaffirmed precedent that strict liability can arise in autodialer, prerecorded-message and texting suits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), if a caller or texter obtained consent from the intended recipient, …

Summertime Blues: Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on Strict TCPA Liability for Texts and Autodialed and Prerecorded Calls to Cell Phones

Over the Spring, we reported on how the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Osorio v. State Farm brought that court into alignment with the Seventh Circuit on how restrictions in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) on automated and/or prerecorded calls and texts to cell phones can effectively impose strict liability, …

“Like” It Or Not–It May Not Matter

Loading Facebook’s “Like” Button Sends Personal Information Even If Not Clicked, and That Alone Could Violate the Video Privacy Protection Act
Recently, a magistrate judge in the Northern District of California confirmed what many already believed: that information disclosed to third parties without appropriate consent or pursuant to a permitted …

FCC Reinforces that Those Who Knowingly Release Cell Numbers Grant Permission to be Called Under the TCPA–But Companies May Still Be Required to be Sure They Get the Number Directly from the Person to be Called

We recently reported on two FCC declaratory rulings interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), in the context of social-network text messages and package-delivery calls, that included broad, business-friendly statements that should help clarify TCPA rules for prior express consent to autodial, prerecorded-call and text cell phones. We noted that …

Google “Street View” case may be headed for SCOTUS Review

By John D. Seiver
Google held true to its promise to seek SCOTUS review of the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of the term “radio communications” in the Wiretap Act when it filed its Petition for Certiorari last week. Google had argued in the Ninth Circuit that intercepting unencrypted Wi-Fi transmissions is …

Oregon Restricts Employers’ Access to Private Social Media Accounts

Oregon recently joined numerous states in prohibiting employers from seeking access to employees’ or prospective employees’ private social-media accounts, personal email, and other online content. Employers may not:

  1. Require or request that an employee or applicant allow the employer access to the individual’s personal social media account (e.g. cannot ask
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