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
On December 17, 2009, a class action suit was filed against online movie rental giant, Netflix, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs in Doe v. Netflix are claiming that Netflix has “perpetrated the largest voluntary privacy breach to date.”
My very first blog post addressed a precedent-setting decision of the Central District of California holding that federal agents could not conduct a border search of the private and personal information stored on a traveler’s computer hard drive or electronic storage devices without reasonable suspicion. Eighteen months later, the Ninth Circuit has squarely reversed that decision. In a short opinion filed April 21, 2008, Judge O’Scannlain wrote in U.S. v. Arnold, No. 06-50581, that “reasonable suspicion is not needed for customs officials to search a laptop or other personal electronic storage devices at the border.” As far as the Ninth Circuit is concerned, for purposes of border searches under the Fourth Amendment, laptops and other electronic storage devices are not so much like a home or the human mind – they are more akin to luggage or a car.
FTC staff issued a statement today proposing four “self-regulatory” principles to guide businesses engaged in online behavioral advertising. FTC staff also seeks public comments on these principles as well as additional information on what other uses businesses are making of online tracking data. Interested parties can submit comments by February 22, 2008.
The statement, titled “Online Behavioral Advertising: Moving the Discussion Forward to Possible Self-Regulatory Principles” follows from the FTC’s town hall meeting held in early November 2007. There, FTC considered privacy issues raised by behavioral advertising and heard from consumer interest groups and businesses’ alike.