A federal judge in the Northern District of California delivered a blow to a potential class action lawsuit against Google over its ad auction practices. The lawsuit, which allegedly involved tens of millions of Google account holders, claimed Google’s practices in its real-time bidding (RTB) auctions violated users’ privacy rights. But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers declined to certify the class of consumers, pointing to deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ proposed class definition. 

On December 1, 2022, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Bulletin to highlight the obligations of HIPAA-covered entities and business associates when using “online tracking technologies,” or what OCR describes as “script or code on a website or mobile

During a much anticipated Open Commission Meeting announced by Commission Chair Lina M. Khan, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted in favor of issuing one new policy statement and one new report to Congress.

First, the Commission unanimously voted in favor of issuing a policy statement on FTC initiatives

The California Privacy Protection Agency (the “Agency”) released draft regulations to the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) on May 31, 2022 (the “Proposed Regulations”). The Proposed Regulations are drafted as comments to the California Attorney General’s regulations for the California Consumer Privacy Act, California’s landmark privacy law, which was amended

We previously reported on the FCC’s 2016 Privacy Order, “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” impacting Internet service providers’ data privacy practices and obligations and the corresponding timeline for compliance. Intervening events, however, have made the rules imposed by the 2016 Privacy Order moot. On June 26, 2017, the FCC adopted a new order providing guidance on reinstating the pre-2016 Privacy Order regulations. This order was issued pursuant to a joint resolution of Congress under the Congressional Review Act, signed by the President on April 3, 2017, disapproving the FCC’s 2016 Privacy Order. As a result, the 2016 Privacy Order has “no force or effect.” FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, stated that the purpose of the new order is to “simply make clear that the privacy rules that were in effect prior to 2016 are once again effective.”

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 and meets other stringent requirements.

The references were made by the Swedish and UK courts and concerned the interpretation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC, as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC) (the “Directive”), in light of the rights granted by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the “Charter”), particularly, the right to privacy (Article 7) and the right to protection of personal data (Article 8), and the decision of the CJEU in Digital Rights Ireland (C‑293/12 and C‑594/12).

On December 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) published its Report and Order entitled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (the “Order”) as a final rule in the Federal Register, adopting rules applicable to Internet service providers (“ISPs”) intended to protect the privacy of broadband consumers. Despite the publication of the rules in the Federal Register, uncertainty remains regarding when ISPs must be in compliance with some of these newly established privacy obligations. Although the rules are effective January 3, 2017, the FCC has made exceptions to the January 3, 2017 effective date for provisions which have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).[1] This includes many of the operative provisions of the new rules regarding ISPs’ data collection and use. Once such provisions are approved by the OMB, notice will be published in the Federal Register announcing their approval and corresponding effective dates.

Despite the uncertainty regarding the effective dates of many sections, the publication of the Order puts ISPs on notice of the new rules, and ISPs should begin revising their practices so that they are able to meet the earliest possible effective dates. Here is what ISPs need to know regarding compliance with the new rules: