On May 8, 2018, Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR) demanded that the Federal Communications Commission investigate the alleged unauthorized tracking of Americans’ locations by Securus Technologies, a company that provides phone services to prisons, jails and other correctional facilities. Securus allegedly purchases real-time location data from a third-party location aggregator and provides the data to law enforcement without obtaining judicial authorization for the disclosure of the data. In turn, the third-party location aggregator obtains the data from wireless carriers. Federal law restricts how and when wireless carriers can share certain customer information with third parties, including law enforcement. Wireless carriers are prohibited from sharing certain customer information, including location data, unless the carrier has obtained the customer’s consent or the sharing is otherwise required by law. Continue Reading Senator Wyden Calls for FCC Investigation into Company Sharing Location Data
On April 26, 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed by unanimous consent all five pending nominees to the Federal Trade Commission. Once installed, the agency will have a full complement of Commissioners for the first time in nearly three years. The FTC will be comprised of three Republicans — Joseph Simons (Chairman), Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine Wilson — and two Democrats — Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Rohit Chopra.
On February 6, 2017, the House of Representatives suspended its rules and passed by voice vote H.R 387, the Email Privacy Act. As we previously reported, the Email Privacy Act amends the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) of 1986. In particular, the legislation would require government entities to obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, before accessing the content of any emails or electronic communications stored with third-party service providers, regardless of how long the communications have been held in electronic storage by such providers. Continue Reading House of Representatives Passes Email Privacy Act
On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act grants non-U.S. citizens certain rights, including a private right of action for alleged privacy violations that occur in the U.S. The Act was signed after Congress approved an amendment that limits the right to sue to only those citizens of countries which (1) permit the “transfer of personal data for commercial purposes” to the U.S., and (2) do not impose personal data transfer policies that “materially impede” U.S. national security interests. Continue Reading President Obama Signs Judicial Redress Act into Law
On February 16, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), in collaboration with other federal agencies, released a series of documents outlining procedures for both federal and non-federal entities to share and disseminate cybersecurity information. These documents were released as directed by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (the “Act”), signed into law on December 18, 2015. The Act outlines a means by which the private sector may enjoy protection from civil liability when sharing certain cybersecurity information with the federal government and private entities. These documents represent the first steps by the executive branch to implement the Act. Continue Reading Department of Homeland Security Issues Procedures Regarding Sharing Cybersecurity Information
On February 10, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Judicial Redress Act, which had been approved by the Senate the night before and included a recent Senate amendment. The House of Representatives previously passed the original bill in October 2015, but the bill was sent back to the House due to the recent Senate amendment. The Judicial Redress Act grants non-U.S. citizens certain rights, including a private right of action for alleged privacy violations that occur in the U.S. The amendment limits the right to sue to only those citizens of countries that (1) permit the “transfer of personal data for commercial purposes” to the U.S., and (2) do not impose personal data transfer policies that “materially impede” U.S. national security interests. The bill now heads to President Obama to sign.
On January 28, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Judicial Redress Act (the “Act”), which would give EU citizens the right to sue over certain data privacy issues in the U.S. The Act passed after an amendment was approved which would condition EU citizens’ right to sue on EU Member States (1) allowing companies to transfer personal data to the U.S. for commercial purposes and (2) having personal data transfer policies which do not materially impede the national security interests of the U.S. The vote was initially set to take place on January 21, 2016, but was delayed.
On January 21, 2016, a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the Judicial Redress Act, which would give EU citizens the right to sue over certain data privacy issues in the U.S., has reportedly been postponed. As reported by Forbes, the vote may have been delayed due to amendments to the fifth paragraph of the bill, which deals with litigation pursuant to the act. The vote was initially scheduled for today.
On December 16, 2015, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate released a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that contained cybersecurity information sharing language that is based on a compromise between the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which passed in the Senate in October, and two cybersecurity information sharing bills that passed in the House earlier this year. Specifically, the omnibus spending bill included Division N, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (the “Act”). Continue Reading U.S. Congress Releases Compromise Bill on Cybersecurity Information Sharing
On November 5, 2015, the White House released the proposed text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (the “TPP”) containing a chapter on cross-border data transfers in the context of electronic commerce. In the chapter on Electronic Commerce, Chapter 14, the TPP includes commitments from participating parties to adopt and maintain a legal framework to protect personal information, and encourages cross-border data transfers to help facilitate business and trade.