Category: Data Privacy Law

May 8, 2018

FTC Focuses on Kids’ Geo-Location Devices in Latest COPPA Warnings

A public service announcement of yesteryear posed the following question to parents: “It’s 8:00. Do you know where your children are?” Today’s technology allows parents to answer that question regardless of the time of day. That technology, however, has recently drawn scrutiny for violating the parental notice and consent provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s… Read More

March 21, 2018

Facebook and the FTC: A Wake-Up Call for Companies Collecting Personal Data

The FTC is reported to be joining state and international regulators in examining Cambridge Analytica’s actions with data accessed from Facebook, including how the data analytics company obtained the information, what it did with the information, and whether Facebook complied with existing obligations, including a 2012 FTC consent decree. The situation underscores the importance of… Read More

June 12, 2017

The “Third Party” Catch-22

As the Department of Justice has been doubling down on law enforcement overreach, the Supreme Court has just decided to hear a case that may limit the use of a common tool that law enforcement uses to infringe upon the privacy rights of innocent people. The case, Carpenter v. United States, arises out of a… Read More

January 17, 2017

Alexa: Play Confession

It sits in your house, passively recording everything you say.  It knows what you like.  It knows what you listen to.  It knows what you buy.  It knows who’s in the room with you.  And now, it might tell the police all about it. “It” is the Amazon Echo, a revolution in the “internet of… Read More

June 9, 2016

Keep It Short and Prosper

What a difference two words can make. Just ask the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) or Americans for Prosperity (AFP), two organizations that filed separate lawsuits against the same defendant, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, over the same issue: whether Harris’s office had the right to access the organizations’ donor information. (The cases are Center… Read More

May 19, 2016

Data Breach Lawsuits: Challenges Persist After Spokeo v. Robins

Data breaches are as common as the common cold—unfortunately, just as incurable. Run a news search on “data breaches” and you’ll find that all kinds of institutions—major retailers, tech companies, universities, even government agencies—have been vulnerable at some point. Now run a search on “data breaches,” but include the word “lawsuit.” You’ll find that many… Read More

February 26, 2016

Police Make iPhone Public Enemy No. 1

FBI Director James Comey took a rare break from the posturing typical of investigators and prosecutors in the current showdown between Apple and the FBI.  While prosecutors argue that Apple’s privacy concerns are a smokescreen to avoid “assist[ing] the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack,” Comey posted a statement over the weekend in… Read More

February 19, 2016

FBI Recruits Apple to Help Unlock Your iPhone

It is a well-known maxim that “bad facts make bad law.”  And as anybody even casually browsing social media this week likely has seen, the incredibly tragic facts surrounding the San Bernadino attacks last December have led to a ruling that jeopardizes the privacy rights of all law-abiding Americans. First, it is important to clearly… Read More

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