Last week, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, a case that may significantly impact the ability of plaintiffs to sue in federal court based solely on an alleged infringement of statutory rights. Plaintiffs often allege violation of statutory rights in privacy cases where standing for common law causes of action has proven more difficult to demonstrate and dismissal more frequent. A ruling from Supreme Court could upend this strategy, forcing plaintiffs to allege more than just a statutory injury across all their claims.
In its recent Open Internet Order, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission determined that broadband Internet access services are appropriately classified as common carrier “telecommunications services” under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In doing so, the agency established itself as the primary U.S. data privacy and security regulator for those services and triggered additional requirements under the Act. It also promised a future rulemaking that could result in a sea change in how ISPs and their business partners interact with consumer data. Although the decision is widely expected to be appealed in court, organizations operating across the broadband ecosystem would be prudent to assess the potential impact on their current and planned online service portfolio.
Hogan Lovells today published the next installment in a series of White Papers examining government access to data held by service providers. Today’s publication, An Analysis of Service Provider Transparency Reports on Government Requests for Data, examines the most recent transparency reports published by Google, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter, and LinkedIn concerning law enforcement requests for data in multiple countries, concluding that when the numbers are adjusted for population sizes and the number of Internet users in each respective country, they reveal that the U.S. government requests information from these providers at a rate comparable to — and sometimes lower than — that of several other countries, including many European Union member states.
A recent federal court opinion raises concerns that privacy cases alleging violations of a standard user license agreement may be susceptible to class certification. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois certified a class in a consumer privacy lawsuit against comScore, Inc. Plaintiffs allege that comScore exceeded the scope of the […]
On October 3rd, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the first appeals court to extend the protections of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) to non-U.S. citizens when it held in Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp. that the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) provisions of the ECPA protect the confidentiality of all email communications stored in the United States, not just those of U.S. citizens. This broadening of the jurisdictional scope of the ECPA and SCA is likely to result in increased data privacy protection for foreign citizens, at least with regard to email communications that are physically stored on servers located in the U.S. In addition, the expanded scope of the law may simplify the process by which electronic communications service providers respond to requests for stored communications, likely alleviating the need to engage in an assessment of the citizenship of the data subject whose communications are sought.
Just as privacy remains front page news, it remains a subject of bi-partisan interest on Capitol Hill. This entry briefly describes (1) the oversight role Congressional committees are performing when privacy makes the news, (2) the establishment of a new Senate Judiciary Committee privacy subcommittee chaired by Senator Al Franken (D-MN); (3) the expected legislation to be introduced in the Senate; (3) the bills that have landed in the House and the other proposals expected there; (4) the focus on amendments to ECPA and CALEA; and (5) the contintuing innovations in state legislatures. In short, a two minute read on the state of privacy in the legislative branch.
This blog entry contains a link to an interview with Forbes of the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice leader Chris Wolf, touching on current hot topics in the area.