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The EU-U.S.  Privacy Shield has come under scrutiny once again after 17 civil society organisations (the Coalition) sent a letter to the European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers. The 28 February 2017 letter raises the issue as to the breadth of Section 702 of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act (FAA), which provides authority for the United States government’s PRISM and UPSTREAM surveillance programmes. The Coalition argues that these programmes violate international human…
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) applies in many circumstances when companies use an automatic telephone dialing system (or “autodialer”) and/or pre-recorded messages to call consumers. In those situations where the TCPA does apply, the company cannot make the call unless it is an “emergency,” or unless the company has the prior express consent of the called party.  The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has the power to exempt certain categories of calls from the TCPA’s…
On July 14, the Second Circuit in Microsoft v. United States ruled that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) “does not authorize a U.S. court to issue and enforce an SCA warrant against a United States-based service provider for the contents of a customer’s electronic communications stored on servers located outside the United States.” The Justice Department sought and obtained a warrant under the SCA against Microsoft, seeking the contents of an email account on the…
Higher education institutions are increasingly targets of data breaches due to the vast amount of private information, including educational, medical and employee data, they maintain.  It is no longer a question of if a data breach will occur, but when.  Academic institutions can take certain measures to minimize exposure in the event of a breach, including: Implement privacy and security policies and procedures that are known and adhered to by the institution Prepare a corrective…
The Declaratory Ruling and Order issued by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) July 10, 2015,  clarified several sections of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), including addressing a petition filed by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management regarding “free, pro-consumer… healthcare-related messages,” and under what circumstances such messages are exempt from the TCPA’s requirement for prior express consent.  The FCC spelled out what types of health care-related calls fall under the exemption, and…
As we have previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order (“Order”) on July 10, 2015, clarifying several sections of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and its implementing regulations.  One important clarification addressed a petition filed by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (“AAHAM”) in October 2014 regarding “free, pro-consumer… healthcare-related messages” and under what circumstances such messages are exempt from the TCPA’s requirement for prior express…
On August 24, 2015, the Third Circuit, in a highly anticipated ruling, upheld a 2014 New Jersey District Court decision that the FTC has authority under section 5 of the FTC Act to regulate “unfair” data security practices without engaging in formal rulemaking.  As we have previously discussed, the implications of the lower court ruling, and now this ratification by the Third Circuit, are far-reaching. After oral argument in March 2015, it appeared that…
Perturbed by two allegedly unwanted faxes, Arnold Chapman brought a putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). For himself, he sought the most the statute could provide – $3,000, an injunction, and costs. ($3,000 represents $500 in statutory damages for each of the two faxes, trebled for an allegedly knowing or wilful violation.) The defendant offered Chapman $3,002, and the entry of an injunction, and costs. Chapman let the offer expire without…
Perturbed by two allegedly unwanted faxes, Arnold Chapman brought a putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). For himself, he sought the most the statute could provide – $3,000, an injunction, and costs. ($3,000 represents $500 in statutory damages for each of the two faxes, trebled for an allegedly knowing or wilful violation.) The defendant offered Chapman $3,002, and the entry of an injunction, and costs. Chapman let the offer expire without…
A panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Wood, C.J., Kanne, J. and Tinder, J.) has reversed the dismissal of a data security breach class action lawsuit against luxury department store Neiman Marcus. This lawsuit stemmed from a hacking incident in which “350,000 cards were potentially exposed; and 9,200 of those 350,000 cards were known to have been used fraudulently.” The company provided notices to consumers and a year of free credit monitoring. A…