FTC Report Reinforces the Rules for Cross-Device Tracking

Well over a year after holding a workshop addressing privacy issues associated with cross-device tracking, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff have issued a report. The report sets the stage by describing how cross-device tracking works, noting its “benefits and challenges,” View Full Post
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Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch On Data Privacy

Last month, the President announced his nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch—a federal appeals court judge—to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch must still go through Senate confirmation hearings before officially becoming the ninth justice in our nation’s highest court, but some are already discussing Gorsuch’s potential impact on cybersecurity, technology and privacy law. View Full Post
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NTIA Highlights Promise and Policy Challenges of IoT, Seeks Additional Comments

iStock_000050783348_DoubleOn January 12, 2017, prior to the new administration taking power, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the Department of Commerce (Department) released a Green Paper on “Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things,” which assesses the technological and policy landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT). View Full Post
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UK – Court Rulings Heighten the Risk of Employees Inadvertently Amending Contracts

An anti-oral variation clause is drafted into most commercial agreements. Typically, this boilerplate clause will say that any changes to the terms of the contract must be agreed in writing and signed by all of the contracting parties.  The objective is to avoid the uncertainty, and potential for disputes, that would arise if the contract could be informally varied, either orally or by conduct. View Full Post
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Keeping Your Company’s Data Safe This Tax Season

By Jennifer Archie and Alex Stout Tax-related identity theft is nothing new, but tax season 2016 took tax schemes to a new level. Last year, our cyber experts advised a large cluster of clients (public and private companies) over a period of only two weeks, following a nationwide explosion of deviously simple attacks—mostly targeted at mid-size companies—that followed the same fact pattern:  the Director of Human Resources or Chief Financial Officer received an email appearing to come from a senior executive (normally the CEO) asking for copies of all of the company’s W-2 tax forms; the recipient was fooled by the email and sent the requested records to the attacker; and hours or days later, the company came to the sickening realization that hundreds, if not thousands, of personnel records were compromised.  View Full Post
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Don’t Get Your Wires Crossed When Cross-Device Tracking

Shortly after FTC staff published the results of their study on cross-device tracking (described in this prior blog post), the FTC issued its own comprehensive report on the topic.  In addition to highlighting many of the same benefits and privacy concerns raised by cross-device tracking, the FTC report provides an update on industry self-regulatory efforts in this area, along with practical recommendations for those involved in cross-device tracking, based on learnings from past FTC enforcement actions. View Full Post
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Dominic Rochon and Patricia Kosseim

By | Steptoe Cyberblog | February 13, 2017
Our interview features a classic “please don’t read this” headline: “Worthwhile Canadian Initiatives.”  We explore multiple worthwhile Canadian initiatives with Dominic Rochon, deputy chief of policy and communications for CSE, Canada’s version of the NSA and with Patricia Kosseim, general counsel and director general for policy at the Office of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner.  View Full Post
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Recent District Court Reliance On Federal Circuit’s Enfish / McRO Decisions May Signify Trend for Alice/Mayo Patent Eligibility Test

By | Global IP & Privacy Law Blog | February 13, 2017
In June 2014 the Supreme Court introduced the two-step Alice/Mayo test for patent eligibility, intended to exclude from patenting claims directed to ineligible abstract ideas under 35 USC 101.  Since that time, the Federal Circuit has issued numerous precedential opinions applying this test to software claims.   View Full Post
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To Settle or Not to Settle – That is the Question Raised by Recent HIPAA CMPs

On February 1, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (“Children’s”) has paid a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) of $3.2 million to resolve multiple HIPAA violations over several years. This CMP announcement raises a number of question… Continue Reading View Full Post
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2017 Global Cybersecurity Policy: Challenges & Highlights

By | Steptoe Cyberblog | February 13, 2017
The growing dependence of states and societies on ICT systems means they face a higher risk of cyberattacks. Increasingly sophisticated hacking attacks target not only individual people and companies, but also highly developed countries. Although cyberattacks can have disastrous consequences, research shows that we still miss the mark in preparedness. View Full Post
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