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The FTC Faces New Hurdles After Eleventh Circuit Decision

This post is authored by Kacey Jennings, a second-year law student at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law. Ms. Jennings is a legal-intern with the XPAN Law Group. When I was growing up, you couldn’t ask Alexa to play the newest album from your favorite artist. There was no Spotify or Apple Music in […]

The Shared Responsibility Model: Balancing Liability in a Matrix of Service Providers

As companies continue to develop new and innovative technologies, streamlining and automating operations, there is an increasing reliance on a number of third-party services to provide services and efficiencies. Each of these third-party providers adds (or attempts to add) a unique new *twist* on the old: more functionality, hopefully improved security, and any other add-ons […]

Privacy is a Blue Chip Investment for Businesses

I recently read an article in the wake of the precipitous drop in Facebook stock, titled: “Facebook ‘puts privacy first’ and stocks plunge 20%”. The title alone was enraging. To suggest that prioritizing privacy can cause Facebook to suffer a devaluation is preposterous and a serious disservice to companies everywhere. But, before the air gets […]

So, it begins: California adopts legislation that reminds many of the GDPR

A common question that we receive at our firm is: will the U.S. adopt legislation similar to the GDPR? And, if yes, what will that look at? Well, let us look into our “magic-8” ball . . . . And, no surprise, it looks like privacy is moving (slowly) across the pond to the US […]

Privacy Is the New Black

It seems to have all started with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was passed in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Then, after stumbling around for almost a decade, in 2009 the HITECH Act was signed by President Barack Obama which gave the necessary teeth to the privacy […]

And the Saga Continues: On The Road Again to the CJEU with Shrems II

Facebook has been caught in a legal battle concerning the adequacy of its data protection well before the Cambridge Analytical revelations that came to light in the past few weeks. While spending a semester in the United States studying at Santa Clara University, Austrian law student Max Schrems first became aware of Facebook’s limited grasp of the severity of European Union (“EU”) data protection laws in 2011 when a privacy attorney from Facebook spoke to his class. Angered by the lack of appreciation of the EU privacy law in his home continent, Schrems decided to write his thesis paper about “Facebook’s Misunderstanding of Privacy Law in Europe.” During the course of his research, Schrems learned that Facebook had been violating strict EU privacy law, which prompted him to file numerous complaints with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) in 2011. He later rescinded this set of complaints because the DPC had ignored his efforts.

Is Nothing Sacred? Recent Hackings on Our Governmental Entities

Somewhere, in another country or hidden in a basement down your street, a hacker is waiting in the dark searching for the vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure.  They are scanning systems for any threat vector which can serve as their entry into our world. This past week, we were treated to two recent hacking incidents against governmental entities that are the shape of things to come.  

In case you missed it, the CLOUD Act is now law

In the midst of the Microsoft case, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or “CLOUD Act” in February, to create a framework for law enforcement to access data that is stored overseas.   At the time the CLOUD Act was first introduced, we addressed some of the potential impacts the Cloud Act would have in light of the pending Microsoft case, and the jurisdiction of data generally.  

But, I never gave you my data? The GDPR’s impact on data subject rights

Let us set the scene.  You receive an email: sign-up for LinkedIn! Facebook! Instagram! [Fill in your Service of Choice here.]  And, once you click to create an account, the information is mostly pre-populated: your name, your email address, your current job, your “friends”, your location/region — a number of pieces of information that may have you shaking your head asking:  how did they compile all of this information without my input and without me even knowing it?

Why Aren’t You Ready? The First Steps to Protecting Healthcare Data

Recently, I read a statistic that stated 70% of employees in all industries lack sufficient cyber-preparedness. However, in the healthcare industry alone, this statistic is even higher: 78% of employees showed a lack of preparedness regarding common threat vectors and privacy issues.  This statistic, and the corresponding article, is both shocking and, at the same time, not surprising.