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Author: Hogan Lovells International LLP

Much-Needed TCPA Reform Would Support Small Businesses and Spur Economic Benefits

Growing evidence suggests that existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) compliance challenges, and the current TCPA litigation landscape, are increasingly a threat to many U.S. companies – particularly small businesses that have fewer resources and could face financial ruin if targeted by a class action lawsuit.  To help address this issue and support the U.S. economy, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) should revise the current TCPA framework and facilitate reasonable, practical compliance approaches for companies attempting in good faith to communicate with customers. Congress enacted the TCPA more than 25 years ago, long before most U.S. households...

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Big Data and Digital Markets Remain in the Focus of Competition Authorities – German FCO Continues to Lead the Way

On 6 October, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) launched its new series of papers on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy.” The first paper deals with “Big Data and Competition.” The same day, a “real-life example” of competition enforcement in Big Data became public. The EU Commission confirmed unannounced inspections in “a few Member States” concerning online access to bank customer’s account data by competing service providers. In the words of Andreas Mundt, president of the FCO “the special characteristics of digital markets have created new challenges for competition policy and enforcement.” With its new series...

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Managing Workforce Cyber Risk in a Global Landscape: A Legal Review

Whether malicious or inadvertent, workforce actions cause or contribute to over half of cyber attacks experienced by organizations. Protecting against such “insider” cyber risks can be challenging, especially given the global web of privacy, communications secrecy, and employment laws that may be implicated by monitoring workforce use of IT resources. Harriet Pearson and James Denvil, lawyers in the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, have led the authorship of a white paper to help companies understand and navigate the workforce cyber risk landscape. An international team of privacy and cybersecurity lawyers from Hogan Lovells and select local counsel firms...

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UK’s Draft GDPR Implementation Law: The Starting Point

On September 13, the U.K. government introduced in Parliament the Data Protection Bill. The main aim of the bill is to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 into U.K. domestic law. However, as perhaps reflected in the length and complexity of the bill, it is also intended to do several other things, including: Implementing the Law Enforcement Directive 2016/680, which member states have until May 6, 2018, to transpose into national law; Adopting the standards of the Council of Europe’s draft modernized Convention 108 on processing of personal data carried out by the intelligence services; and Ensuring...

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Focus on Google DeepMind under the GDPR’s Lens

The Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) ruled, on 3 July 2017, that the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) had failed to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) when it provided 1.6 million patient details to Google DeepMind as part of a trial diagnosis and detection system for acute kidney injury, and required the Trust to sign an undertaking. The investigation brings together some of the most potent and controversial issues in data privacy today; sensitive health information and its use by the public sector to develop solutions combined with innovative technology driven by a sophisticated global...

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FCC Privacy Rules Break New Ground

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) long-awaited – and much debated – privacy rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have now been adopted.  The agency approved the rules by a 3-2 vote along political party lines last Thursday. Several of the FCC requirements are particularly notable for being more restrictive than the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) standards for consumer online privacy.  In this post we provide an overview of some of the new FCC rules and highlight key areas where the FCC’s requirements diverge from the FTC’s framework. Requirements for ISPs Although the full text of the FCC’s decision has not yet been released, an agency fact sheet provides details on some of the key requirements: Transparency.  The rules require that ISPs, whether they offer mobile broadband or fixed broadband services, to: (1) notify customers about what types of information the ISP collects about customers; (2) specify how and for what purposes the ISP uses and shares this information; and (3) identify the types of entities with which the ISP shares this information. Consumer Choice.  ISPs must obtain opt-in consent to use and share “sensitive information” such as precise geolocation information, web browsing history, app usage history, the content of communications, and health information.  ISPs must also provide consumers an ability to opt out of the use and sharing of non-sensitive information.  Certain exceptions to these consent standards are provided,...

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Congress Looking at Potential Energy-Sector Cybersecurity and Privacy Reform

Energy-sector cybersecurity and privacy is generating significant attention of late. Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a final rule creating new standards for the cybersecurity of the electric grid. FERC followed this issuance with a report on electrical grid recovery and restoration planning that makes a number of recommendations for improved cyber-incident response and recovery plans. In parallel, the U.S. Congress is working on a variety of measures to combat perceived cybersecurity and privacy threats related to the powergrid. The failure of the powergrid in Ukraine due to security breaches; reports of ISIS and other foreign threats...

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