William Weber

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Rockefeller Releases Results of Fortune 500 Survey on Cybersecurity

Back in September, I posted here about Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller’s (D-WV) letters to all FORTUNE 500 companies inquiring about business opposition to cybersecurity legislation.  This morning, Rockefeller released a report by his staff summarizing the gist of the roughly 300 responses he’s received to date.  The report does not mention any … Continue Reading

Lame Duck Congress Acts on Privacy Bills, Mostly With an Eye Toward 2013

While continuing congressional inaction on the fiscal cliff is getting most of the ink/pixels in news headlines over the last couple weeks, several privacy bills have advanced in the House and Senate. Though only one is likely to become law before the 112th Congress ends in a few days, they embody what will be the … Continue Reading

Rep. Markey to Data-Brokers: Let’s Start with Kids, Then Tackle Data Privacy for the Rest

In a briefing convened by the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus December 13, 2012, co-chairs Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) tried to advance their agenda of enhancing children’s online privacy in the context of exploring the scope and practices of “data-brokers.” Panelists included credit bureaus, marketing companies, FTC Commissioners, and privacy advocates. Markey kicked … Continue Reading

FTC Launches Investigation of Children’s Mobile App Compliance with COPPA; Continues to Study “Comprehensive” Data Collection

Monday, on a call with reporters to discuss the findings of its second survey of kids mobile device applications, attorneys with the Federal Trade Commission (1) called on industry – app developers, app stores, and third party recipients of collected data – to improve privacy disclosures; (2) said it is developing consumer education material in … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Bill Fails Again In Senate

Yesterday evening, the Senate again failed to move forward on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, voting 51-47 not to end debate on the measure (60 votes required). Opponents picked up one additional ‘no’ vote by Sen. Rubio (R-FL), who did not vote on it in August.  Majority Leader Reid faulted the minority and the Chamber … Continue Reading

California AG Puts Companies on Notice About App Privacy Non-compliance

On October 30, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office is notifying up to 100 companies and mobile application developers that they are not in compliance with the state’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”). According to Harris’ sample letter, the problem is that the offending apps downloadable through the Apple App Store and … Continue Reading

FTC’s Olhausen: Privacy Through a Competition Lens

Earlier this week, Maureen Olhausen, the Federal Trade Commission’s newest commissioner, shared her perspective on “The Federal Role in Privacy: Getting It Right” in a discussion at the Hudson Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank in Washington, DC. Her straightforward comments indicated she intends to take a cautious and holistic approach toward any expansion of the … Continue Reading

Rockefeller Questions Fortune 500 on Cybersecurity Act / Data Security Practices

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) yesterday blanketed the entire FORTUNE 500 list of companies with a pointed letter inquiring about business opposition to cybersecurity issues and seeking a response by October 19. (Press release here) The letter asks for information on companies’ cybersecurity practices and companies’ concerns about the federal government’s role … Continue Reading

Rep. Markey Introduces Mobile Device Privacy Act Amid Hearing on App Industry Job Growth

Last week, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, introduced broad legislation to require multiple actors in the mobile communications ecosystem to disclose and obtain express prior consent for the installation of “monitoring software” and to adopt and disclose detailed information security requirements to be promulgated by the FTC. The bill grew … Continue Reading

Senate Takes Up Cybersecurity Bill: Can National Security Trump Politics This Close to the Election? Part 3 – The End?

This morning, the Senate failed to conclude debate on the cybersecurity bill by a vote of 52 to 46 (60 votes required), likely sounding the death knell for the legislation this year. Five Republicans voted in favor of moving ahead, while five Democrats voted against, but the vote otherwise followed party lines. In other words, … Continue Reading

Senate Takes Up Cybersecurity Bill: Can National Security Trump Politics This Close to the Election? Part 2

Yesterday we asked: Can National Security Trump Politics This Close to the Election? The answer is looking more and more like “no”. Having failed to reach agreement with his Republican counterpart on limiting debate and consideration of amendments (of which there are now 167) to the bill, last night Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed … Continue Reading

Senate Takes Up Cybersecurity Bill: Can National Security Trump Politics This Close to the Election?

That is the $64,000 question. This being Washington, DC, it’s more likely a multi-million dollar question, and the answer is unclear. The Senate voted 84-11 last Thursday to end debate on a procedural motion that allows a revised bill, S. 3414, sponsored by Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-CT) to be … Continue Reading

Congressional Update on Data Privacy & Security

The rumors of the death (or at least “dearth” — of activity) of the 112th Congress are somewhat exaggerated, to morph a phrase from Mark Twain; at least regarding the last couple weeks prior to the Independence Day recess. Not only did Congress pass major legislation related to the FDA, transportation programs and student loans … Continue Reading

Privacy Across Borders: Concerns Surfacing in Trans-Pacific Partnership

Opening markets and removing barriers to trade are touted by many in Washington, DC and well beyond as a cornerstone of economic expansion.  In the information age, ensuring the free flow of data across borders, and not simply goods and services, is increasingly important.  But just as problems can arise with differing foreign laws on … Continue Reading

Update to Cybersecurity / Data Breach Notification Legislative Outlook

Congress is back from a two week Easter recess and despite lingering concerns from privacy groups, House leaders plan to bring to the floor for votes one or more cybersecurity bills designed to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure – from power plants to financial markets – by encouraging information sharing about cyber threats between the … Continue Reading

Key Government and Industry Leaders Discuss Data Privacy at IAPP Summit

Last week in Washington, DC, officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, major trade associations and key stakeholders from around the world gathered at a global privacy summit convened by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  During the two day conference, panels covered a broad range of topics from mobile device … Continue Reading

Republican Alternative Cybersecurity Bill Introduced In Senate

Today eight Republican Senators – all Ranking Members of various committees – introduced the SECURE IT Act, S. 2151, their alternative cybersecurity bill to the bipartisan Cybersecurity Act, S. 2105, introduced two weeks ago.  In remarks on the Senate floor this afternoon, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Bill Introduced Amid Partisan Opposition

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, S. 2105, was introduced yesterday by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and John Rockefeller (D-WV). Here are links to the: Bill Summary of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Section-by-Section Description of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 It immediately drew opposition from seven Republican Ranking Members, who … Continue Reading

Senate Cybersecurity Bill Due Out This Week; Floor Action Not Likely Until March

Odds are good that legislation to address online threats to the nation’s critical infrastructure assets will finally be released this week, but real action on it won’t take place until March: The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Joe Lieberman (I-CT), has scheduled a hearing on the ‘Cybersecurity Act of 2012’ for Thursday … Continue Reading

From Videotapes to Streaming: Senators Support Updating Video Privacy Protection Act, But Wary of House Bill

The takeaway from a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing yesterday:  A House-passed bill to update the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) raises privacy concerns and will get scrutinized in the Senate.  Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, and Ranking Republican Tom Coburn (R-OK), both expressed … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Chairman Wants to Move Data Privacy Legislation

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressed support for Senate action on “comprehensive data privacy legislation that will better protect Americans’ sensitive personal data and reduce the risk of data security breaches.” Leahy’s Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, S. 1151, was approved by the Committee last September, but with … Continue Reading