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Privacy, Innovation and Big Data Forum Hosted by Alston & Bird

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On March 25, Alston & Bird hosted a forum titled, “Privacy, Innovation and Big Data: What Does the Future Hold.” David Keating, Partner and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Privacy and Security Practice, hosted a panel discussion that included Peter Swire, Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, Jerry Jones, Chief Ethics and Legal Officer at Acxiom, Cindy Liebes, Federal Trade Commission Southeast Region, and constitutional lawyer Gerald R. Weber. Click here to view a video of the event. Written by Privacy & [...] Read more

Northern District of California to Decide in the In re Hulu Privacy Litigation Whether Disclosing Anonymized Data to a Web Analytics Company and Use of the Facebook “Like” Button Violate the Video Privacy Protection Act

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Any company that has a website that (a) contains videos, (b) uses a third-party analytics company to maintain metrics on page views and/or (c) allows users to “like” videos on the site should pay very close attention to the In re Hulu Privacy Litigation pending in the United States District Court of Northern California. In that case, the plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages of $2,500 per violation for alleged video sharing in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). As there are millions of views per day on the Hulu site, the alleged statutory damages could represent [...] Read more

2013 Ends with a Bang – Northern District of California Court Denies Hulu’s Summary Judgment Motion in Video Tracking Case

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Many companies host videos on their websites or via mobile apps. They often use analytic companies/vendors to help them track whether the videos are in fact viewed and other information about site usage. This is precisely the issue at the core of the case titled In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, pending in the Northern District of California. In a December 20, 2013 decision, the Northern District of California held that under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), plaintiffs have no obligation to provide evidence of injury above and beyond the statutory violation of alleged knowing [...] Read more

New York Court Upholds Constitutionality of NSA Metadata Collection

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On December 27, ruling in American Civil Liberties Union v Clapper, No. 13 Civ. 9334 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 27, 2013), federal district Judge William H. Pauley III granted the government’s motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the ACLU challenging the constitutionality of the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata. Telephone metadata consists of the record maintained by a phone company of “when, and to what telephone number [a] call was placed, and how long it lasted.” The ACLU filed its complaint following the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the public [...] Read more

Privacy Partners Paul Martino and Dominique Shelton Author Law360 Article on Proposed California Guidance for Do-Not-Track Disclosures

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Today, Paul Martino and Dominique Shelton, partners in Alston and Bird’s Privacy and Security practice and respective members of the firm’s Legislative & Public Policy and Litigation and Trial Practice groups, co-authored the Law360 article, “Inside Calif.’s Proposed Guidance For Do-Not-Track Law.” In the article, Martino and Shelton address the potential impact of the meeting held for interested stakeholders on December 10, 2013, by the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit of the California Office of the Attorney General (“CA AG”) to discuss the AG’s proposed guidance [...] Read more

California Attorney General Announces Upcoming Best Practices Guidelines for Do-Not-Track Disclosures; Guidelines Will Not Delay New A.B. 370 Do-Not-Track Disclosure Requirements from Taking Effect on January 1, 2014

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On December 10, 2013, the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit of the California Office of the Attorney General (CA AG) held a meeting in San Francisco for interested stakeholders to discuss best practices in light of the Assembly’s enactment of A.B. 370, California’s new do-not-track disclosure law that goes into effect on January 1, 2014. A.B. 370 amended the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) to require operators of websites, online services and mobile applications to amend their privacy policies as of the new year to either (1) disclose how they respond to do-not-track [...] Read more

FTC Settles with Flashlight App Developer Over Charges It Transmitted Geolocation Data Without Consumers’ Knowledge

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The creator of the popular “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android app has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over charges that the app deceived consumers regarding the collection of geolocation information that was shared with third parties. The app, created by Goldenshores Technologies, LLC, (“Goldenshores”) turns a mobile device into a flashlight by activating the device’s light functions, including the camera flash. It has been downloaded by tens of millions of Android users.  In its complaint, the FTC alleged Goldenshore’s [...] Read more

Update: California Governor Brown Signs into Law A.B. 370, “Do Not Track Disclosure Law”

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On September 27, 2013, California Governor Brown signed into law A.B. 370, amending the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA) to require two new privacy policy disclosures for websites and online services regarding behavioral tracking. California Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), who introduced A.B. 370, released a statement in which he said the amended law “will protect Californians’ right to privacy by providing transparency that will allow consumers to know when their online activity is being tracked. The consumer can then make an informed decision about their [...] Read more