Archives: Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud (SMAC)

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Wisconsin Federal Court Finds Spokeo Spells the End for Consumer Privacy Class Action

In a sign of the continuing significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (May 24, 2016), another federal court has cited that ruling in dismissing claims for lack of Article III standing. In Gubula v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., No. 15-cv-1078 (E.D. Wis. June 17, 2016), … Continue Reading

German Court orders WhatsApp to provide consumers in Germany with T&Cs in German language

In a press release dated 17 May 2016, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) announced that on 8 April 2016, the Court of Appeal Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin; “Court”) issued a judgment against WhatsApp Inc., prohibiting WhatsApp the use of English Terms & Conditions on its website for contracts with consumers in Germany, unless … Continue Reading

The European Cloud Initiative: Will Data Protection Requirements Cause Stormy Weather?

The European Commission (EC) recently proposed the European Cloud Initiative (ECI): a plan to create a world-class data infrastructure to store, manage, transport and process data at high speeds. The primary aims are to support establishment of the ‘Digital Single Market’ in Europe, improve Europe’s position in data-driven innovation, and improve competitiveness and inspire cohesion … Continue Reading

Ofcom Releases Statement on Spectrum for the ‘Internet of Things’

Last year, we reported on Ofcom’s Statement on ‘Promoting investment and innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT)’ (Statement). IoT refers to the exponentially growing network of products that are capable of communicating with each other, such as smart watches and smart thermostats. The Statement identified four priority areas to support the growth of IoT … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget About Your Affiliates and Customers as Technology License End Users

Your business may license many different types of software and technology in the ordinary course. These licenses range from software installed on your internal network to use-rights in software-as-a-services (SaaS) models, where the programs reside on the vendor’s host systems and are accessed via the Internet (or in some other manner). In each case, you are … Continue Reading

Mobile apps and data protection, the ICO revisits

Given the widespread popularity and quotidian usage of mobile apps, the issue of privacy should not be forgotten. Last year the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) conducted a thorough privacy review of 21 popular mobile apps, and recently published a summary of the results on its blog. Although the findings were not excessively alarming, app developers … Continue Reading

Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015 Wins Support of Every Senator

There isn’t much that all members of the U.S. Senate can agree on these days, but protecting the ability of consumers to write reviews of businesses has emerged as a uniting issue. The Senate voted unanimously December 14 to approve the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which outlaws contract provisions that prohibit or restrict individuals’ ability … Continue Reading

San Francisco Launches First “Internet of Things” Wireless Network in United States

With the onslaught of smart watches, smart thermostats, and even smart refrigerators that allow you to Tweet hangry messages to your followers, it’s only natural that a “smart city” would follow. This week, San Francisco city officials agreed to run a one-year pilot project with Sigfox – an FCC certified French start-up that builds low-power … Continue Reading

Consumer Trust should be at the heart of the Digital Economy

A recent report summary produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘OECD’) highlighted that many countries are placing too much emphasis on developing their digital economies and are neglecting the privacy of individuals as a result. Drawing from surveys undertaken in most of the OECD’s 34 member countries, the OECD found that two-thirds … Continue Reading

‘Reform EU cloud protection rules or risk missing out on billions of euros’ worth of revenue’

The European Union economy stands to miss out on the benefits of cloud technology, as legislative measures across the individual Member States act to prevent businesses from using cloud services on an EU-wide level. The use of off-premise cloud technologies offers both economic and productivity benefits to start-ups and larger enterprises, but according to Pearse … Continue Reading

Into the Future

The oracle of Silicon Valley, Mary Meeker – a partner at Kleiner Perkins – just published her highly anticipated 2015 Internet Trends Report.  Meeker’s report is the ultimate compilation of essential technology statistics, and is one of the most widely read and respected insights into the future of the Internet and technology trends. Encompassing everything … Continue Reading

FCA produces finalised guidance on the use of financial promotions in social media

The Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) published FG15/4: Social media and customer communications (the ‘Guidance’), which provides guidance on financial promotions in social media and customer communications (available here). The Guidance sets out the FCA’s rules on financial promotions on social media, and provides examples of compliant and non-compliant communications to help organisations conform. A financial … Continue Reading

An Important Customer Review Issue Swept Under the Carpet

Is there a right to be “anonymous” when posting customer reviews? The U.S. Constitution supports “anonymous pamphleteering,” but defamatory speech falls outside of First Amendment protections. So, what is a negative online customer review? Pamphleteering or defamation? In Yelp! Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., Hadeed, an owner of a cleaning service believed that negative … Continue Reading

South Korea Strengthens Security Measures for Personal Information

South Korea’s Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs issued an amended version of the Standards of Personal Information Security Measures (the ‘Standards’). These Standards seek to close loopholes and inadequacies in the South Korean data protection law, and to counter the growing number of data breaches, especially those arising from use of mobile devices. … Continue Reading

Update on State Attorneys General: Connecticut Creates a Permanent Privacy Department; NAAG Covers Big Data, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing; and States Amend Breach Laws

The federal government may be pushing a cybersecurity and data privacy agenda, but that doesn’t mean that the states are taking a back seat. The state attorneys general are maintaining their focus on issues relating to privacy and data security and expanding the scope of that focus to address the ever-evolving nature of those issues. … Continue Reading

FTC Chairwoman Rings in the New Year with ‘Internet of Things’ Warning

While hundreds of tech companies are racing to develop the newest in Internet-connected “smart” devices, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez is sending a reminder to those companies of their responsibilities to consumers. At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, January 6-9, Chairwoman Ramirez highlighted some best practices to address the … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Risks Are Higher than Ever and Are Proving Costly

Cybersecurity is an increasing concern for companies. Last April, the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) published the 2014 information security breaches survey: technical report. The report comprises the findings from two online questionnaires completed by 1,125 respondents, and contains a number of important cyber-attack statistics for both large organisations and small businesses. … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner Ends 2014 with Special Interest in Mobile Apps

The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner of Personal Data (the “Commissioner”) ended 2014 with a special interest in mobile applications (“apps”). In a media statement published 15 December 2014, the Commissioner reported that versions 4.3 and earlier of Google’s Android operating system contained a flaw that allowed others to read shared memory in mobile devices without … Continue Reading

ISO develops the first privacy-specific cloud standard

Earlier in 2014, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) developed a new voluntary standard, ISO 27018 (Standard), establishing commonly accepted control objectives and guidelines to protect personal information for a public cloud computing environment. The need to create trust in cloud solutions led to the development of the Standard, in accordance with one of the key … Continue Reading

UK Government releases ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Guidance

In early October, the UK government updated a collection of guidance notes they had issued on ‘bring your own device’ initiatives (BYOD). Given the increase in employees using their personal devices to connect to their employers’ systems, employers in both the private and public sector will welcome this guidance. The ‘BYOD Guidance: Executive Summary’ describes … Continue Reading

Privacy Authorities Urge Mobile Apps to Implement Privacy Policies

In December, 23 privacy authorities – many of which are members of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) – signed an open letter to the operators of seven app marketplaces, urging them to improve consumers’ access to privacy information on mobile apps. The letter states that: Mobile apps that collect data in and through mobile … Continue Reading

85% of Mobile Apps Marked Down on Transparency: ‘Must Try Harder’ Say Global Privacy Regulators

In May this year, members of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) conducted a privacy sweep of 1,200+ mobile apps. The findings are now available (here). GPEN is an informal network of 27 Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) established in 2007. Its members include the UK’s ICO, Australia’s OAIC, and Canada’s OPC. DPAs from 26 jurisdictions … Continue Reading

European Commission Releases Cloud Computing Service Level Agreements

Back in 2012, the European Commission (‘Commission’) adopted the Cloud Computing Strategy to promote the adoption of cloud computing and ultimately boost productivity. In June 2014, the Cloud Select Industry Group – Subgroup on Service Legal Agreements published Standardisation Guidelines for Cloud Service Level Agreements (‘Guidelines’) as part of this strategy. To achieve standardisation of … Continue Reading

Canadian Court Certifies Facebook Class Action Over ‘Sponsored Stories’

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently certified a class action against Facebook in connection with its Sponsored Stories program.  Under that program, advertisers paid Facebook for Sponsored Stories, which would in turn generate ads featuring a user’s name and profile picture based on which products and companies the user “liked.”  We previously analyzed a California … Continue Reading
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