In the footsteps of San Francisco’s ban of the use of facial recognition technology, the cities of Somerville, Massachusetts, Oakland, California, and Berkeley, California are considering banning the use of facial recognition technology by municipal agencies. The proposed ban is in the midst of more and more cameras and smart technology being used for traffic

By Executive Order, the Trump Administration recently reversed an Obama Administration order aimed at protecting consumer’s personal information from use by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISPrior to the Trump’s EO, ISPs were required to get customer’s consent before using or selling their browsing habits, online shopping habits, financial information, etc. The reversal of Obama’s protection order has caused a resurgence of interest in VPN services. In theory, using a VPN service creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the service provider, thus keeping your browsing habits and personal information private from your ISP. However, a paper published in early 2015 by researchers at Sapienza University of Rome and Queen Mary University of London, found that 11 of the 14 providers they tested leaked customer information.
Continue Reading Virtual Private Network (VPN) Providers: How Private Are They?

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 institutions.

  • In December, DeVry University Settled with the FTC for $100 million over allegations that it misled prospective students with ads that promised higher employment success and income upon graduation.
  • Also in December, UMass Amherst settled with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $650,000 for HIPAA violations related to a malware infection that led to the release of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, health insurance information, diagnoses, and procedure codes.
  • In November, a hacker gained access to 1,213 records of applicants to the University of Wisconsin Law School.
  • On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” providing guidance on the application of FERPA to the disclosure of student medical records in the context of litigation.


Continue Reading Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016