Mobile Privacy

German DPAs Issue DPIA Blacklists; Many Companies Likely to be Affected

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The GDPR entered into force on May 25, 2018.  One of the GDPR’s core going-forward obligations is the duty to conduct Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) over processing activities that create a “high risk” to individuals’ privacy.  DPIAs constitute an important aspect of GDPR compliance, as they arguably replace the notifications of processing systems and activities to European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) which pre-GDPR privacy law often obligated companies to make.  Instead of notifying DPAs, the GDPR now requires companies to internally conduct DPIAs that document “high [...] Read more

In Order, FTC Recognizes Lower Notice Requirements for “Consumer-Expected” Data Collection

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Last week, the Federal Trade Commission granted a petition by Sears Holding Management seeking modification of a 2009 Commission Order. The notable 2009 Order settled allegations that Sears had improperly failed to provide notice regarding data collection by certain software the company offered to consumers. Sears argued that the 2009 Order placed it at a “competitive disadvantage” in the mobile application marketplace. The now-modified Order enables Sears to conduct certain “consumer-expected” forms of data collection and use without requiring heightened notice or consent under the 2009 [...] Read more

ePrivacy Regulation Trilogue Negotiations Pushed back to Fall 2018; Final ePrivacy Regulation may not be in Place until 2020

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About this time last January, the European Parliament released its proposal for a new ePrivacy Regulation.  The intent of the ePrivacy Regulation is to replace the current ePrivacy regime – which consists of an ePrivacy Directive and a patchwork of local implementing legislation – with a uniform set of directly-applicable EU-wide rules.  Since the Parliament released its ePrivacy Regulation draft, both the European Council and the European Parliament have reviewed it and released their own revised drafts. The ePrivacy Regulation contains a number of important rules for companies.  Traditionally, [...] Read more

David Keating, Jan Dhont and Karen Sanzaro to Speak at the 2017 Privacy + Security Forum

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David Keating, partner and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Security practice, Jan Dhont, Brussels partner and head of the firm’s European Privacy and Data Protection practice, and Karen Sanzaro, counsel in the Technology & Privacy Group, will be speakers at the 2017 Privacy + Security Forum in Washington, DC, taking place on October 4-6, 2017. David Keating will be speaking during the session on “Emerging Consumer Tracking and Analytics Technologies.” This session will explore recent regulatory and enforcement developments in this area and discuss practical approaches [...] 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

InMobi to Pay $950,000 to Settle FTC Charges that it Secretly Tracked Phone Users

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The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company whose products are used by many Android and iOS app makers to deliver advertisements to consumers, will pay $950,000 in civil penalties and implement a comprehensive privacy program to settle FTC charges for deceptively tracking the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, without their knowledge or consent to serve them geo-targeted advertising. The FTC alleges that InMobi represented that its advertising software would only collect consumer’s geo-location [...] Read more

FTC PrivacyCon Event Examines Cutting-Edge Research and Current Policies Regarding Privacy and Data Security

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The Federal Trade Commission held its PrivacyCon event, featuring nineteen presentations showcasing original research regarding important consumer privacy and security issues by leading academics from universities and think tanks from around the world. A full video recording of the webcast is available here. The conference took place in Washington on Jan. 14, 2016, and included discussion about the policy implications of the research being conducted with thought leaders from academia, research, consumer advocacy, and industry. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill succinctly outlined the top concerns [...] Read more

Jan Dhont Authors Corporate Counsel Article on Safe Harbor Decision

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Jan Dhont, Brussels partner and head of the firm’s European Privacy and Data Protection practice authored the Corporate Counsel article, “The Sinking of the Safe Harbor: Just Another Symbolic Decision?”  In the article, Dhont discusses the concerns and uncertainty stemming from the October 6 European Court of Justice strike-down of Safe Harbor, and where companies may go from here.  This ruling is a matter of global concern and may actually result in less privacy for individuals, not more. Dhont notes that while there are mid- to long-term solutions to take the place of Safe Harbor, [...] Read more

Article 29 Working Party Calls for Political Action

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In a concise statement, the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), a consortium of European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs), released a position paper today about the landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice in Maximilian Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner (C-362-14). WP29 makes a political call on the EU Member States to finalize discussions with the US authorities on a political and legal solution for the transfer of personal information from the EU to the US.  The solution should ensure that strong guarantees are provided to EU data subjects against US surveillance.   WP29 calls [...] Read more

A Discussion with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill: The Future of Trans-Atlantic Privacy

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On October 20, Alston & Bird will host a panel discussion with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill. The event will be broadcast as a webinar. Commissioner Brill will discuss the future of U.S. – European privacy with Brussels Partner Jan Dhont and Senior Counsel Peter Swire. The discussion will be moderated by Partner Jim Harvey. This timely discussion with Commissioner Brill follows the European Court of Justice’s rejection of the Safe Harbor framework in the judgment issued on October 6. That rejection affects thousands of businesses engaged in E.U. – U.S. data transfers. Meanwhile, the [...] Read more