FCC Adopts a NPRM for Privacy Proposal; FTC Chairwoman Wants IoT Threat Addressed; Consumer Reports Hit with Privacy Class Action; DOJ Accesses Shooter’s Phone and Drops Apple Suit

FCC Adopts a NPRM for Privacy Proposal

On Thursday, March 31 in a 3-2 party-line vote, the FCC advanced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for broadband privacy. The proposed rules would restrict ISP’s use of basic consumer data and require consumer consent for certain types of data collection.  Although ISPs under the rule could still collect basic consumer data to market communications- related services to subscribers, ISPs would have to allow users to opt-out of that data collection.  On the other hand, ISPs would have to allow used to opt-in to the use and sharing of other types of data, such as browsing history and physical location.  Under the proposed rules, providers are also required to share how data is used or shared with consumers.  Some have criticized the proposed rules, arguing that they have the potential to create an uneven enforcement regime as companies have the potential to face varied FCC and FTC standards.

FTC Chairwoman Wants IoT Threat Addressed

On Thursday, March 31, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez urged manufacturers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to “design devices that take into consideration unexpected uses of their IoT data, and the potential for misuse.” In a speech at the American Bar Association’s conference on IoT in Washington, DC, Chairwoman Ramirez outlined a series of steps that she recommends manufacturers take as they develop new IoT technology.  Drawing on common privacy practices, Chairwoman Ramirez advised manufacturers to provide consumers with clear notice of data collection practices and to allow consumers to opt in or out of particular data collection practices.  She also encouraged manufacturers to build security into devices from the outset and keep track of issues through a device’s life cycle.   The FTC plans to hold a series of workshops this fall to look at a series of issues arising from new technology, such as smart televisions and UAVs.Continue Reading Privacy & Cybersecurity Weekly News Update

The Internet of Things has found its way into the court room once again.  Last week, two mothers filed a putative class action stemming from their children’s use of “Hello Barbie,” an interactive version of the popular doll that relies on cloud-based technology to talk back to its playmates and that the mothers allege violated