The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released a set of consumer protection principles designed to protect consumer interests in the market for services built around consumer-approved use of financial information. The principles are targeted at so-called 'data aggregation' or 'screen scraping' services that collect customer information in order to provide financial planning or other services.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have announced a joint investigation into allegedly misleading mortgage-related advertisements. This is the first time that the two agencies have announced a joint enforcement action. Potentially affected companies should review their practices in light of this regulatory activity.
Internet regulation by particular states almost inevitably has a significant impact on out-of-state activities and interstate commerce. Accordingly, courts have invalidated a number of state laws restricting internet-related activities under the federal Constitution’s so-called 'dormant commerce clause'.
The Child Online Protection Act has cleared its first hurdle before the Supreme Court, but this was a limited test that left many questions unanswered concerning the act’s constitutionality. In spite of their different approaches, six justices have indicated significant concerns about this issue. The future of the act thus remains uncertain.
Recent guidelines drafted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service outline practices advocated by these bodies to deter and respond to cyberattacks. They are a useful source for businesses that wish to formulate a proactive and responsive strategy to this threat.
A new Minnesota internet privacy bill provides consumers with a right of action against both internet service providers (ISPs) and spammers for violation of its provisions; but its enactment presents a troubling development for ISPs due to the restrictions and uncertainties of a vague, untested statutory text.
While the constitutionality of the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act's jurisdiction over domain names has been questioned, analysis shows that fits squarely within the boundaries of established law and relies upon a court’s sovereign power to adjudicate the rights to an item of property under the custody of the law.
The new '.us' country-code top-level domain for the United States within the global domain name system went live on April 24 2002. Names within this domain can be registered by US citizens and residents, as well as businesses and organizations with a genuine presence in the United States.
Recent reports indicate that internet attacks are dramatically on the rise and that the Internet is vulnerable. Companies should thus become familiar with the legal weapons that can be used to protect them, punish those who perpetrate internet attacks and create disincentives against future attacks.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that an employee’s expectation of privacy in his office computer was objectively reasonable because the employer had not notified employees that their computer usage would be monitored.
The 9th Circuit has addressed a number of key outstanding questions relating to hyperlinking on the Internet. The decision allows use of image 'thumbnails' in a search engine but bars use of full, high-quality images on a 'framed' webpage or an 'inline linked' webpage.
A recent Federal Trade Commission consent order serves as a useful roadmap for companies interested in implementing an internal privacy and data protection due diligence programme. Among other things, specific employees should be designated as responsible for privacy issues and training should be provided on information security procedures.
All multinational companies must develop a compliance strategy for the new legal privacy regimes in operation worldwide. This update sets out a three-stage work plan which should assist multinationals in complying with international privacy laws.
US federal courts have accorded limited deference to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) domain name dispute decisions. Federal litigation will override WIPO proceedings, and WIPO litigants will not be denied their day in a US court by virtue of having tried (and even failed) in WIPO proceedings first.
The courts have confirmed that domain names that are intentional misspellings of distinctive or famous names constitute unlawful conduct under the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Meanwhile, a country music singer has encrypted his new album to prevent people from downloading it onto Napster.
Two recent decisions emphasize that traditional rules of contract law will apply to e-commerce transactions. The first case involved software that was downloaded without the necessity of clicking through a licence, while the second related to the publication of electronic books.
In the aftermath of the cyber-attack on the Office of Personnel Management and significant losses of corporate intellectual property, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently issued new cyber-related sanctions regulations. Once parties are blocked for cyber-related sanctions purposes, their names will be added to the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals List.