Posts from December 2011.
Time 4 Minute Read

On December 13, 2011, the Information Commissioner issued updated guidance on compliance with recent changes to UK law governing the use of cookies (The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (“Regulations”)). Organizations were given a twelve-month grace period to comply with the new law. Initial guidance on the Regulations was released on May 9, 2011, but the Information Commissioner characterized that guidance as merely a “starting point for getting compliant rather than a definitive guide,” signaling that further advice would follow if appropriate. The release of the updated guidance coincides with the Information Commissioner’s interim report on organizations’ attempts to achieve compliance in which he concluded that organizations “must try harder” with their cookie compliance efforts.

Time 1 Minute Read

On December 21, 2011, Mexico issued the final version of its Regulations of the Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties (Reglamento de la Ley Federal de Protección de Datos Personales en Posesión de los Particulares). The regulations, which contain mostly minor changes to the prior draft that was released in October, will take effect on December 22, 2011. Notable updates in this final draft include:

  • clarification of notice and consent requirements;
  • changes to restrictions on cloud computing;
  • updates to requirements regarding data transfers; and
Time 4 Minute Read

On December 8, 2011, the Article 29 Working Party (the “Working Party”) adopted an Opinion on the European Advertising Standards Alliance (“EASA”) and IAB Europe best practice recommendations for the online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) industry to comply with Article 5.3 of the revised e-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC (the “cookie clause”). The cookie clause requires a user’s informed consent for the use of cookies and similar technologies that store and access information in the user’s terminal device. Finding practical ways of complying with the cookie clause has proven challenging for the OBA industry, which relies heavily on these kinds of tracking mechanisms.

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On November 30, 2011, Tracy Kitten, Managing Editor of BankInfoSecurity, interviewed Lisa J. Sotto, partner and head of the Global Privacy and Data Security practice at Hunton & Williams LLP. Discussing how data breaches can be game changers for organizations that suffer major incidents, Sotto emphasized that companies need to consider both the legal compliance issues involved with data breaches and potential reputational risks. Sotto also addressed how attorneys can play a key role in helping companies through the process.

Read the interview transcript or listen to the ...

Time 2 Minute Read

On December 1, 2011, a consolidated litigation against Netflix was ordered to private mediation pursuant to an agreement between the parties. As we previously reported, the plaintiffs allege that Netflix’s practice of maintaining customer movie rental history and recommendations after their subscriptions are cancelled violates the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”). In August 2011, several similar cases against Netflix were consolidated by a federal court in California.

News of the mediation order comes as a significant amendment to the VPPA awaits Senate ...

Time 2 Minute Read

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog:

The U.S. Department of Justice has moved to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) against a consumer reporting agency accused of violating § 605 of the FCRA.

On November 23, 2010, Shamara T. King filed suit against General Information Services, Inc. (“GIS”) in Pennsylvania federal court claiming violations of the FCRA. (See, King v. General Information Services, Inc., No. 2:10-CV-06850 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 23, 2010). Specifically, King claims that when she applied for a job with the United States Postal Service, GIS performed a background check that included details about a car theft arrest that occurred more than seven years prior to the requested background check. According to § 605(a)(5) of the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies cannot provide adverse information, except for criminal convictions, “which antedates the report by more than seven years.”

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Shortly before Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, gave her keynote address on binding corporate rules (“BCRs”) at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress in Paris, Hunton & Williams co-authored two articles on BCRs with the French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”):

Time 5 Minute Read

In early December 2011, drafts of two legal instruments prepared by DG Justice of the European Commission to reform the EU data protection framework entered interservice consultation. This process will give other Directorates-General of the Commission the opportunity to comment on the drafts before they are formally released as legislative proposals; accordingly, changes to the drafts are likely. Following this comment period, the drafts will enter the EU legislative process, which is likely to take at least two to three years before they become law. It is believed that Justice Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding will formally announce final versions of the drafts at an appearance at the World Economic Forum in late January 2012.


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