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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Publications Editor, Jan. 11, 2019 Related reading: Web con: 'Privacy Engineering Live — PBD in Practice'

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Greetings from a chilly, Portsmouth, NH!

Winter hasn't been too harsh yet up here in the northeast, but we're starting to feel the chillier January temperatures. That must mean the New England Patriots are in the playoffs. But I will admit, they have their hands full with a strong San Diego ... er, excuse me ... Los Angeles Chargers team. All in all, looks like there will be a solid slate of playoff games over the weekend. If you're a football fan, I hope your team does well, even the Chargers. 

Speaking of California, the state's attorney general held the first in a series of public forums this week on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Perhaps some of you were present. Luckily, Baker McKenzie Partner Lothar Determann was also there and provided a quick recap of the inaugural forum. If you weren't there and are curious about the types of issues that are being raised at the forums about the CCPA, be sure to check out his Privacy Perspectives post below. 

But that's not the only big privacy news out of California in the past week. You may have heard that the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, filed a complaint against the company behind the Weather Channel app based on its tracking of users' geolocation. IAPP Westin Fellow Mitchell Noordyke has provided an in-depth analysis of the case, writing, "This action may encourage state attorneys general across the country to consider filing similar complaints."  

The case isn't the only news development this week involving geolocation. Motherboard broke a story in which one of its reporters paid a bounty hunter $300 to find out where his phone was located. The bounty hunter was able to do so quickly and accurately, prompting several U.S. lawmakers to call for an investigation into the telecommunications industry's use of geolocation. In response, several carriers have said they will begin restricting third-party access. 

No doubt, the development will add to more calls for a U.S. privacy law, but, as I mentioned last week, Washington is embroiled in a stalemate that's affecting hundreds of thousands of government employees and their families, putting any realistic move toward an omnibus law on hold. Some worry that the shutdown could affect the cybersecurity posture of the U.S. government. Suzanne Spaulding, a former Department of Homeland Security official, raised a red flag about what the shutdown means for the U.S. government's cybersecurity. "The longer the shutdown continues," she writes, "the more our concern should grow for our country’s cybersecurity protections — it’s natural for adversaries and nation states to see this as an opportunity for cyber mischief."

Let's hope this shutdown ends soon and that those adversaries are not able to take advantage of this impasse.  

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