Archives: Data Privacy

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Congress, FCC Weigh Measures to Repeal ISP Privacy Rules

Last October, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new privacy rules governing how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are permitted to use and share its customers’ personal information. The rules have been fiercely contested by telecom companies that contend they are being unfairly held to more stringent regulations than so-called edge providers (Google, Facebook, etc.), which … Continue Reading

House Bill Would Allow Employers to Require and Access Genetic Testing Results

House bill HR 1313, introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), proposes to allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing, then allow employers to see the results, and impose financial penalties on any employees who request to opt out of the requirement. The bill, which was before the House Committee on Education and the … Continue Reading

DOE and DOJ Withdrawl of “Dear Colleague” Letter Leaves FERPA’s Guidance Unresolved

On February 22, 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) withdrew their May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter that provided guidance on steps to protect transgender students under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Although the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch on Data Privacy

Last month, the President announced his nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch—a federal appeals court judge—to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch must still go through Senate confirmation hearings before officially becoming the ninth justice in our nation’s highest court, but some are already discussing Gorsuch’s potential impact on cybersecurity, technology and privacy law. Gorsuch is better … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Community College Pays Ransomware to Retrieve Data

On December 30, 2016, the Los Angeles Community College computer network was kidnapped by cyber criminals requesting a ransom for its return. The ransomware encrypted the college’s entire network system, including email and voice mail systems. Rather than attempt to restore all of the data days before classes were to resume, on January 4, 2017, … Continue Reading

501(c)(3) Public Charities Subject to New Donor Disclosure Requirements in New York

Since 1958, when the Supreme Court held that the State of Alabama’s attempt to compel the NAACP to disclose its membership lists infringed on the members’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly, charities and donors have expected donor information to remain confidential. However, recent developments in New York have thrown that expectation into … Continue Reading

Global Privacy and Data Security in 2016 and 2017

In 2016, new privacy, cybersecurity and/or data security legislation passed or became effective in a number of countries, some adopting data security measures for the first time. Several countries adopted cybersecurity focused measures with criminal penalties, hoping to more effectively combat cyber-attacks. Other countries implemented or strengthened regulations on the collection and handling of their … Continue Reading

Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016

This year has been a busy year for education law in the area of data privacy. Educational institutions continue to be a rich target for hackers. Additionally, there were some important developments in the interpretation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as it applies to educational … Continue Reading

Report Urges Policymakers to Increase Protections for Consumer Data Collected through Wearable Devices

A 122-page report was published this week by American University and the Center for Digital Democracy that examines features, key players and trends that are emerging in consumer-wearable and connected-health devices–this includes watches, fitness bands, clothing and other products that are linked to app through mobile devices for management of heart rate, sleep patterns and … Continue Reading

Blippar App: Introducing Facial-Recognition Software for your Smartphone

Blippar, an augmented reality app, recently released its facial-recognition software which allows users to scan faces with their smartphones. The Blippar app makes it possible for people to scan faces (from print, TV or in real life) and learn the person’s name and other information. Co-Founder and CEO of Blippar, Ambarish Mitra, says, “Our facial … Continue Reading

Who Owns a Noise – Should Data Collected in a Public Space by a Private Company be Generally Accessible to the Public?

While law enforcement have access to new technology owned by third parties that assist them with protecting the public, questions arise as to who should own the data gathered by that technology. Sometimes, it is the technology provider itself which blocks public access to the data. For example, many police departments have contracted with ShotSpotter, … Continue Reading

International Cellular Roaming – Am I Secure?

Many firms have strict international travel policies in relation to the use of technology. These policies tend to be more skewed towards countries with greater state control over communications networks and specifically the internet. However, the reality is that you are vulnerable whenever your device is roaming internationally. When roaming, local providers use a global … Continue Reading

IMDb Challenges Recent California Law Shielding Actors’ Ages

IMDb.com Inc., the creator of the popular online database of movies and industry professionals, has filed suit in federal court challenging the recently enacted California Assembly Bill 1687 that requires the deletion of an individual’s age from its online profile upon request of that person. IMDb contends that the requirement violates free speech and unfairly … Continue Reading

As Smart Cities Emerge, ‘Smart’ Policies Must Come Too

Many American cities are already adopting technologies to improve urban living –bike share systems, street parking payment through smart phones and paying tolls through E-ZPass. Let’s take Boston for example; the city has created and implemented the use of an application called Street Bump which uses accelerometers in residents’ smartphones to catalog unexpected bumps they … Continue Reading

Broadband Providers Face New Regulations for Protection of Consumer Data

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released landmark protections for internet users, requiring permission from broadband subscribers before broadband providers can collect data on the subscribers’ web browsing, app use, location information or financial information. Broadband providers rely on subscriber data like this to create sophisticated, targeted advertising. Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical records in the context of litigation. FERPA generally prohibits a school from disclosing personally identifiable information from a student’s education … Continue Reading

Massachusetts DOT Seeks to Retain Driver Data from the State Turnpike

The Massachusetts’ State Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has proposed a policy by which they would retain drivers’ speed data for 30 days after it is collected on the Massachusetts Turnpike through its new all-electronic toll stations. MassDOT explains that the speed data must be collected in order to synchronize the new tolling system’s cameras so … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Proposal for New Privacy Rules Governing ISPs

In an October 6, 2016, blog post and accompanying fact sheet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined his proposal for new privacy rules governing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to be considered by the full Commission during its upcoming monthly meeting on October 27. Chairman Wheeler’s post detailed the scope of the issue – ISPs are collecting information … Continue Reading

Uber Announces Use of Facial Recognition Technology for Passenger Safety

In an attempt to reduce fraud and boost passenger safety, Uber is implementing facial recognition technology beginning on September 30. Before starting a driving session, Uber drivers will now be asked to take a photo of themselves “periodically” so that Uber can match that photo against the photo Uber has on file. The driver’s account … Continue Reading

Start-up, Joberate, Assigns Score to Employees to Determine their Job Search History

Most individuals seeking out new job opportunities use their personal e-mail address to correspond with a prospective employer, presumably keeping that job hunt secret from their current employer. However, now, Joberate, a startup that track’s an individual’s job search activity into their public social media accounts, calculates a score of how likely each individual is … Continue Reading

Hardware Password Defaults – Do You Change Them?

IT professionals have long understood the importance of changing the default password for network connected hardware devices (printers, switches, wireless access points, etc.). In the world of the Internet Of Things it seems everything is connected to the internet, the locks to your house, the refrigerator, your car, the wireless router from the cable company, … Continue Reading

Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the defendant brought suit against UNC, Jane Doe, and various school administrators after the Administrative Judicial Board found him responsible … Continue Reading

I-9: Ways to avoid identity theft

Employers are increasingly being contacted by individuals, their insurance and payroll providers, the IRS and/or police about employees who are possibly involved in identity theft. If an employee steals a name and matching social security number and has a fraudulent identity document and social security card, this can be very difficult to detect. A strong … Continue Reading
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