Hong Kong Monetary Authority Introduces Initiatives to Promote Fintech Developments
On Sept. 6, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the HKMA) announced two initiatives targeted at raising Hong Kong’s profile as a fintech hub: the setting up of the Fintech Innovation Hub (the Hub) and the Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (the Sandbox).
Why Design Matters: It Can Determine Whether an Online Agreement is Enforceable
*Updated on September 8, 2016
Despite Lenient View of Standing, Appellate Court Dismisses “Clearly Meritless” Case on 12(b)(6) Grounds Not Considered by the District Court; Lessons Abound
German guidance on employee monitoring a reminder to carefully craft Acceptable Use Policies
Earlier this year, German data protection authorities issued guidance (in German) for companies regarding monitoring employees’ work email account and Internet usage. The guidance establishes a framework based on the German Federal Data Protection Act (“FDPA”) and whether the employer allows employees to use their work email and Internet services for personal use. Where personal use is prohibited, the data protection recognize a greater scope for monitoring. The guidance also recognizes that employers may randomly check employees’ Internet use to ensure it is being used only for business purposes. Further, employers may access an employees’ sent and received emails during a long absence if required for business purposes.
Second Circuit Microsoft Ruling: A Plea for Congressional Action
*This article originally appeared in Law360 on August 1, 2016.
On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a long-awaited decision that — to the surprise of many observers — rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act and instead embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft Corp. had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups. The decision holds that electronic communications that are stored exclusively on foreign servers cannot be reached by U.S. prosecutors under the SCA’s warrant provisions — not even where the warrant is served on a U.S. provider that can access the foreign-stored information, and deliver it to U.S. officials, entirely by using computers and personnel based here in the United States. Microsoft Corp. v. USA, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E‐Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corporation (2d Cir. July 14, 2016)( Docket No. 14‐2985).
HHS Office for Civil Rights Updates Its Website with Guidance on HIPAA Audits and Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs)
HHS-OCR has updated its website with guidance on two important and current issues: ongoing HIPAA audits and deidentification. After officially launching phase two of its audit program earlier this month, sending notification letters to 167 covered entities, HHS-OCR has posted updated guidance on its website regarding the audits. Unrelated to the audits, OCR also posted guidance on the treatment of unique device identifiers (UDIs) under HIPAA’s standards for de-identification and limited data sets.
Russia announces new laws requiring telecoms, internet service providers retain personal data and increasing penalties for online hate speech
On July 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law amending existing anti-terrorism legislation that could affect U.S. telecom and internet service companies operating in Russia. It will require that telecommunications operators and internet service providers (“ISPs”) retain up to 6 months of data, including personal data and communications content, as well as metadata, for periods up to 3 years. Further, if any encryption is used to protect the data, the telecommunication or internet service provider must provide the Russian authorities the decryption technology.
Second Circuit Sides With Microsoft; Data Exclusively Stored On Foreign Servers Not Subject to SCA Search Warrant
On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a long-awaited decision that—to the surprise of many observers—rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and instead embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups. Microsoft Corp. v USA, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E‐Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corporation (2d Cir. July 14, 2016)( Docket No. 14‐2985). (Sidley Austin LLP represented a number of amici in support of Microsoft before the Court of Appeals and District Court.) The decision holds that electronic communications that are stored exclusively on foreign servers cannot be reached by U.S. prosecutors under the SCA’s warrant provisions—not even where the warrant is served on a U.S. provider that can access the foreign-stored information, and deliver it to U.S. officials, by using computers and personnel based here in the United States.
The New Privacy Cop Patrolling the Internet
*This piece originally appeared in Fortune Magazine on May 10, 2016.
As our online footprints grow in size and scope, it is more important than ever for Internet companies to protect us against hackers and disclose how they use our personal data. The Federal Trade Commission was long the main privacy cop enforcing these essential consumer protections. But last year, the FTC’s sister agency—the Federal Communications Commission—reclassified broadband ISPs as common carriers outside the FTC’s jurisdiction. Unless the courts reverse that decision, there are now two privacy cops on the Internet beat. The FCC polices ISPs like Verizon, Charter, and Sprint, while the FTC continues policing everyone else, from Google and Facebook to Apple and Amazon.
South Korea Releases Guidance on Right to Be Forgotten
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) announced on April 29 that individuals in South Korea will be able to request website administrators and search engine operators remove certain digital content of personal information as early as June 2016.