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 with absolute certainty that the encryption could not be broken, and with a built-in mechanism for alerting the sender/receiver if someone tried.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as “Drones,” are soaring in popularity – the Federal Aviation Administration saw more than 300,000 drones registered in just the first 30 days since they introduced a registration system on December 21, 2015. Drones have the potential to be a truly transformative technology; they are already disrupting business models in economic sectors as diverse as shipping and photography, and their proliferation as consumer devices has barely begun to be realized. However, the quick adoption of this new technology raises serious issues of for privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.
Over the course of the coming weeks, we will examine the various options available to companies in light of the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) decision invalidating the US-EU Safe Harbor framework, including model contracts, binding corporate rules (BCRs), consent and reliance on derogations.
News out of Germany, however, indicates that a one-size-fits all approach to data transfers from the EU to the U.S. may be difficult to achieve.
The US-EU Safe Harbor has been back in the news recently as Germany’s data protection commissioners met at the end of January and expressed impatience at the delay in implementing what many view as necessary reforms to the program. The European Court of Justice also recently heard a challenge to Facebook’s reliance on the Safe Harbor for the transfer of user data in what many see as an important test case; this lawsuit will be the topic of a future blog post.
On January 23, 2015, Senior Attorney Lesley Fair at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) posted on the Agency’s business blog clarifying how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) applies to schools. COPPA seeks to protect the privacy of children by allowing parents to control what personal information about their children under the age of thirteen may be collected by “operators” of websites or online services, including apps, that are either directed to children or that knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children. Subject to certain regulatory exceptions, the entities covered by COPPA must notify parents and obtain consent before collecting, using, or disclosing any personal information from children under thirteen.
On September 27, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new privacy law that has significant repercussions for nearly every business in the United States that operates a commercial website or online service and collects “personally identifiable information” (which means, under the law, “individually identifiable information about an individual consumer collected…
The FTC released its final report titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Business and Policymakers” which sets forth principles that companies are recommended to follow with respect to their privacy practices.