Smart Television Manufacturer Settles by Paying $ 2.2 Million to the FTC and the State of New Jersey

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The FTC and the State of New Jersey recently announced a settlement with Vizio, Inc., in the amount of $2.2 million for tracking consumer behavior using its smart television devices. The complaint alleged that Vizio acted unfairly by collecting, storing (indefinitely) and sharing consumer data with third parties without consent and in an unexpected manner. Further, the complaint alleged that Vizio had misrepresented the functionality of the feature in their smart televisions that collected such data (also known as “Smart Interactivity”). It was also alleged that these practices were an unconscionable [...] Read more

What Will Trump’s Executive Order Do to U.S. Privacy Law and EU-U.S. Data Transfers?

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On the third day of his presidency, President Trump signed an immigration-related executive order raising significant questions about the future of U.S. privacy law and EU-U.S. data transfers.  The order, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” (“Executive Order”), directs agencies to “ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.”[1] The Executive Order has raised a number of questions, among them, [...] Read more

Spanish DPA Issues GDPR Guidelines

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On January 26, 2017, the Spanish data protection authority (“AEPD”) published three guidance papers on the implementation of the general data protection regulation (“GDPR”). Although the guidance is primarily directed at small and medium-sized companies, it gives a snapshot on how the AEPD reads the GDPR and is thus relevant for all companies having operations in Spain. GDPR Guide for Controllers: the guide summarizes the requirements of the GDPR while providing practical recommendations on how to implement them. The guide also contains a questionnaire to help controllers make a [...] Read more

FTC Staff Releases Report on Cross-Device Tracking

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released its staff report on Cross-Device Tracking. Cross-device tracking refers to the tracking of consumer activity across multiple devices such as smartphones, desktops, tablets and other connected devices. It helps companies understand consumer behavior better. The tracking can be deterministic (where a user logs into multiple devices affirmatively identifying the device as his/hers) or probabilistic (companies infer cross-device activity using factors like common IP address). Benefits include account security, fraud detection, targeted advertising [...] Read more

AG Empowers EU Privacy Suits with Redress Act Designations

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Attorney General designated 26 countries and the European Union as “covered countr[ies]” under the Judicial Redress Act. The Attorney General has simultaneously designated 13 “Federal agenc[ies] or component[s]” under the Act. These designations enable citizens of the “covered countr[ies]” to sue and seek remedies in U.S. court if one of the designated “Federal agenc[ies] or component[s]” violates the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act protects against intentional or willful unlawful disclosure of covered records containing personal information and [...] Read more

Article 29 Working Party Identifies GDPR Implementation Priorities for 2017

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In a press release published on January 16, 2017, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP 29”) has outlined its strategy for 2017 on implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). WP29’s “2017 GDPR Action Plan” identifies the following priorities, objectives, deliverables and activities for the coming year: 2016 Follow-Up.  WP29 will finalize work commenced in 2016 on: (i) data protection certification mechanisms; (ii) processing activities likely to result in “high risk” processing and Data Protection Impact  Assessments; (iii) administrative fines; (iv) [...] Read more

Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Finalized

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On January 11, U.S. and Swiss authorities announced final agreement on the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. The Framework defines standards for handling personal data exported from Switzerland to the U.S. and enables U.S. companies to meet Swiss legal requirements to protect personal data transferred from Switzerland. The Framework is a successor to the former Swiss-U.S. Safe Harbor framework, which was declared invalid by the Swiss data protection commissioner following the invalidation of Safe Harbor by the European Court of Justice.   U.S. companies may participate in the Framework [...] Read more

New York Financial Services Regulator Issues Revisions to Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation

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Today, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a revised version of the proposed cybersecurity regulations that it first issued in September.  According to a press release issued by DFS Superintendent Vullo, the new version of the proposed rules will be finalized following a 30-day notice and public comment period. Among the most notable changes are an extension of the effective date to March 1, 2017, an array of longer transition periods for various sections of the regulation, increased emphasis on risk assessment, and a slight reduction in the extremely broad scope of [...] Read more

WP29’s Guidance on the Lead Supervisory Authority

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Late last week, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) issued detailed guidance on companies’ obligations under three key provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  This is part three of a three-part Alston & Bird series evaluating WP29's positions, and relates to  the “One Stop Shop” mechanism which aims at simplifying the way companies with operations in multiple EU countries interact with the EU supervisory authorities (“SAs”). Part 1 deals with Data Protection Officer Obligations, under the GDPR, while part 2 analyzes guidance on the Right to Data Portability. The [...] Read more

WP29 Issues Guidance on the Right to Data Portability under the GDPR

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Late last week, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) issued detailed guidance on companies’ obligations under three key provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR").  This is part two of a three-part Alston & Bird series evaluating WP29's positions, and relates to the Right of Data Portability for data subjects and its obligations for data controllers.  Part 1 deals with Data Protection Officer obligations, under the GDPR, while part 3 analyzes guidance on the Lead Supervisory Authority mechanism. Article 20 of the GDPR creates a new right to data portability [...] Read more