Communications & Media Privacy

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Encryption: Ensuring the Right to Privacy in the Information Age?

On December 2nd, 2015, a tragic mass shooting occurred in San Bernardino, California. The attack resulted in 14 deaths and severe injuries to 22 others. The attackers, a married couple, targeted the husband’s workplace – the...more

Yuba Sutter Medical Center Hit With Ransomware

Yuba Sutter Medical Center in California (Yuba Sutter) has notified its patients that it has suffered a recent ransomware attack that caused parts of its network to be incapacitated. As a result, patient files were unable to...more

Survey Shows Employees Top Security Risk for Companies

A recent survey conducted by Arlington Research for OneLogin in May 2016 of 1,022 respondents found what most of us already know: employees continue to be a high risk for employers when it comes to security risk. The...more

Privacy Tip #53 – Valuable Lesson: Don’t Write Down Passwords

I have been doing a lot of live employee training lately. I really enjoy it, and have been told that it is some of the most entertaining training around. The reason why I can get the audience to laugh is because I tell real...more

Advertising Law - September 2016 #3

Consumer Groups Urge FTC Action on Influencers - Consumer groups are urging the Federal Trade Commission to review comments by social media influencers for possible violations of the agency's guidance regarding...more

Are Your Social Media Fans Cybersecurity Savvy?

Today’s online world is all about engaging and staying connected with others via social media. For businesses, establishing a presence on various social media platforms is an enticing way to connect with current customers as...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Recent Decisions Further Definining Liability Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions by which it intends to clarify liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”). The CFAA imposes criminal penalties and...more

Cruise Line to Pay up to $76 Million to Settle TCPA Violations

Caribbean Cruise Line Inc., The Berkley Group Inc., and Vacation Ownership Marketing Tours, Inc. settled a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action last week for up to $76 million (and not less than $56 million)....more

Attorneys Cannot Sue Avvo for Unauthorized Profiles According to Illinois Federal Court

An Illinois federal judge dismissed a proposed class action of lawyers whose business information was published by the online attorney database Avvo without their permission. The lead plaintiff, a Chicago-based personal...more

New Law Deals With Digital Assets After Death

In an article earlier this year we noted that at a large number of states had introduced legislation to address an emerging issue that is unique to our Information Age: how will our digital assets be accessed and used (or...more

Health Care E-Note - September 2016

In an article published in the September 2016 MASA Newsletter, Jim Hoover and Angie Cameron Smith discuss how physicians should properly respond to subpoenas and requests for patients’ health information. They stress how...more

Privacy Tip #52 – Sharing Your Information with Your Rental Car

I travel a lot and frequently rent cars in cities all over the country. Those of you who know me, (and my husband and children will attest), know that I will not ask for directions. I am definitely more like a man than a...more

Start-up, Joberate, Assigns Score to Employees to Determine their Job Search History

Most individuals seeking out new job opportunities use their personal e-mail address to correspond with a prospective employer, presumably keeping that job hunt secret from their current employer. However, now, Joberate, a...more

“Face It”- Snapchat, Facebook, and Google Dealing with Suits Over Facial Recognition Technology

Snapchat, the popular “disappearing image” messaging social media corporation, was free to enjoy this past Labor Day weekend due to a voluntary dismissal of a biometric privacy class action. On August 30, 2016, the class...more

Privacy and The Cell Phone: Arizona Says Yes

Arizona recently recognized a “legitimate expectation of privacy” in cell phones. The case was State v. Peoples, and the opinion was issued on September 12, 2016. The Peoples case was about the police’s search of a cell...more

Eighth Circuit Clarifies Spokeo Ruling to Require Injury-in-Fact to Satisfy Article III Standing

In a victory to the defense bar, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has published the first appellate opinion to apply the principles the U.S. Supreme Court articulated in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins regarding...more

FTC sets new standard for mobile app location tracking – indirectly

If you have wondered how users' physical locations can be tracked when they use mobile devices, a new white paper explains the process. It's actually an FTC complaint, and thus a white paper only indirectly. But...more

Litigation Alert: The Eighth Circuit Applies Spokeo to Reject Standing for Technical Violation of Privacy Statute

Last week, the Eighth Circuit became the first Circuit Court to address the reach of Spokeo v. Robbins in a privacy case, holding that a plaintiff’s allegation that a cable company’s retention of his personal information in...more

Cruise Ships Miss the Boat on TCPA Compliance to the Tune of Up to $76 Million

With a trial looming like storm clouds on the horizon, several cruise ship companies and their affiliated travel agencies settled a “robocall” Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action up to $76 million. The...more

’Privacy Shield’ Replacing Invalidated EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement is Open for Business, but Challenges to its Validity are...

The Safe Harbor agreement between the European Union and the United States permitted American businesses to import personal data of EU citizens based on self-certification of compliance with EU data protection principles....more

iPhones Vulnerable to Pegasus—Update Your iPhone Now

Apple has issued an urgent warning to iPhone users about a crucial iOS update that is the only way to protect iPhones from “the extremely malicious Pegasus software.” According to Apple, Pegasus can completely take over...more

Dropbox Hacking from 2012 Actually Affected 68 Million Users

It was well known in 2012 that Dropbox suffered a data breach when its user names and passwords were compromised. But at the time, Dropbox did not admit the breadth of the compromise. Last week, they admitted that 68 million...more

CMS Warns Against Social Media Postings Involving Nursing Facility Residents

In an August 5, 2016, Survey and Certification memorandum to state Survey Agency Directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directs surveyors of nursing facilities on matters relating to the use of social...more

The Early Days of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Should Your Organization Self-Certify?

On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce began accepting self-certification applications for the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. In the month that has followed over 100 companies (including Microsoft, Oracle...more

Mobile App VPPA Suit Survives Spokeo Standing Challenge

In Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., a user of the free USA Today app alleged that each time he viewed a video clip, the app transmitted his mobile Android ID, GPS coordinates and identification of the...more

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