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The SEC Announces Two New Initiatives to Address Digital Token Sales

At the end of September, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced two new initiatives to address cyber-based threats and protect retail investors. In the press release, the SEC outlined the creation of the Cyber Unit (“Unit”) and the Retail Strategy Task Force (“RSTF”).  The Unit will focus on targeting cyber-related misconduct.  The RSTF was established … Continue Reading

The FCA Speaks Out on Initial Coin Offerings

The initial coin offerings (ICOs) regulatory map has begun to take shape with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia offering their opinions on ICOs.  The FCA recently stated that ICOs are “very high-risk, speculative investments.”  The Dubai … Continue Reading

Busy Summer for Distributed Ledger Technology

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and cryptocurrency have been a hot topic this summer.  DLT has begun its transition from a proof-of-concept phase, to a real world deployment. Some of the changes over the last six weeks include: Bitcoin splitting into two currencies; the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), and the Monetary … Continue Reading

SEC Securities Trading Suspension for Three Blockchain- Related Companies

Digital tokens are now being incorporated into federal and state regulatory regimes.  Over the past two weeks, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has suspended the trading of company securities of three publicly-traded blockchain-related companies The first company to be suspended was CIAO Group, Inc. (“CIAU”) due to questions regarding the accuracy of statements pertaining … Continue Reading

SEC Increases Focus on Cyber Incident Response

In the past few years, we have seen an uptick in agencies beginning to focus on the cybersecurity readiness and response of organizations subject to their jurisdiction. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example, has identified cybersecurity as a top priority for many years. This past June, the SEC named Stephanie Avakian and … Continue Reading

ECPA Reform Legislation on the Horizon (Again)

Three bipartisan Senate bills are up for consideration in Congress that would attempt to modernize the legal standards under which the U.S. government can access communications electronically stored by email service providers and cloud computing companies. The proposed bills, introduced July 27, 2017, each provide a different scheme in updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act … Continue Reading

FCA guidance on tackling cyber crime

The Financial Conduct Authority recently released guidance regarding cyber resilience (in the form of new webpages) which FCA regulated firms should take account of. While many larger regulated firms have substantial cyber resilience systems in place, the FCA is well aware that all firms are still vulnerable to attack, and that cyber attacks can impact … Continue Reading

The UK FCA Publish Discussion Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology

The UK FCA Publish Discussion Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology Regulators globally are focused on understanding industry consumers’ views on distributed ledger technology’s (DLT) potential risks and opportunities. On 10 April 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a discussion paper DP17/3 on DLT, and followed it with a speech at the Innovate Finance … Continue Reading

Launching New Multistate Assessment Tool for Data Breach Notification Obligations

Nearly every state in the United States requires notification when certain personal information is lost, stolen, or misused. However, the many state laws vary in subtle but crucial respects, making it difficult to get to a bottom line quickly. Reed Smith’s Information Technology, Privacy & Data Security practice is thrilled to release a first-of-its-kind tool … Continue Reading

Impact of online sales restrictions on EU and German competition enforcement

In the course of its E-commerce Sector Inquiry (Sector Inquiry) launched in May 2015, the European Commission gained an insight into the standard business practices engaged in by producers of consumer goods when distributing their products online. The Sector Inquiry, which formed part of the Commission’s wider Digital Single Market Strategy, was recently completed, with … Continue Reading

European Commission Fines Facebook US$122 Million for Providing Inaccurate Information in WhatsApp Merger Review

The European Commission has imposed a fine of EUR110 million (US$122 million) on Facebook for providing misleading or incorrect information to the European Commission when it filed the acquisition of WhatsApp for merger approval in 2014. In the notification, Facebook stated that it would be unable to establish a reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ … Continue Reading

Importance of State AGs in Privacy in the United States – Interview of CT AG George Jepsen by Professor Danielle Citron at IAPP Privacy Bar Section Forum

Notwithstanding potential changes to privacy regulation at the federal level, state attorneys general (AGs) will continue to be robust and influential privacy policymakers and enforcers in the United States – that was the key takeaway of an interview by University of Maryland Law Professor Danielle Citron of Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen at the IAPP … Continue Reading

Data Privacy and Security Legal Reform, and Plaintiffs’ Bar White Paper the Focus of IAPP Panel

A panel on legal reform in the area of privacy and data security at this week’s IAPP Summit provided an opportunity for a discussion between businesses and regulators, as well as for the launch of a white paper on the activities of the plaintiffs’ bar in this area that Reed Smith prepared for the U.S. … Continue Reading

Germany’s approach against criminal content on social networks faces resistance by stakeholders

On 5 April 2017, the German Federal Minister of Justice’s new bill aimed at improving enforcement of rights in social networks (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verbesserung der Rechtsdurchsetzung in sozialen Netzwerken; Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG, the Bill; see our previous blog) has, in a slightly revised version, been adopted by the Federal Cabinet (Bundeskabinett) and is now … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Gather to Discuss Privacy Enforcement

A panel at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General highlighted data breaches and privacy in the context of new technology, signalling that state regulators are focused on consumer protection in this area. The panel at the Southern Regional Meeting in Charlottesville on April 4 was devoted to emerging technologies, privacy concerns, and … Continue Reading

Recent Open Meeting Foreshadows FCC Commissioners’ Views if ACA Decision Is Remanded

As the cherry blossoms prepare to bloom in Washington, D.C., our thoughts turn toward wondering when the D.C. Circuit will hand down its ruling in ACA International, et al v. FCC (Case No. 15-1211). This case, you will recall, is the consolidation of a number of appeals challenging the July 10, 2015, Order in which … Continue Reading

German Federal Minister of Justice introduces new bill against criminal content on social networks

On 14 March 2017, the German Federal Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas, announced a new bill aimed at improving the application of the law to social networks (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verbesserung der Rechtsdurchsetzung in sozialen Netzwerken; Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG, the Bill). The Bill strengthens the rights of individuals who are affected by ‘hate speech’ … Continue Reading

FTC’s FinTech Forum continues focus on emerging technologies including AI and Blockchain Technologies

The Federal Trade Commission continues its efforts to be the leading federal regulator in the areas of privacy and data security.  Its latest FinTech Forum highlights emerging issues relating to blockchain, machine learning, and related tools that increasingly influence how sensitive information about consumers is collected, used, shared and secured.  These programs help inform the … Continue Reading

Vizio Settlement with FTC May Signal Future Direction of Agency Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with VIZIO, Inc., may have created a new definition of “sensitive information” that includes viewing data, but the opinion of Acting Chairperson Maureen Ohlhausen may provide further insight on how the agency will act under the new administration. On February 6, the FTC settled charges with VIZIO, one of the … Continue Reading

OMB Federal Agency Data Breach Guidelines – Considerations for Industry

Earlier in February, the Executive Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued Memorandum M-17-12 to federal agencies to set out guidelines and procedures for preparing for or responding to a breach involving the release of personally identifiable information (“PII”). The OMB’s suggested framework specifically aims to “[assess] and mitigate the risk of harm to individuals … Continue Reading

NIS Directive to be implemented in UK despite Brexit

In January, the UK government confirmed that it will be implementing the EU’s Network and Information Security Directive (NIS Directive) regardless of Brexit. EU countries have until 9 May 2018 to implement the Directive into their national laws. Given Brexit, the UK government confirmed in its Cyber Security Regulation and Incentives Review that details of the … Continue Reading

“Do as I say, not as I do”: A business specialising in blocking unsolicited marketing calls is fined for making unsolicited marketing calls

“Do as I say, not as I do” It is difficult to miss the irony of the ICO’s first-awarded fine for nuisance calls since taking over the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), as reported in our earlier blog in December. IT Protect Ltd., a Bognor Regis firm in the business of selling a call-blocking device that … Continue Reading
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