On October 24, 2017, an opinion issued by the EU’s Advocate General Bot rejected Facebook’s assertion that its EU data processing activities fall solely under the jurisdiction of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. The opinion relates to the CJEU case C-210/16, under which the German courts sought to clarify whether the DPA in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein could take action against Facebook regarding its use of web tracking technologies on a German education provider’s fan page without first providing notice.
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On May 16, 2017, the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, signed into law House Bill 1493, which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. The law will become effective on July 23, 2017. Washington becomes the third state to pass legislation regulating the commercial use of biometric identifiers.
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On December 27, 2015, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China published the P.R.C. Anti-Terrorism Law. The law was enacted in response to a perceived growing threat from extremists and terrorists, particularly in regions in Western China, and came into effect on January 1, 2016.
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Recent class actions filed against Facebook and Shutterfly are the first cases to test an Illinois law that requires consent before biometric information may be captured for commercial purposes. Although the cases focus on biometric capture activities primarily in the social-media realm, these cases and the Illinois law at issue have ramifications for any business that employs biometric-capture technology, including those who use it for security or sale-and-marketing purposes. In a recent article published in Law360, Hunton & Williams partner, Torsten M. Kracht, and associate, Rachel E. Mossman, discuss how businesses already using these technologies need to keep abreast of new legislation that might affect the legality of their practices, and how businesses considering the implementation of these technologies should consult local rules and statutes before implementing biometric imaging.

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