U.S. Supreme Court Poses New Questions About the Scope of Hobbs Act Review

On June 20, in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that had been adverse to the interests of our client, PDR Network. Both the majority and concurring opinions in PDR Network raise interesting issues for lower courts to ponder as they consider how much to defer to agency decision making.

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Supreme Court Clarifies Broad Interpretation of FOIA Exemption for Confidential Commercial Information

In a very significant FOIA decision for business, Food Mktg. Inst. v. Argus Leader Media, decided on June 24, 2019, the Supreme Court reversed 45 years of understanding that Exemption 4 only protects confidential business information whose disclosure by the government would cause “substantial competitive harm.”

Relying on the plain meaning of words in the statute – rather than what the Court majority characterized as muddled legislative history – the Court found that the D.C. Circuit had engrafted a condition on the Exemption that is not supported by the text.  Rather, so long as the commercial or financial information obtained by the government is “private” or “secret” – the plain and ordinary meaning of “confidential” – it may be withheld from disclosure under FOIA.

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Upcoming Webinar: Consumer-Permissioned Data Sharing: Risks, Gaps and Solutions

Data aggregators and fintech providers are now offering services that let consumers manage their finances using information from multiple accounts at multiple financial institutions. This kind of consumer data access raises serious questions about the relationship between financial institutions and consumer-designated third parties. This webinar will cover the risks that come with consumer-permissioned information sharing, current gaps and solutions in the existing legal framework to address these risks and issues that can be addressed contractually between various stakeholders.

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Maine’s Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information

Since the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act (Cal. Civ. Code §1798.100 et seq.) (“CCPA”), several states are following in California’s footsteps and adopting privacy bills that would allow consumers to object to the sale of their personal information.

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The CCPA Ripple Effect: Nevada Passes Privacy Legislation

With about half a year to go until the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)’s effective date, and with significant amendments still percolating to define the scope and impact of the CCPA come 2020, other states continue to consider whether to adopt new and broader privacy laws of their own, with Nevada recently taking the distinction of being the first to follow the CCPA trend.  While the scope and obligations of the Nevada law is significantly narrower than the CCPA and thus largely will align with current CCPA implementation projects, the new Nevada law does expand upon the CCPA in one particularly notable way—it moves the deadline to facilitate opt-outs of sales of personal information up to October 2019.

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