Privacy Case Before the Supreme Court; Big Breaches Make Big News
December 1, 2017 – Todd Ruback
Privacy news abounds, beginning with a seminal digital privacy rights case, Carpenter v. United States, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 29. In this criminal case the scope of the right to privacy imbued in the Fourth Amendment will be tested as the Court is asked to decide whether the police must obtain warrants in order to get past geo-location data on criminal suspects. To get a full perspective on this case be sure to check out this insightful opinion by Stephen Sachs, the former Maryland Attorney General who successfully argued the privacy case that the government will be relying upon.
In other notable privacy news, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on December 14 whether or not to roll back the “net neutrality” rules established under the Obama administration, which aimed to create a level Internet by requiring all internet providers to provide open access to their networks for digital content. Some fear that a “net neutrality” rollback would tilt the playing field in favor of the largest network providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon that will inadvertently result in the largest Internet providers becoming gatekeepers to digital content.
Data breaches continue to be big news, as Equifax, in the wake of its massive data breach affected over 140 million people, has been hit with a rare 50-state class action lawsuit. Reportedly the company already has over 240 individual class action lawsuits and more than 60 ongoing government investigations to content with. In another massive data breach, Uber allegedly paid hackers, who accessed the personal data of up to 57 million people, $100,000 to delete the information they obtained and keep quiet about it all. This alleged cover-up not only cost some Uber executives their jobs, but also has triggered regulatory privacy investigations by data protection authorities in numerous countries. I’m sure that there will be some sage lessons learned from these two separate high-profile breaches.
In EU related news, the IAB Europe has proposed industry wide consent management approach to meet the ongoing challenges the GDPR creates upon the digital marketing industry. I applaud the industry’s innovation in response to the GDPR and am confident that other creative innovation will emerge from this important economic growth engine, which continues to enjoy double digit growth through the first half of 2017. Also, be sure to check out this great piece by Allison Schiff where she discusses the pressure that the GDPR imposes upon the marketing industry and why we may expect industry consolidation.
In Evidon news, be sure to listen to this fascinating interview with founder Scott Meyer, as he shares his insight about what it was like taking a privacy tech company from startup to exit, and the fun he had in between. Finally, if you would like to receive the Dispatch via email every week, please sign up here and please follow me on Twitter at @CPORuback.