News & Analysis as of

Workplace Privacy in the Digital Age

The blended use of technology for both professional and personal communication has had a significant impact on workplace privacy. Gone are the days when all an employer knew about an employee was what could be observed during...more

California “Do Not Track” Law Requires Consumer Companies to Re-Examine Website Practices and Privacy Policies

On January 1, 2014, California’s Online Privacy Protection Act was updated to include changes that will impact nearly every US business managing a commercial website that collects consumer personally identifiable...more

New Law Necessitates Online Privacy Audits and Updates - What You Need to Consider Now If You Have a Website, Online Service or...

As online businesses and technologies evolve, so do the laws affecting them. On January 1, 2014, a new law amending the California Online Privacy Protection Act ("CalOPPA") went into effect. See CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE §§...more

California's Do Not Track Disclosure Bill

As of January 1, 2014, California law requires operators of websites and online services to publicly disclose how they respond to "do not track" (dnt) signals, though the exact requirements vary depending on whether an entity...more

Website Operators Await Final Guidance Regarding Compliance With California’s “Do-Not-Track” Disclosure Requirements

Even with the publication of draft “best practices” by the California Attorney General (AG), website operators remain uncertain as to their obligations under the new do-not-track disclosure requirements of the state’s Online...more

Amendments to CalOPPA Enter Into Force Imposing New Requirements for Online Privacy Policies

Recent amendments to California’s Online Privacy Protection Act may have implications for all commercial online operators given the geographically limitless scope of the Internet. The amendments, effective Jan. 1, 2014,...more

Depository Of International Online Privacy Resources

One of our more popular posts of the year was the recent Online Marketers’ Guide to Online Privacy. It focuses mostly on U.S. law with some mention of of the E.U. Safe Harbor issues....more

Privacy in social media – is it really an oxymoron?

Yes, privacy in social media is pretty close to an oxymoron. At least in U.S. privacy law, the key issue for determining whether one has a privacy right is whether there was a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the...more

To Track or Not to Track

Digital advertising based on tracking users’ interests and related privacy concerns have been the subject of many recent news articles. What does this mean for businesses? Evolving industry practices and new legislation...more

Does California’s Amended Online Privacy Law Mean We All Have To Change Our Privacy Policies?

When it comes to privacy policies, I usually tell clients they need to comply with California law. Beginning January 1, 2014, California is adding a new wrinkle we all need to consider....more

FTC Takes First Enforcement Action on ‘Internet of Things’

A company that markets video cameras that are designed to allow consumers to monitor their homes remotely has agreed to settle charges with the FTC that it failed to properly protect consumers’ privacy. This marks the FTC’s...more

Has Katz Become Quaint? Use Of Big Data To Outflank The Fourth Amendment

Introduction - On December 14, 2010, a federal court, upon a government motion, entered an order pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (SCA) requiring Twitter to turn over to the government subscriber information...more

FTC Announces First Settlement Involving Privacy and the "Internet of Things"

In its latest data security case, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first settlement of an action involving a household product with Internet connectivity. Consistent with its prior data security actions, the...more

Shoulder-Surfs Up

The “shoulder-surfer” is that insufferable snoop at Starbucks, at the airport, on the bus, or anywhere else who peers over your shoulder and observes your online moves. Exasperating as it may be to share your love of lolcats...more

Pirates, or Freedom Fighters on the Electronic Frontier, Copyright Changes for the Digital Age?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced this month that they will be engaging with stakeholders through public comments and roundtables to study a variety of policy issues highlighted in the Department of...more

Privacy Notices – It’s Back To Basics (Without The Boilerplate)

Earlier this year, I reported that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) was participating in the first ever Internet sweep by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN)....more

Attack of the Killer Initiative?: Opt-in Privacy Regime on Deck for a California Ballot Initiative

On July 17th, former California State Senator Steve Peace (director of the film, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”) and trial lawyer Michael Thorsnes filed a potentially revolutionary draft ballot initiative with the California...more

Privacy Monday – Privacy Bits and Bytes to Start Your Week: July 8th, 2013

UK Regulators Tell Google: Rewrite that Privacy Policy — Or Else It’s been clear since last year that many European data protection regulators were very unhappy with Google’s “new” privacy policy. The UK Information...more

Privacy, Data Security and Internet Safety Alert: Tough New EU Data Protection Proposals Edge Closer

On Jan. 10, 2013, Jan Philipp Albrecht, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur, presented his report on the European Commission’s proposals for a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With his recommendations, data...more

FTC Updates To Online Privacy Acts, COPPA And VPPA

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) was enacted to place parents in control over what information is collected, used and disclosed from young children online. COPPA applies to operators of commercial...more

Status Updates – Real Time Notice Recommended By Privacy Commissioner

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) announced the results of their coordinated investigation into a mobile messaging platform...more

Data Privacy Day 2013 Post #3 — Look out for the Maryland Privacy Police!

Maryland’s Attorney General, Douglas Gansler, announced today that Maryland has a new Internet Privacy Unit to monitor the data collection practices of online companies. According to the Attorney General’s press release, the...more

FTC Updates Rule for Children’s Online Privacy Protection

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently updated the rule for children’s online privacy protection, expanding a business’s obligations and accountability for online data collection activities....more

Video Privacy Protection Act Amended for the Internet Era, Finally

On January 10, 2013, President Obama signed into law amendments to the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act that facilitate social media sharing of video viewing preferences when users consent to disclosure of information via...more

China’s New Online Information Protection Law

On Dec. 28, 2012, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress enacted a 12-article Decision on Strengthening Online Information Protection (the “Decision”), without public consultation and after just one...more

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