New York City recently enacted a biometric ordinance that is set to come into effect July 9, 2021. With this ordinance, NYC joins other cities (like Portland) in regulating the use of biometric information. The ordinance may impact retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues in the city that use security cameras with facial-recognition technology or otherwise collect biometric identifiers from their customers.
Continue Reading New York City Biometric Ordinance Effective July 9, Are You Ready?

Nevada’s governor recently approved an amendment to their privacy law. As we covered previously, generally, this law affords consumers a right to opt out of the “sale” of their data to third parties.  The amendment broadens (1) the scope of the law to also apply to “data brokers” and (2) consumers right to opt-out of sale. The changes are expected to go into effect October 1, 2021.
Continue Reading Nevada Broadens its Privacy Law

The Supreme Court recently dealt a potential blow to the FTC’s enforcement tool chest.  In particular, the decision impacts its ability to seek monetary relief under a theory it has used in a wide variety of cases, included privacy and security ones, that monetary relief constitutes a “permanent injunction” on consumers’ behalf. In AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court held that while the FTC should be able to obtain injunctive relief to stop unfair practices, that power does not extend to seeking monetary relief for injured consumers.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Decision Impacts How FTC May Pursue Privacy Cases

As of this week, Apple’s requirements for apps to follow its AppTrackingTransparency are now in effect. These requirements went hand-in-hand with the iOS 14.5 launch, and impacts how an app can track users and access their advertising device IDs. In particular, consumer consent is now required if the app collects consumer information and shares it with others “for purposes of tracking across apps and web sites.” Apple has provided developers with specific implementation steps, which will be reviewed when apps are submitted to Apple for approval. As part of the submission, companies need to explain why they want to track users, as required under Apple’s guidelines.
Continue Reading Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Now In Effect

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has spawned hundreds of class action lawsuits and a raft of unresolved issues.  A core issue from a litigation perspective—as well as for companies bracing for potential lawsuits—is one of “standing,” and in particular, what BIPA claims can be brought by plaintiffs in what venues.

Continue Reading Beware BIPA Bifurcation: Plaintiffs’ New Gambit to Split BIPA Claims Between State and Federal Courts 

The FTC recently settled with Flo Health, Inc., a popular fertility-tracking app, based on promises made about how health data would be shared.  In its complaint, the FTC alleged that while Flo promised to keep users’ health data private and only use it to provide the app’s services to users, in fact, health information of over 100 million users was being shared with popular third party companies. Namely, third parties who provided marketing and analytics services to the app.
Continue Reading FTC Settles with Fertility Tracking App For Alleged Deceptive Data Sharing Practices

The FCC recently adopted new rules that will limit the volume of calls that can be made to residential phones under certain TCPA consent exceptions. The new rules affect non-telemarketing calls that use an artificial or prerecorded voice. For years, companies have been able to make unlimited numbers of these calls to residential lines without the need for prior express consent if the exceptions applied. Beginning later in 2021, companies will need to follow volume limits for the following types of exempted calls, unless they have obtained prior express consent to make more calls. The new limits will apply to calls that fall into one of these consent exceptions:
Continue Reading FCC Sets Volume Limits For Some Prerecorded Calls to Home Phones

Throughout 2020 we saw many enforcement actions brought by EU and U.S. regulators. Whether for allegations of deception (misleading privacy representations) or unfairness (failure to protect information), COVID did not appear to slow down regulatory action. Laws that many companies forget about -or don’t know as well- were enforced by regulators, as well as through class action lawsuits. This included the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Continue Reading 2020 In Review: Ongoing Enforcement Actions and a Patchwork of Privacy Laws

The California Attorney General recently released a third set of proposed modifications to the CCPA regulations. As we previously covered, the CCPA regulations were approved and went into effect on August 14, 2020. Many companies will likely be frustrated by the fact that new changes have been proposed again, just two months after the final version was approved. Companies have until October 28, 2020 to submit comments to the AG on the modifications.
Continue Reading Will CCPA Regulation Change Again?: Comment Deadline Looming

In this remote era, companies are increasingly being approached by their business teams with ideas about products and services that involve video or audio recordings of their consumers. It may also involve letting people manipulate photos of themselves. Sometimes, those recordings and pictures are of children. Content that contain images or audio of individuals are considered personal information under many laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). What does this mean for companies? As we discussed in our previous blog post, COPPA requires obtaining parental consent if the personal information collected is being collected by the company online, and being collected from the child. The FTC’s recently streamlined FAQs help companies find and understand obligations if collecting photos or recordings from children. Namely, a reminder that this content is personal, and does require verifiable parental consent before being collected.
Continue Reading Back to School Special: Recordings, Photos, Kids, and Parental Consent

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a set of draft principles for “explainable” artificial intelligence and is accepting comments until October 15, 2020. The authors of the draft principles outline four ways that those who develop AI systems can ensure that consumers understand the decisions reached by AI systems. The four principles are:
Continue Reading NIST Seeking Comments on Draft AI Principles