On 11 June 2018, members of a Committee within the European parliament (“MEPs”) narrowly voted in favour of suspending the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”), an agreement that facilitates the transfer of personal data of EU data subjects to the U.S., unless the U.S. government fully complies with the Privacy Shield data protection requirements by 1 September 2018. Although the resolution is only a draft and has no legal effect, it reflects continued European concerns surrounding Privacy Shield. (more…)
In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission has increasingly exercised its enforcement authority to target deceptive and unfair information security practices. During this time, enforcement actions have targeted companies for failing to honor their promises to implement “reasonable” or “industry standard” security practices, defend against well-known security threats, put in place basic security measures, or take many other basic data security steps. And despite challengers arguing that the FTC provided insufficient notice before pursuing these actions or that the actions otherwise exceeded the FTC’s Section 5 enforcement authority, the Commission generally has a track record of successfully defending its prerogatives. (more…)
Although the prospect of federal legislation on data privacy remains uncertain, states appear to be stepping up the range of their activity on privacy and security. Washington State notably adopted a law on net neutrality and there is the prospect of a ballot initiative in California that would give individuals the right to know which categories of their or their children’s personal data have been collected or traded by businesses. Though Vermont is one of the smallest states, it has been active in privacy regulation and, on May 22, 2018, enacted the first state-level measure aimed at data brokers. (more…)
On May 15, 2018, various media outlets reported that the Trump administration decided to eliminate the position of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. According to reports, John Bolton, appointed as National Security Adviser effective April 2018, had been instrumental in the decision that the position was no longer necessary based on the reasoning that the role was already addressed by other members of President Trump’s national security staff. The administration’s decision was met with sharp criticism, including from Democrats in Congress such as U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) who called the move “mindboggling” and cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, who called it “a spectacularly bad idea.”
On March 6, 2018, Singapore announced that it has joined the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system as well as the APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) program. Singapore is the sixth member of the CBPR system, which includes Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United States, and is the second member of the PRP program after the US. (more…)
In recent years, the rise of cloud computing has led to more and more data being stored somewhere other than the jurisdiction in which it was created. This trend increasingly has led U.S. law enforcement officials to demand access to information held abroad, just as foreign officials increasingly want access to data held inside the United States. But satisfying these growing desires for cross-border access has proven complicated. The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process has not kept pace with the Internet-fueled increase in data requests, nor has a workable alternative to that process emerged. And questions remain as to whether relevant U.S. statutes authorize extraterritorial legal process. Even if law enforcement officials do have tools that allow them to seek data held elsewhere, the holders of such data may face a conflict between their obligations to respond to one country’s lawful process and the obligations to comply with another country’s privacy protections or blocking statutes. (more…)
On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a new version of a bill (SB 2825) reauthorizing the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and including key cybersecurity provisions affecting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bill is considered a critical piece of legislation that many expect will need to pass before the Congressional recess in August 2018. It already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2017, and will now be considered by the full Senate. (more…)
Following months of intense debate, an attempted filibuster, and close votes in both the House and Senate, Congress last week finally extended Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
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: (more…)
On 26 July 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU (“Court”) issued its Opinion on the proposed EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (“PNR Data”). The opinion, issued by the Court’s Grand Chamber, confirms that the Court accepts the necessity of processing large amounts of personal data to protect against terrorism in general. However, in order to ensure compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“the Charter”), the Court will scrutinize the details of any EU legislative act to ensure that no data are retained or accessed without a clear link to the underlying justification of combating terrorism. (more…)