Weekly Data Privacy Alert 30 August 2016
International Working Group Makes Recommendations for Privacy in Internet Telephony
The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, chaired by the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, has adopted a working paper on privacy and security issues in internet telephony and related communication. The paper addressed to legislators, providers, developers, manufacturers, and users discusses a wide range of technologies including instant messaging and video telephony. The paper was motivated by recent developments in the field such as the revelations made by Edward Snowden and the advancement in standardisation processes and WiFi networks.
Press release (PDF)
Nordrhein-Westfalen Data Protection Commissioner Comments on Speed Check Services
Helga Block, the Data Protection Commissioner of NordrheinWestfalen, has announced that she had received no information on concrete plans to introduce Speed Check Services (SPECS), a speed camera system for measuring the average speed of vehicles over longer distances, in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Block commented that SPECS would represent a high risk for the basic right to privacy, especially because it collects data regardless of whether a car driver breaches the speed limit or not. According to Block, the introduction of SPECS would require a legal basis, a non-comprehensive use, and encryption of the data collected.
Press release (in German)
EPIC Challenges New FAA Drone Rules
On 22 August, the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) challenging the FAA's rules regarding the commercial use of small drones. EPIC claims that the FAA's rules should be annulled because they fail to include any adequate privacy protections. Many privacy advocates have argued that privacy protections should be a mandatory part of any government authorisation regarding the use of commercial drones.
EPIC petition (PDF)
Software Manufacturer May Be Liable for Privacy Invasion Due to Use of Spyware
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a claim that a software company violated federal and state wiretapping laws and privacy rights can proceed. The plaintiff asserted that the defendant company knew, intended and promoted the unlawful uses of its software which allowed a suspicious husband to intercept emails between his spouse and the plaintiff. The court concluded that the software company could be liable because the software, once installed, automatically acquired and transmitted the communications to the company's server and was advertised as having such capabilities. The court pointed to promotional claims made about the software as indicating that the defendant knew and intended that its software be used for illegal snooping. The case now goes back to the trial court for further proceedings.
Luis v. Zang, et al. full text (PDF)
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The contents of this update are not intended to serve as legal advice related to individual situations or as legal opinions concerning such situations nor should they be considered a substitute for taking legal advice. Squire Patton Boggs. All Rights Reserved 2016