Posts from January 2020.
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Facebook disclosed on January 29, 2020, that it has agreed to pay $550,000,000 to resolve a biometric privacy class action filed by Illinois users under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). BIPA is an Illinois law enacted in 2008 that governs the collection, use, sharing, protection and retention of biometric information. In recent years, numerous class action lawsuits have been filed under BIPA seeking statutory damages ranging from $1,000 per negligent violation to $5,000 per reckless or intentional violation.

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On January 21, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published the final version of its Age Appropriate Design Code (“the code”), which sets out the standards that online services need to meet in order to protect children’s privacy. It applies to providers of information services likely to be accessed by children in the UK, including applications, programs, websites, social media platforms, messaging services, games, community environments and connected toys and devices, where these offerings involve the processing of personal data.

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On January 16, 2020, the Senate approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), sending it to the President’s desk for ratification. Mexico ratified the Agreement in June 2019, and Canada is expected to follow suit later this month. To coincide with its ratification, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth issued a white paper entitled What Does the USMCA Mean for a U.S. Federal Privacy Law?

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On January 16, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that settlements with five companies of separate allegations that they had falsely claimed certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework had been finalized.

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On January 14, 2020, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) published its draft recommendations on the practical modalities for obtaining users’ consent to store or read non-essential cookies and similar technologies on their devices (the “Recommendations”). The CNIL also published a set of questions and answers on the Recommendations (“FAQs”).

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As reported on our Hunton Retail Law Resource blog, on January 7, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Mortgage Solutions FCS, Inc., d/b/a Mount Diablo Lending, and its sole principal, Ramon Walker, to resolve allegations that the lender violated the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (“GLB”) Act, by improperly disseminating consumers’ personal information on Yelp in response to consumers’ negative reviews posted to that site.

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On January 13, 2020, lawmakers in Washington state introduced a new version of the Washington Privacy Act, a comprehensive data privacy bill, in both the state Senate and House of Representatives. It would apply to companies conducting business in Washington or who provide products or services to Washington residents.

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2019 was the “Year of the CCPA” as companies around the world worked tirelessly to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”). The CCPA aims to provide data privacy rights for California residents and imposes significant new requirements on covered businesses.

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On January 8, 2020, the Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”) launched a consultation on its draft direct marketing code of practice (the “Draft Code”), as required by section 122 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 18”). The Draft Code is open for public consultation until March 4, 2020.

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According to MLex, on January 6, 2020, the Seoul Eastern District Court found Kim Jin-Hwan, a privacy officer of the South Korean travel agency Hana Tour Service Inc., guilty of negligence in failing to prevent a 2017 data breach that affected over 465,000 customers of the agency and 29,000 Hana Tour employees.

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On January 6, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it granted final approval to a settlement with InfoTrax Systems, L.C. and its former CEO, Mark Rawlins, related to allegations that InfoTrax failed to implement reasonable, low-cost and readily available security safeguards to protect the personal information the company maintained on behalf of its business clients.

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In a January 6, 2020 blog post, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection reflected on how the FTC has taken action over the past year to strengthen its orders in data security cases. These orders have been a subject of focus for the FTC: in June 2018, the 11th Circuit’s LabMD decision struck down an FTC data security order as unenforceably vague, and the FTC subsequently held a hearing in the course of the FTC’s Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century on how it could improve data security orders.

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Though all may be quiet on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2020, is the compliance date for the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”). On the cusp of a new decade, we enter a new era of privacy rights.

The CCPA is now in effect, but the California Attorney General cannot begin enforcement until July 1, 2020. We want to congratulate everyone on their hard work this past year and a half.

If you watched the ball drop in New York City last night, we hope you can say that you didn’t drop the ball on CCPA compliance. They say hindsight is always 20/20. CCPA compliance can be your New Year’s ...


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