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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Mark Brennan

Posts by Mark Brennan
Posted in Cybersecurity Mark BrennanBret Cohen

NTIA Seeks Comment on New, Outcome-Based Privacy Approach

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Request for Comments (RFC) on a new consumer privacy approach that is designed to focus on outcomes instead of prescriptive mandates. The RFC presents an important opportunity for organizations to provide legal and policy input to the administration, and comments are due October 26.The RFC notes … Continue Reading
Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy Mark BrennanW. James Denvil

California Consumer Privacy Act: the Challenge Ahead – Data Mapping and the CCPA

This is the third installment in Hogan Lovells’ series on the California Consumer Privacy Act.

What personal information do you have about California consumers and households?

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) provides a series of new compliance obligations and operational challenges for companies doing business in California. A vital first step for any company subject to the Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Eighth Circuit Finds that Bare “Technical Violations” of the TCPA Do Not Establish Standing

In St. Louis Heart Center v. Nomax, Inc., the Eighth Circuit held that an “alleged failure to provide a technically compliant opt-out notice” in a fax advertisement, without more, does not give a plaintiff Article III standing to bring a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim.

The Eighth Circuit’s decision requires that the alleged injury be “traceable” to statutory … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Bills Introduced to Amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Both Chambers of Congress are considering legislation that would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  Introduced in the House by Congressman Pallone (H.R. 6026) and in the Senate (S. 3078) by Senator Markey, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act adds a new definition, “robocall,” in place of “automated telephone dialing system.”  The new term would include devices that make calls … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Mark BrennanHarriet PearsonBret CohenTimothy Tobin

Now Available: California Consumer Privacy Act: What you need to know now webinar recording and slides

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s webinar “California Consumer Privacy Act: What you need to know now.”

In this complimentary webinar, Hogan Lovells partners Mark Brennan, Bret Cohen, Harriet Pearson, and Tim Tobin, discussed:

• What triggered the new law?

• What data is covered?

• What does CCPA require, and how do you start operationalizing the … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Mark BrennanBret CohenHarriet PearsonTimothy Tobin

Webinar Invitation – California Consumer Privacy Act: What you need to know now

On June 28, 2018, California’s governor signed Assembly Bill 375, a ground-breaking new data privacy law that some are calling the United States’ answer to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Particularly in light of California’s status as the world’s 5th largest economy, many are wondering how the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will affect them.

Please … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanMichele Farquhar

RICO Complaint Settlement Highlights TCPA Abuse by Plaintiffs’ Law Firms; Serial Plaintiffs and Cy Pres Awards Continue to Flourish

As the number of frivolous Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class actions continues to grow unabated, the potential rewards have even led to alleged criminal activity by plaintiff firms seeking to game the system.  A recently settled Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) complaint showcases a particularly egregious series of allegations that several plaintiffs’ law firms conspired with other … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Mark BrennanTimothy Tobin

California Enacts Sweeping New Comprehensive Privacy Legislation

California continues to be a first mover in privacy in the United States, enacting the US’s toughest and most comprehensive privacy legislation on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Unlike existing state and federal privacy legislation that has generally focused on specific sectors or privacy issues, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375), applies broadly to businesses that … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones Mark BrennanLisa EllmanTrey Hanbury

No Fly Zone: FCC Proposes $2.8 Million Penalty for Marketing Non-Compliant Drone AV Accessories

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to bring a $2.8 million penalty against HobbyKing for marketing drone-attachable audio/video (AV) transmitters that operate on unauthorized frequencies.

For marketers and retailers of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and attachable devices, this penalty signals that the FCC is cracking down on the makers and marketers of noncompliant UAS and UAS-attachable devices. This penalty also … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Seeks to Refresh the TCPA Record

Now that the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s highly anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is going back to the drawing board in a new Public Notice that seeks comment on foundational TCPA issues.

In March, the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC’s 2015 interpretation of … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

Much-Needed TCPA Reform Would Support Small Businesses and Spur Economic Benefits

Growing evidence suggests that existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) compliance challenges, and the current TCPA litigation landscape, are increasingly a threat to many U.S. companies – particularly small businesses that have fewer resources and could face financial ruin if targeted by a class action lawsuit.  To help address this issue and support the U.S. economy, Congress and the Federal … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanWesley Platt

New Study Highlights Spike in TCPA Litigation Since 2015 FCC Decision

A new study has found that litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has increased 50 percent since the Federal Communications Commission released its July 2015 “Omnibus” Declaratory Ruling and Order, which had purported to clarify several issues around the agency’s TCPA rules.  As explained below, this continuing trend is one of many reasons that Congress and the … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Proposes $82 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) imposing a $82 million penalty against Best Insurance Contracts (d/b/a Wilmington Insurance Quotes) and its owner/operator Philip Roesel for allegedly making more than 21 million prerecorded robocalls with illegally “spoofed” caller ID information in an attempt to sell health insurance.… Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanSarah K. Leggin

FCC Extends TCPA Liability to Technology Platform Provider

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Forfeiture Order (“Order”) imposing a nearly $2.9 million penalty against Dialing Services, LLC (“Dialing Services”) for making prerecorded voice calls to wireless phones without the “prior express consent” of the called parties.  This Order is notable because the FCC targeted the technology platform provider rather than the provider’s customer.… Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Hogan Lovells Obtains Major TCPA Consent Revocation Victory

On June 22, 2017, in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with Hogan Lovells attorneys representing the defendant and held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) does not permit a consumer to revoke her consent to be called when that consent forms part of a bilateral contract.  The … Continue Reading

Posted in Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

New U.S. Federal Law Prohibits Contracts With “Anti-Yelping” Provisions

Late last year, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”).   Intended to protect individuals who write unflattering online reviews of businesses, the CRFA voids contractual provisions in form contracts that: (1) prohibit non-disparagement; (2) impose liquidated damages or fines for posting disparaging reviews; or (3) exert control over the review through an assignment of intellectual property … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Mark BrennanJared Bomberg

FCC Privacy Rules Break New Ground

On November 2, 2016 the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) released its long-awaited – and much debated – Report and Order adopting privacy rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  In the Order, the FCC applied the Communications Act’s privacy requirements to broadband Internet access service (BIAS), which it called “the most significant communications technology of today.”

Several of the FCC requirements … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Alexander MaltasMark Brennan

Common Carriers Exempt from FTC Regulation, Ninth Circuit Holds

Last week, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel issued a significant decision that holds that common carriers are categorically exempt from Section 5 of the FTC Act—even for activities unrelated to common carriage.  See AT&T Mobility LLC. v. Fed. Trade Comm’n, No. 15-16585, 2016 WL 4501685 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2016).  This opinion has potentially far-reaching implications for the telecommunications … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Timothy TobinMark BrennanMichele FarquharJulie Brill

NTIA Commences Internet of Things Proceeding

On April 5, 2016, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) initiated an inquiry to review the potential benefits and challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT). In its Notice and request for public comment (RFC), NTIA is seeking input on the current IoT technological and policy landscape with a goal of developing recommendations—in the form of a Green … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

FCC Circulates Privacy Rulemaking and Announces Commission Vote

On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a highly anticipated broadband data privacy and security Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to the other Commissioners, slating the proposals for a full Commission vote at the agency’s March 31 Open Meeting.  The rules would apply to internet service providers (“ISPs”), but organizations throughout the online data ecosystem will want … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet Mark BrennanTom Peters

FCC Fines More Companies for Wi-Fi Blocking

On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued two proposed fines related to Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. In the first notice the FCC proposed a penalty of $718,000 against M.C. Dean, one of the largest U.S. electrical contracting companies, for allegedly interfering with and disabling the operation of consumers’ Wi-Fi devices at the Baltimore Convention Center.  In the second Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Mark Brennan

FCC Continues String of Data Security Cases, Settling with Cox for $595,000

On November 5, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau announced a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications, Inc. to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information when electronic data systems were breached in August 2014.  According to the FCC, Cox exposed the personal information of numerous customers and failed to report … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Considers TCPA Exemption for Calls Made by or on behalf of Federal, State, and Local Governments

On September 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comments on the Broadnet Teleservices, LLC (Broadnet) petition asking the FCC to declare that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not apply to calls made by or on behalf of federal, state, and local governments, when such calls are made for official purposes.

Currently, the … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FTC Closes PayPal Investigation Over Telemarketing Rule and User Agreement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a copy of a letter that it sent to PayPal stating that the agency was closing an investigation into potential Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) violations by the company.  This release provides important insights on how companies can design their user agreements to avoid TSR violations.

As background, PayPal had indicated that it planned … Continue Reading