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.

Continue Reading Trans-Pacific Partnership Addresses Cross-Border Data Transfers and Protection of Personal Information

On November 3, 2015, John Murphy, Senior Vice President for International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, testified about the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (“CJEU’s”) EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Decision at a joint hearing of the House Commerce and Communications and Technology Subcommittees.

Continue Reading U.S. Chamber of Commerce Testifies about Safe Harbor at a Joint Hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed S.754 – Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”) by a vote of 74 to 21. CISA is intended to facilitate and encourage the sharing of Internet traffic information between and among companies and the federal government to prevent cyber attacks, by giving companies legal immunity from antitrust and privacy lawsuits. CISA comes in the wake of numerous recent, high-profile cyber attacks.

Continue Reading Senate Passes Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

On September 8, 2015, representatives from the U.S. Government and the European Commission initialed a draft agreement known as the Protection of Personal Information Relating to the Prevention, Investigation, Detection and Prosecution of Criminal Offenses (the “Umbrella Agreement”). The European Commission’s stated aim for the Umbrella Agreement is to put in place “a comprehensive high-level data protection framework for EU-U.S. law enforcement cooperation.” The Umbrella Agreement has been agreed upon amid the ongoing uncertainty over the future of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor, and was drafted shortly before the release of the September 23 Advocate General’s Opinion in the Schrems v. Facebook litigation. The content of the Umbrella Agreement is in its final form, but its implementation is dependent upon revisions to U.S. law that are currently before Congress.

Continue Reading U.S.-EU Data Transfer Agreement for Law Enforcement Nearing Completion

On August 24, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (“Wyndham”), affirming a district court holding that the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to regulate companies’ data security practices.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Upholds FTC’s Authority to Regulate Companies’ Data Security Practices

On July 10, 2015, the United States House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Act”), which is intended to ease restrictions on the use and disclosure of protected health information (“PHI”) for research purposes.

Continue Reading House of Representatives Passes Bill to Permit Broader Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information for Research Purposes

On April 28, 2015, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill (SB 766) that prohibits businesses and government agencies from using drones to conduct surveillance by capturing images of private real property or individuals on such property without valid written consent under circumstances where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.

Continue Reading Florida Passes Drone Surveillance Bill Requiring Individual Consent

The House of Representatives passed two complimentary bills related to cybersecurity, the “Protecting Cyber Networks Act” (H.R. 1560) and the “National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015” (H.R. 1731). These bills provide, among other things, liability protection for (1) the use of monitoring and defensive measures to protect information systems, and (2) the sharing of cybersecurity threat information amongst non-federal entities and with the federal government. With the Senate having just recently overcome disagreement on sex trafficking legislation and the Attorney General nomination, that body is now expected to consider similar information sharing legislation entitled the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” (S. 754) in the coming weeks. Assuming S. 754 also is passed by the Senate, the two Chambers of Congress will convene a Conference Committee to draft a single piece of legislation which will be then voted on by the House and Senate, before heading to the President’s desk. The White House has not committed to signing any resulting legislation, but has signaled some positive support.

Continue Reading House of Representatives Passes Two Cybersecurity Bills