Internet of Toys Enforcement: VTech Agrees to COPPA Settlement

On January 8, the FTC announced a settlement with VTech (a maker of electronic children’s toys) for violations of COPPA, adding to the regulatory activity mounting in the last few years around the Internet of Toys.  The company agreed to pay $650,000 to settle allegations that its Kid Connect app and its Learning Lodge platform collected personal information from almost 3,000,000 children without providing direct notice and obtaining their parent or guardian’s consent. 

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Privacy and Cybersecurity Top 10 for 2018

This past year was marked by ever more significant data breaches, growing cybersecurity regulatory requirements at the state and federal levels and continued challenges in harmonizing international privacy and cybersecurity regulations. We expect each of these trends to continue in 2018.

As we begin this New Year, here is list of the top 10 privacy and cybersecurity issues for 2018:

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Hong Kong to Further Regulate Drones

With the rise in drone usage for both commercial and recreational activities, air safety regulators around the world have increasingly focused on the impact of drones (otherwise known as unmanned aircraft systems or UAS) on flight safety and efficiency. Consistent with calls by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for more oversight, Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD) recently announced plans to step up the regulation of commercial and recreational drones.

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The Fourth Edition of The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review Is Available

The fourth edition of The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review takes a look at the evolving global privacy, data protection and cybersecurity landscape in a time when mega breaches are becoming more common and businesses are coming under increased scrutiny from regulators, Boards of Directors and their customers. Several lawyers from Sidley’s global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice have contributed to this publication. See the links below for a closer look at this developing area of law.

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Northern District of California Enjoins LinkedIn from Preventing Scraping of Public User Profiles

In a decision that may have profound implications for social media companies, the big data industry and website terms of use everywhere, Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California granted hiQ Labs’ motion for preliminary injunction on August 14, 2017, enjoining LinkedIn from “preventing hiQ’s access, copying, or use of public profiles on LinkedIn’s website.” hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corporation (N.D. Cal. No. 3:17-cv-03301-EMC). The case is on appeal and will be heard by the Ninth Circuit in 2018.

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DFARS Cyber Compliance And Potential For FCA Risk

*This article first appeared in Law360 on December 18, 2017.

For well over a year, defense contractors have had New Year’s Eve 2017 circled on their calendars, and not because they love the “auld lang syne” and a good glass of champagne. (Or at least not only for those reasons.) Dec. 31, 2017, is the deadline for when covered contractors must comply with the U.S. Department of Defense’s new Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) cybersecurity requirements. This holiday season contractors are thus making their lists and checking them twice in order to ensure that they will be compliant by the end of the year. And this intense focus is well warranted. The DOD is deeply committed to protecting its information, and the requirements are an important step in that regard.

But for all of the focus on Dec. 31, contractors must also remember that the focus on compliance must remain into the New Year — and beyond. New technologies will emerge. Contractors will buy new systems and hire new employees. And all the while, internal security teams will be trying to stay a step ahead of hackers and “white hat” security researchers. In short, despite contractors’ best efforts, gaps may be identified at any time. Moreover, these gaps may carry with them real consequences — not only the possibility of contract termination, but also the risk of costly and disruptive False Claims Act investigations and lawsuits, with the specter of treble damages, and the possibility of suspension and debarment, lurking. It is thus crucial that contractors continue to be vigilant about the regulations, and take steps to enable them to demonstrate their vigilance and compliance, in order to best position themselves to avoid liability.

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Article 29 Working Party Releases GDPR Guidance on Consent and Transparency

On 28 November 2017, the Article 29 Working Party (the “WP29”) published detailed draft guidelines on consent under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), which is to come into effect on 25 May 2018. The draft guidance has been submitted for public consultation for a six week period before being adopted.

The WP29 guidance on consent (“Consent Guidelines”) provides an analysis of the notion of consent under the GDPR as well as practical guidance for organisations on the requirements to obtain and demonstrate valid consent under the GDPR.

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