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California relaxes key telehealth regulatory requirements during COVID-19 emergency

On March 17, 2020, the federal government relaxed a number of telehealth-related regulatory requirements due to COVID-19. On April 3, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-43-20 (the Order), which relaxes various telehealth reporting requirements, penalties, and enforcements otherwise imposed under state laws, including those associated with unauthorized access and disclosure of personal … Continue Reading

German government introduces new bill to amend Germany’s Hate Speech Act, establishing new requirements for social networks and video-sharing platforms

On April 1, 2020, Germany’s federal government published a new draft bill to amend the German Hate Speech Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – “NetzDG”; see also our earlier blog of October 2, 2017). The draft bill (“Bill”) is available in German here. The Bill will introduce a number of improvements for users of social networks. It will … Continue Reading

FCC issues guidance on the TCPA’s “emergency purposes exception” based on the COVID-19 pandemic

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the TCPA) restricts telemarketing and the use of automated telephone equipment for phone calls, faxes, and text messages. The TCPA provides a private right of action and significant statutory penalties, and therefore is an area of significant risk for any company that communicates with its customers, particularly by phone or … Continue Reading

Final blow to the UPC project? German law ratifying UPCA is void

European countries have pursued the project of creating a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court (UPC), since the early seventies. Success seemed within reach in 2013 when the international Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) was concluded and subsequently ratified by several states. However, in 2017 the project came to a grinding halt … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues final rules expected to transform how certain stakeholders share patient information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released companion interoperability and information blocking final rules that will significantly impact the way in which certain health care providers, health information technology (IT) developers, and health plans share patient information. For a discussion on major provisions of these rules, please read our post on our … Continue Reading

Singapore data protection law FAQ for employers

Since coming into effect in 2014, Singapore’s personal data protection law has been active enforcing the law since its passing. The law applies to all organizations operating in Singapore, regardless of their size and the nature of their business. Companies that employ personnel in Singapore must take note of how Singapore data protection law applies … Continue Reading

Vermont Attorney General brings first data broker enforcement action

On March 10, 2020, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan initiated an enforcement action based on Vermont’s new data broker law against Clearview AI, Inc. Vermont’s data broker law, which became effective January 1, 2019, governs data brokers, which it defines as companies that collect and sell or license to third parties the personal information of … Continue Reading

Still working on it – draft CCPA regulations are modified a second time

Last week, on March 11, the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General (AG) released its second set of revisions to its draft regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This second set of proposed revisions is based in part on comments received in response to an initial set of proposed revisions … Continue Reading

Georgia AG, FTC and US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform discuss “crazy quilt patchwork” of privacy laws in the US

On March 2, 2020, Reed Smith and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) presented a panel discussion on 2020 privacy laws and trends featuring Attorney General Christopher Carr of Georgia; Linda Holleran Kopp of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and Oriana Senatore, … Continue Reading

A legal outlook on the three most common barriers to upgrading archiving technology

Modern businesses have a more global reach than ever before. Technology has fundamentally changed the way employees work, communicate and collaborate. While global connectivity offers businesses opportunities, it also creates substantial challenges when it comes to archiving communications. Earlier this month, we co-hosted a thought leadership event in New York City with Smarsh, a multinational … Continue Reading

The growth of Adtech and how it falls into privacy laws’ crosshairs

The onslaught of privacy regulations has impacted every industry and, while it seems that no industry can be flat footed – from auto manufacturers to ecommerce platforms – one in particular has had to remain especially nimble: the advertising technology (Adtech) industry.  The Adtech industry has struggled with privacy regulations, including the CCPA, but it … Continue Reading

California legislature proposes ‘urgency statute’ to revise CCPA’s health care and research exemptions

As currently drafted, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) leaves many questions unresolved regarding how the law applies to data collected and used in the health care and life sciences industries, particularly in the research context. Clinical research sponsors and other industry participants have raised concerns about how the CCPA may impede care delivery and … Continue Reading

Wisconsin representative proposes “groundbreaking” data privacy law modeled after GDPR, including statutory penalties up to $20 million or 4 percent of total annual revenue

A trio of consumer data privacy bills modeled after Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been introduced in the Wisconsin State Assembly. The three bills, collectively dubbed the Wisconsin Data Privacy Act (WDPA), were sponsored by Republican State Representative Shannon Zimmerman, who is seeking to make Wisconsin “the most consumer-friendly state in our nation … Continue Reading

First decision on qualification of Bitcoins made by German tax court

On July 20, 2019 the German tax court for the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg published the first decision of a German tax court on the qualification of “bitcoins” in a provisional legal protection procedure. The court confirmed that a bitcoin qualifies as an “asset” for German taxation and (tax) accounting purposes. At the … Continue Reading

New key features of FTC data security orders highlighted by Consumer Protection Bureau Director

On January 6, 2020, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, published a blog post highlighting recent changes to the Commission’s enforcement orders relating to data security. Industry leaders, law practitioners, Congress, and even the courts have been critical of aspects of the Commission’s data security orders.  In … Continue Reading

Circuit split on automatic telephone dialing systems under the TCPA reinforces importance of obtaining prior express written consent

A federal court in Missouri recently held that a restaurant’s promotional text messages did not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the messaging equipment used by the restaurant did not qualify as an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) as defined by the statute. The district court noted a split between the circuit courts … Continue Reading

#Ad #Germany – Update for influencers

On February 13, 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) published a proposal to soften the regulatory requirements for influencers for labeling their posts as advertising (Proposal). Under the Proposal, statements posted on social media about products for which no consideration was given – either in the form of monetary compensation or other … Continue Reading

It’s time to reassess cookie compliance in France

Companies have been challenged with respect to their cookie policies and their implementation due to the entry into force of the GDPR earlier than the proposed ePrivacy Regulation  Given the delay in the adoption of an EU-wide regulation on e-privacy, national data protection authorities have taken the initiative in publishing guidelines on cookies requirements. The … Continue Reading

California Attorney General issues revised draft regulations with key changes for regulated businesses

The public spoke and the California Attorney General (AG) listened.  Nearly four months after releasing initial proposed CCPA regulations, the California AG has issued a revised draft addressing many of the comments and concerns of both industry and privacy attorneys.  Although the structure and fundamental principles have not changed, the revisions will impact most CCPA … Continue Reading

2020 could be a monumental year for adtech

With the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) coming into effect on January 1 and the announcement on 14 January from Google that it will be phasing out third party cookies within the next two years, it seems that 2020 will be a significant year for the adtech industry as industry players react with solutions and … Continue Reading

What’s next with Brexit, data protection and data transfers?

Following the UK Conservatives Party’s landslide victory in December 2019, there were immediate implications for the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union, which resulted in the UK withdrawing from the EU on 31 January 2020. With the European Parliament’s approval of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK is now in a transition period until 31 December … Continue Reading

Novel coronavirus outbreak throws up data privacy questions for businesses in China, Hong Kong and Singapore

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on January 30, 2020, that the outbreak of 2019 nCoV (novel coronavirus) is a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” Further information is available in the WHO statement. On January 31, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States also declared a public health … Continue Reading

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh talks to Reed Smith about privacy and consumer protection

Reed Smith IP, Tech & Data attorneys Divonne Smoyer and Alexis Cocco conducted an in-depth Q&A with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. During the interview, he discusses his priorities for data privacy and security for Maryland, including his hopes for future legislation in both Maryland and federally. AG Frosh is currently in his second term … Continue Reading

Bipartisan proposals, FTC review signal likely changes to COPPA

With newly proposed legislation, the House has joined the Senate in introducing bipartisan legislation making changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This pending legislation, when combined with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ongoing COPPA review and workshop, foreshadows expanded COPPA protections, especially for teenagers between 13 and 15 years of age. In … Continue Reading
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