The European Commission has released proposals for new legislation that seeks to create stronger privacy in electronic communications. The draft Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (the “Regulation”) is intended to replace the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) and will also bring the law in line with the new rules as set out in the General Data Protection … Continue Reading
The CJEU (the European Union Court of Justice) has handed down a decision which makes clear that general and indiscriminate retention of electronic communications is unlawful. National legislation of each European Member State should ensure that mass surveillance only occurs where it is strictly necessary in order to combat serious crime as well as terrorism … Continue Reading
The dream of hack-proof communication just got a little closer to reality. On August 16, 2016, China launched the world’s first “quantum satellite,” a project the Chinese government hopes will enable it to build a communication system incapable of being hacked. Such a system, if perfected, would allow for encrypted communications between any two devices … Continue Reading
Oregon became the first state to adopt the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (“Revised UFADAA”) when Governor Kate Brown signed Oregon Senate Bill 1554 into law on March 3, 2016. The law will become effective on January 1, 2017.… Continue Reading
Two states – New Jersey and Connecticut – have recently imposed additional legal conditions on electronic messaging to mobile devices. In a few ways, these laws may raise the bar for companies on compliance when sending text messages and possibly other forms of messaging to mobile devices. On October 27, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris … Continue Reading
Connecticut has joined a list of twenty-one states with a statute designed to preserve the privacy of personal online accounts of employees and limit the use of information related to such accounts in employment decision-making. Legislation directed to online privacy of employees has also passed this year in Montana, Virginia, and Oregon, and such legislation … Continue Reading
In the largest ever data security enforcement action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The FCC announced the settlement on April 8, 2015, stating that phone companies are expected to “zealously guard” their customers’ … Continue Reading
Traditionally, a person’s most valuable assets to be distributed upon death consisted of tangible items such as real property, cash, jewelry and personal effects of sentimental value like photographs and letters. However, the advent of the digital age has brought a shift from file cabinets, mailmen and photo albums to cloud storage, e-mail accounts and … Continue Reading
Corporate Counsel published an article authored by Nolan Goldberg, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property and Technology, concerning the recent decision compelling Microsoft to produce e-mails located on foreign servers. The article, entitled “Is the Flap Over Microsoft Emails in Ireland Overblown?”, provides a counter-point to critics who believe that Judge Preska’s Order will have broad implications … Continue Reading
In January 2011, David Cheng (Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against his former co-worker and fellow radiologist, Laura Romo (Defendant), alleging a violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and Massachusetts privacy law. After the U.S District Court of Massachusetts denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on both counts, the case went to trial and the … Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published on its website a series of factsheets designed to educate consumers unfamiliar with their rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules. These four factsheets are described in detail below. I. OCR Consumer Factsheet: … Continue Reading
On May 28th, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (“CNIL”), the French authority responsible for data privacy, published guidance on breach notification law affecting electronic communications service providers. The guidance was issued with reference to European Directive 2002/58/EC, the e-Privacy Directive, which imposes specific breach notification requirements on electronic communication service providers. French legislator recently amended … Continue Reading
In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit held that "the ECPA unambiguously applies to foreign citizens." In Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft, Suzlon Energy demanded Microsoft to produce emails from the Hotmail email account of an Indian citizen imprisoned abroad. The district court held that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA") prohibited Microsoft from producing the documents even though the individual was not a U.S. citizen. The Ninth Circuit affirmed.
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Hot on the trail of the FTC's recent report on privacy, the GSMA, the London-based industry association representing over 800 cellular network operators worldwide, released its "high-level" Mobile Privacy Principles (the "Principles") on January 27, 2011.
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A preliminary injunction recently obtained by the State of Missouri against Sirius XM Radio, Inc. provides a reminder that some states have “Do Not Call” lists that are separate from the National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.… Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of California held that Vonage did not violate California law by sending commercial e-mail advertisements to individuals from multiple domain names for the purpose of bypassing e-mail filters.
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In an important decision for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving an employee's assertion that a government employer had violated the Fourth Amendment by unreasonably obtaining and reviewing personal text messages sent and received on employer-issued pagers. The decision, a victory for employers, provides helpful guidance for management of electronic communication systems and workplace searches. Read this alert to learn more about the decision and how it may affect you.
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The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that a plaintiff may maintain a suit for receiving an unsolicited text message under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, even though the plaintiff was not actually charged for receiving the message. In the ruling, the court noted that in enacting the TCPA, Congress was concerned with consumers' privacy rights and the nuisances of telemarketing.
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In August, we wrote about the ruling of a New Jersey appellate court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., in which the court took a very narrow view of the ability of employers to monitor the e-mail communications of employees over its computer networks. In that case, which is now on appeal to the … Continue Reading
On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Quon v. Arch Wireless, previously discussed here. The dissent (1) disagrees with the panel's conclusion that the SWAT team members had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages on the grounds that the decision undermines the standard established by the Supreme Court in O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 (1987); and (2) finds that the method used by the panel to determine whether the search was reasonable conflicts with Supreme Court precedent holding that the Fourth Amendment does not require the government to use the "least intrusive means" when conducting a "special needs" search. The dissent can be found here. Judge Wardlaw's concurrence in the denial of rehearing en banc can be found here. We will keep you posted on this one.
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The June 18, 2008 Ninth Circuit panel decision in Quon et al. v. Arch Wireless et al., No. 07-55282 (9th Cir. June 18, 2008) has sparked a flurry of news reports and speculation regarding employers’ ability to monitor employees’ e-mails and text messages. In fact, the decision appears to change very little for private employers who … Continue Reading
In a decision that will significantly impact the ability of the government to access electronic communications, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on June 18, 2007, affirmed a district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction prohibiting governmental entities from obtaining Internet Service Providers’ (“ISP”) subscribers’ e-mail communications unless the subscriber first … Continue Reading
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