11th Circuit Vacates LabMD Enforcement Order; Casts Doubt on Decades of FTC Cybersecurity Enforcement Practices

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.    

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State Activity on Privacy: Vermont Is First to Regulate Data Brokers

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. 

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President Trump Signs Financial Services Regulatory Reform Legislation

On May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Act). The Act is effective immediately except as otherwise stated in certain provisions.

The Act makes many significant modifications to the postcrisis financial regulatory framework, although it leaves the core of that framework intact.

One major consequence of the Act may be an increased potential for mergers, acquisitions and organic growth among regional and midsize banks, as well as community banks, because of provisions that increase the thresholds that must be met before various financial regulatory requirements apply.

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European Data Protection Board Releases Statement on the Revision of the ePrivacy Regulation

On 28 May 2018, the European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB”) released a statement on the revision of the ePrivacy Regulation (the “proposed Regulation”) and its impact on the protection of individuals in relation to the privacy and confidentiality of their communications. It is the first statement of substance by the EDPB since it was established by the EU General Data Protection Regulation on 25 May 2018.  The statement calls on the European Commission, Parliament and Council to work together to ensure a swift adoption of the proposed Regulation, which will replace the current ePrivacy Directive (the “Directive”).

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Amid Growing Threats, White House Dismantles Top Cybersecurity Post

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.”

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GDPR Day is Here!

Whether you are marking today with a glass of champagne, a shot of whiskey, or a hot cup of tea, today marks a significant day for privacy professionals world-wide.

Here’s to all of the privacy professionals who have put in so many hours to prepare for the GDPR, fully effective as of Friday May 25, 2018 at midnight in Brussels; that is 6 PM eastern on Thursday, May 24th for toasting purposes.

For business executives, policymakers, and consumers who have become aware of the GDPR in recent weeks and are interested in learning more, visit our GDPR resource page here.

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