Patrick Fowler

Patrick Fowler

Snell & Wilmer

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Sanity Prevails? The Framework for the New EU – U.S. Privacy Shield

On February 2, 2016, the European Commission announced a last-minute “political agreement” with the United States concerning a new privacy framework for transatlantic data transfers. The accord, called the “EU-U.S. Privacy...more

2/3/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) CJEU Data Protection EU FTC International Data Transfers Ombudsman Personal Data Safe Harbors

Scammers Up the Ante With Caller ID Spoofing

Good grief. You can’t even trust your phone’s caller ID feature nowadays. Scam artists have learned to manipulate the caller ID function on your phones as part of a ploy to steal your personal information and/or your money....more

1/28/2016 - FCC Fraud Spoofing Telecommunications

FAA Releases Interim Rule for Drone Registration

Owners of many small unmanned aerial systems (“sUAS” or “drones”) and model airplanes will have to register them with the government. The Federal Aviation Administration announced the requirement in an interim final rule on...more

1/25/2016 - Drones Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Registration Requirement Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Almost Ready to Fly: New Federal Registration Requirements for Small UAS/Drones

On November 21, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force Aviation Rulemaking Committee (“Task Force”) released its recommendations on registration requirements for...more

11/30/2015 - Drones Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Registration Requirement Task Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Now What? Europe’s High Court Sinks the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor Data Transfer Program

Life just got a lot more confusing, complicated and expensive for organizations that transmit personal data to the United States from the European Union (EU) under the frequently-used U.S. – EU Safe Harbor program. Why?...more

10/7/2015 - Data Protection Authority EU EU Data Protection Laws European Court of Justice (ECJ) International Data Transfers National Security Personal Data Popular Privacy Policy Safe Harbors Umbrella Agreement US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Government Websites With Cybersecurity Tips & Information

As part of the government’s recent clarion call to improve our individual and collective cybersecurity posture, several federal and state agencies have released a variety of guidelines, frameworks, best practices and tips. ...more

9/8/2015 - Cyber Attacks Cyber Crimes Cyber Threats Cybersecurity Data Privacy Data Protection Data Security DHS DOJ FCC FTC Hackers NIST NSA SBA SEC Small Business U.S. Commerce Department Websites

Appellate Court Confirms the FTC’s Power to Regulate Cybersecurity

In a highly-anticipated decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is authorized to pursue lawsuits against those who...more

8/27/2015 - Administrative Authority Consumer Information Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Privacy Data Security FTC FTC v Wyndham Privacy Policy Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Wyndham

FDA Issues Unprecedented Alert Over Medical Device Cyber Security Risk

A fictional cyber-terrorist weaponizing a medical device by hacking into it has become a familiar plot premise in recent Hollywood dramas.  Unfortunately, the risk of harm from medical device hacking has now become an...more

8/17/2015 - Cyber Crimes Cybersecurity DHS FDA Hackers Healthcare Facilities Medical Devices Popular

Did the 7th Circuit Just Ease the Way for Consumer Data Breach Lawsuits?

On July 20, 2015, a federal appeals court in Chicago issued what could be a watershed ruling in favor of consumers pursuing class action lawsuits against retailers and other companies following data breaches that involve the...more

7/23/2015 - Appeals Clapper v. Amnesty International Class Action Corporate Counsel Data Breach Debit and Credit Card Transactions Imminent Harm Injury-in-Fact Neiman Marcus Personally Identifiable Information Popular Retailers Reversal

The EU’s S-L-O-W March Towards a Uniform Data Protection Regime

The European Union (EU), comprised of 28 member states, currently has a patchwork of privacy and data protection laws, based on the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. This mix of laws has led to inconsistent data...more

6/26/2015 - Corporate Counsel EU EU Data Protection Laws Member State Regulatory Agenda

FINRA Fines Financial Firm for Failing to Encrypt Customer Data on Lost Laptop

Like other federal agencies exercising regulatory power in the data privacy and security arena, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) is cracking down on firms that fail to meet required data security...more

6/22/2015 - Data Breach Data Protection Encryption Enforcement Actions FINRA Personally Identifiable Information Regulation S-P Sanctions

Data Breach Costs Surge Again

In May 2015, the Ponemon Institute released its tenth annual Cost of Data Breach Study, sponsored by IBM. The study sets forth the average calculated cost for each lost or stolen record containing “sensitive and confidential...more

6/11/2015 - Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Data Breach Popular

World Password Day 2015!

Yes, today is “World Password Day 2015? (#PasswordDay).  While it may not have the same panache as Cinco de Mayo, a day devoted to passwords still can be useful, especially for those who use terms like “bieber”, “123456”,...more

5/8/2015 - Best Practices FTC Passwords

New Guidance from the SEC: Cyber Security Best Practices

On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management (the “Division”) issued a Guidance Update to investment and fund advisers on the topic of improving cyber security. While it...more

5/4/2015 - Best Practices Cybersecurity Financial Institutions Guidance Update Popular Risk Assessment Risk Mitigation SEC

Can the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor Weather the Storm?

On 24 March, the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) heard argument on a case that could significantly impact, if not invalidate altogether, the Safe Harbor framework that facilitates the flow of personal data from...more

3/25/2015 - Data Privacy Data-Sharing EU European Court of Justice (ECJ) Safe Harbors

Why You Need a Privacy Policy – Part 2: Avoiding Three Common Fumbles

In Part 1, we covered some basic privacy policy concepts. Here in Part 2, we address three problems associated with privacy policies in practice. 1. You Don’t Have One, But You Really Should - There is no...more

3/13/2015 - COPPA Corporate Counsel FCC FTC Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act HIPAA Personally Identifiable Information Privacy Policy

What is a Privacy Policy? – Part 1

A privacy policy is a key legal document in this new era of Big/Data/Breaches. When distilled to its essence, a privacy policy is simply “say what you do, and do what you say” with others’ personal information. A growing...more

3/11/2015 - Big Data Data Breach Data Collection Data Protection Personally Identifiable Information Popular Privacy Policy

Another Good Reason to Pay Heed to Cyber Security

For many companies, the prospect of a dreadful, costly and reputation-damaging cyber-attack and data breach is all the motivation they need to assess and improve their cyber security and data protection posture RIGHT NOW. ...more

3/9/2015 - Anthem Blue Cross Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Protection FTC Government Investigations Regulatory Agenda Risk Mitigation

Update: Hotel Industry Members Withdrawal FCC Wi-Fi Petition

This is an update to an article we posted on January 28, Can Hotels Legally Block Wi-Fi Hot Spots? The FCC Says No, and Fines a Hotel $600,000 For Doing It. On August 25, 2014, the American Hotel & Lodging Association,...more

3/5/2015 - Cybersecurity FCC Hospitality Industry Hotels Wireless Technology

Cleared for Takeoff? Feds Release Proposed Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

On February 15, 2015, the federal government unveiled two key documents concerning the future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)—sometimes referred to as “drones”—in the United States. The FAA released a highly anticipated...more

2/20/2015 - Airspace Commercial Use Drones Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Rules NPRM TSA Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Pass it On: New Executive Order Pushes Greater Sharing of Cyber-Threat Information

The federal government continues to steadily ratchet up its focus on cybersecurity. On February 13, 2015, President Obama signed an Executive Order to improve real-time sharing of cyber-threat information between government,...more

2/20/2015 - Barack Obama CTIIC Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Summit DOJ Executive Orders FTC Information Sharing ISAOs Private Sector Public Entities

It Takes More Than a Village: Protecting Student Privacy in the Age of Big Data

High-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks on well-known brands and businesses have dominated the news cycle for more than a year. Yet during the same time, less visible, but no less important efforts have been made to...more

2/13/2015 - Barack Obama Data Breach Data Protection Legislative Agendas Public Schools School Districts Student Digital Privacy Act Student Privacy Students

Can Hotels Legally Block Wi-Fi Hot Spots? The FCC Says No, and Fines a Hotel $600,000 For Doing It.

In a public notice issued this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned hotels, convention centers and other businesses that it is illegal to willfully block or interfere with their guests’ Wi-Fi hot spots...more

1/29/2015 - Enforcement Guidance FCC Hospitality Industry Hotels Internet Public Access Laws Wifi

Can the NSA Legally Collect Telephone Metadata?

Earlier this month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals became the third federal appellate court this year to hear argument on the legality of the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata....more

12/22/2014 - Appeals Data Collection Metadata NSA Patriot Act Popular

Bankruptcy Sales of Personally Identifiable Information: Does it Satisfy the Privacy Policy?

Companies that are looking to sell, transfer or buy personally identifiable information (“PII”) via bankruptcy asset sales would be wise to confirm that such a transfer is consistent with the debtor’s privacy policy. If it...more

11/19/2014 - Bankruptcy Code BAPCPA Commercial Bankruptcy FTC Personally Identifiable Information Privacy Policy Sale of Assets

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