Jeffrey L. PostonRobin B. Campbell

Over the past year, privacy concerns have played an increasingly critical role in influencing how government and the private sector think about information collection, use, and disclosure. With the rapid pace of technological advancements – and the complex issues that accompany developments such as the Internet of Things, cloud technology, and “big data” analytics – privacy concerns will only become more important moving forward. As we discuss in the “Data Law Trends & Developments: E-Discovery, Privacy, Cybersecurity & Information Governance”, at page 22, regulators have responded with a patchwork of privacy principles, new laws, and aggressive enforcement, and class actions relating to issues such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have proliferated. For example, in response to the large data breaches that dominated the headlines, several states adopted or strengthened their data privacy laws. Federal regulators stepped up privacy enforcement in the health care space, coinciding with beefed up requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). EU regulators also have floated several data protection reforms that will be finalized over the next year and the FTC has brought several cases challenging data security deficiencies under its FTC Act “unfairness” authority. These trends will continue to create an increasingly complex and uncertain regulatory environment and accompanying litigation risks over the coming year.