Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Complimentary Webinar
12 – 1 p.m. (ET) | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (CT) | 9 – 10 a.m. (PT)

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Please join us for a festive webinar discussing California’s newest data privacy law, the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020 (CPRA). Passed by ballot initiative during this year’s general election, the CPRA expands and modifies the California Consumer Privacy Act in several significant ways. This webinar will cover some of the key changes brought by the CPRA and steps businesses can take now to prepare for this new law.

Continue Reading Webinar: Is it a holiday wish come true or just the CCPA dressed up in an ugly sweater? Naughty or nice, the CPRA is here.

On November 9, 2020 the FTC entered into a consent agreement with Zoom Video Communications, Inc. to address concerns over the videoconferencing platform’s security practices. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a reliable, online videoconferencing and meeting platform skyrocketed. Zoom met that need. It advertised its platform as a secure space with various safety measures to protect user data, including “end-to-end” 256-bit encryption. In short order, individuals, businesses, and organizations quickly flocked to the user-friendly communications platform; and, by the end of April 2020 Zoom’s user base was booming.

Then came a backlash of sorts. The FTC began investigating Zoom’s security practices, and private plaintiffs brought class-action lawsuits alleging violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act and failure to adhere to Zoom’s terms of service. The FTC’s complaint alleged several concerns with Zoom’s advertising and security promises, concluding that Zoom made misleading claims about the strength of its encryption and security of its platform that gave customers a false sense of security. The five-count complaint alleged that Zoom:

Continue Reading FTC “Zooms” Into Settlement Agreement with Communications Company Over Concerns with its Security Practices

The Department of Defense is rolling out new regulations over the next five years to set progressive steps toward mandatory cybersecurity certification for government contractors. The first set of requirements goes into effect Nov. 30.

Click here to learn what contractors must do now to ensure they are eligible for award of new contracts, task orders, delivery orders or option terms.

FRENEMIES Podcast logoIn the interests of peace, love and understanding, McGuireWoods’ IP and privacy teams released the second season of “Frenemies,” a series of short videos covering legal considerations in advertising.

Continue Reading Frenemies Video Series – Season 2: Companies Don’t Share IP: The Use and Protection of Content

FRENEMIES Podcast logoThere’s tension in this relationship. Marketing and the legal department know they need each other, but that doesn’t mean they always understand each other.

Marketers are out-of-the-box thinkers whose ideas engage customers and drive company revenue. Lawyers help the business stay in business by avoiding unnecessary risk, which sometimes requires them to say “no” to the marketing team’s ideas. It’s no wonder the departments are often frenemies, supporting the same organizational goals, but sometimes pushing back on each other.

In the interests of peace, love and understanding, McGuireWoods’ IP and privacy teams present “Frenemies,” a series of short videos covering legal considerations in advertising. We hope these episodes help marketing and legal departments understand each other, work together, issue-spot, and maybe go from being frenemies to friends. Registration is not required and after release, each season will be available for binge watching from your office or your couch.

Continue Reading Frenemies Video Series – Season 1: Marketers and Lawyers Learn to Speak the Same Language

Did the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants wipe out nearly five years of liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act? One district court answered yes. Does the TCPA apply to text messages? An amicus brief in another case headed to the Supreme Court argued no.

For analysis of these novel arguments and why defendants facing TCPA litigation may want to raise them, please see our alert.

On October 13. 2020, White Castle System, Inc. petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for permission to seek an interlocutory appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).  This petition arises out of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ opinion on White Castle’s motion for judgment on the pleadings issued on August 7, 2020.  The matter hinged on whether repeated collection of the same biometric information from an employee without prior consent constituted separate violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Summary of District Court’s Cothron v. White Castle Opinion

In the district court’s opinion, Judge Tharp held that “[a] party violates Section 15(b) [of the BIPA] when it collects, captures, or otherwise obtains a person’s biometric information without prior informed consent.”  Judge Tharp continued, “[t]his is true the first time an entity scans a fingerprint or otherwise collects biometric information, but it is no less true with each subsequent scan or collection.”  Similarly, Judge Tharp held that BIPA requires that dissemination of information without consent, even if to the same third party as previously disseminated, is an additional violation of the BIPA.

Continue Reading Does Continued Collection of The Same Biometric Information Increase BIPA Violations? The Seventh Circuit (or Illinois Supreme Court) Has An Opportunity to Clear the Air

On October 12, 2020, the California Attorney General provided public notice of a new Proposed Third Set of Modifications to the Regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”).  You will be forgiven if you assumed that “final approval” of the existing Regulations back in August meant the Regulations were final—or at least we hope so because we made the same assumption.

Since August, however, it appears the AG was working behind the scenes to resurrect previously withdrawn Sections 999.306(b)(2) (covering offline notice of opt-out if a business substantially interacts with consumers offline); 999.315(c) (minimum standards for opt-out requests); and 999.326(c) (specific requirements for authorized agents).  The AG describes the newly proposed rules as follows:

Continue Reading Spooky: Presumed-Dead CCPA Regulations Come Back to Life

Monetary penalties are the attention-grabbing headline when the FTC or any regulator brings an enforcement action against a company.  They are the looming threat to incentivize and influence compliance.  Over the summer, FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons (“Chairman Simons”) issued a statement in connection with a settlement that Chairman Simons believes “the goal of a civil penalty should be to make compliance more attractive than violation.  Said another way, violation should not be more profitable than compliance.”

Continue Reading FTC Fines: FTC Chairman Reminds Companies That Fines Are the FTC’s Strategic Tool To Deter Noncompliance

On September 17, 2020, four Republican Senators (Roger Wicker – Mississippi, Chairman, John Thune – South Dakota, Deb Fischer – Nebraska, and Marsha Blackburn – Tennessee) introduced sweeping federal privacy legislation entitled: Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (“SAFE DATA”) Act. This proposed comprehensive national privacy law has three main components:

  1. Provides consumers with more choice and control over their data
  2. Directs business to be more transparent and accountable
  3. Strengthens the FTC’s enforcement power

Continue Reading Federal Data Privacy Legislation: Will it Help the US Remain Competitive in the Global Marketplace?