Greetings from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!
With the Global Privacy Summit just days away, the office is abuzz making final preparations for our busiest week of the year. On the publications side of things, we're really excited about all the great content we'll be sharing next week. Stay tuned!
On the privacy news tip, it has once again been a week of big developments in the space. On Tuesday, the California state assembly was busy tweaking amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act. DLA Piper Partner Jim Halpert offered his recap of the afternoon's developments in a Privacy Tracker post. No doubt practitioners are looking for clarity in the law, but privacy advocates have expressed concern this week that Tuesday's developments have weakened some of the CCPA's privacy provisions. This Fast Company article is but one example. As always, I'll be interested to hear any feedback you have on these developments.
On the federal level, it's hard not to notice the scrutiny Facebook is receiving from the Federal Trade Commission (not to mention the news that New York's attorney general has launched a new and separate investigation, as well). Reports emerged this week that the company expects to receive an enforcement action to the tune of $3 billion to $5 billion. And though that would be a historic fine for privacy violations, some pundits have noted that the company is still making significant quarterly profits and that its stock price actually jumped after the enforcement action news came out.
Significantly, The New York Times is also reporting that there appears to be an internal rift within the FTC on how best to proceed with a Facebook enforcement action. Is a hefty fine the best way to go? Or, for example, should an action alter the company's business model by preventing it from sharing data between Instagram and WhatsApp, each of which is owned by Facebook?
FTC Chairman Joe Simons has said he wants consensus among the five-member commission, so it will be interesting to see how long this process takes. It has already been a while, and, clearly, the stakes are high, and the eventual decision could have a significant impact on privacy regulation here in the U.S. Also, it's worth noting that Simons, along with a host of other FTC and global regulatory officials, will be on hand at next week's Global Privacy Summit.
I'm looking forward to the conversations ahead!
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