U.S. and EU approaches to privacy regulation have been very different, but recent developments in the U.S. may be narrowing the gap. Recently, we hosted a seminar regarding current developments in information privacy regulation. The subjects covered and a link to the materials are provided below. Our panelists included: Dennis Hirsch, Esq., Professor at Capital University Law School, Counsel to Porter Wright, and a scholar of information privacy law; Christina Hultsch, Esq., Porter Wright International Law attorney; and Donna M. Ruscitti, Esq., Chair, Porter Wright’s Information Privacy and Data Security Practice Group. They discussed:
- How EU regulation impacts both U.S. and multi-national corporations and its practical implications to U.S. corporations
- The White House Report Released February 23, 2012 – Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Global Innovation in the Global Digital Economy
- FTC Report Released March 26, 2012 - Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change
- Current U.S. Legislative Initiatives
- Compliance with the U.S. Safe Harbor Program and FTC enforcement actions
To download the materials from the seminar, click here.…
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The EU Conference on Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data held March 19 in Washington, D.C., was a great illustration of the importance of the topic within the European Union. The conference was extremely well attended by high-level EU regulators and provided valuable insights into the respective priorities. Tangible results, however, were scarce and consisted largely of a joint statement on privacy by EU Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and US Commerce Secretary John Bryson. The Joint Statement recognized the need for multinational cooperation to create mutual recognition frameworks that protect privacy in order to facilitate the free flow of information across borders. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework as a means to transfer data from the EU to the US.…
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Bloggers have been buzzing since the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Guides”) to cover “consumer generated media” such as blogs and other Internet media forms. (16 C.F.R. Part 255) (.PDF) The changes are the first update since 1980 for the Guides, which are intended to offer guidance to compliance under 15 USC § 45 (“Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission”). While the FTC describes the Guides as providing “the basis for voluntary compliance with the law by advertisers and endorsers”, the Guides could form the basis for an enforcement action by the FTC, and noncompliance may result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.
In the interest of providing consumers with full disclosure, the updated Guides require bloggers to disclose any “material connection[s]” they have with producers of any products that they “endorse” on their blogs. A “material connection” includes not only monetary compensation, but also any free good received by the blogger—even if that good was provided unsolicited, with no conditions attached, for the purpose of allowing the blogger to review the product. Under the Guides, “endorsers” and companies must fully disclose any connection between “the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement.” In an effort to further explain the intent behind the Guides, the FTC has provided 35 example fact patterns in the Guides, and even an instructional video.
Much of …
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