Category Archives: Enforcement

FTC Updates Data Security Guidance for Businesses

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In June, the Federal Trade Commission released a new guide for businesses on implementing sound data security protections and procedures. In “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide For Business,” the FTC offers “10 practical lessons” based on the numerous enforcement actions brought by the FTC. The guide offers insight into the thinking of this key federal regulator. Key points from the guide: “Start with Security.” Build information security considerations into business processes so that they are part of “the decisionmaking in every department of your business.” The FTC [...] Read more

Facebook Fined for WhatsApp Data Linking Fallout

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On 18 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined Facebook €110 million ($122 million) for misrepresentations made in its application for competition clearance of the company’s acquisition of WhatsApp. In its merger application, Facebook claimed that it would be unable to automatically match Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts for marketing and other purposes. However, in August 2016, WhatsApp introduced functionality enabling the linking of WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook users’ identities. This is the first time since the new Merger Regulation [...] Read more

Working Party welcomes the draft ePrivacy Regulation, yet expresses grave concerns

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The Working Party recently issued its first Opinion for 2017, focusing on the EU Commission’s proposed ePrivacy Regulation (WP 247, Opinion 01/2017). The Commission’s proposal, which was published in January this year, aims to modernize the existing ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC as amended by 2009/136/EC) which concerns the protection of personal data in the context of electronic communication services. In its Opinion, the Working Party overall welcomed the proposed regulation, yet expressed several points of concern and suggested amendments. The congratulations… In welcoming the regulation, [...] Read more

May 30 is Fast Approaching – Are You Ready for Compliance with the Amended Act on Protection of Personal Information in Japan?

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Japan’s Act on Protection of Personal Information currently in force (“Current APPI”) dates back to 2003.  It was originally enacted on May 30, 2003, and came into effect in 2005.  Ten years later, the National Diet passed extensive reforms to modernize the Current APPI in September, 2015.  Although the Amended Act on Protection of Personal Information (“Amended APPI”) has been partly in effect, it will come fully into effect on May 30, 2017. It is important to note that the Amended APPI applies to “personal information handling business operators” which is defined as a person [...] Read more

Germany Proposes Bill Requiring Social Network Takedowns – with € 50 Million Fines

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Recent media reports indicated that Germany was considering legislation that would fine social networks for failing to combat fake news and hate speech.  Today, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas introduced a “Draft Law to Improve Law Enforcement in Social Networks” (abbreviated as the Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz), or “NetzDG”).  The NetzDG aims to curb “hate-based criminality” in large social networks that have the potential to drive public opinion, and to improve law enforcement access to evidence held by social networks.  The Justice Department’s NetzDG [...] Read more

Australia Adopts New Data Breach Notification Legislation

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On February 13, 2017 Australia became one more among nation states adopting data breach notification legislation. In recent House and Senate votes, the Australian Parliament amended the Privacy Act 1988, introducing mandatory data breach notification requirements for entities regulated by the Privacy Act. Who is Subject to the New Legislation? The recent bill requires entities with revenue over $3 million AUD ($2.3 million USD) and certain credit reporting bodies and recipients of tax file number information to notify both the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals “as [...] Read more

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

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