Page 2 of 3

U.S. Congress Approves CLOUD Act for Data Stored Overseas

Share

On March 23, 2018, Congress passed the “Clarifying Overseas Use of Data Act,” also known as the “CLOUD Act” (H.R. 4943, S. 2383), a new U.S. law that will have a dramatic effect on the United State government’s control over and access to data stored overseas.  The CLOUD Act was introduced to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on February 6, 2018, as part of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.  The bill passed both houses of Congress on March 23, 2018, and was signed into law by the President the next day.

Continue reading

Singapore Joins APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System and Privacy Recognition for Processors Program

Share

Singapore recently became the latest country to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) System.  Singapore is the CBPR’s sixth participant, joining the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada, and the Republic of Korea.  Singapore also became the second country to join APEC’s new Privacy Recognition for Processors (“PRP”) program, joining only the United States.

As a member of APEC’s CBPR, Singapore’s personal data protection regime has been deemed to be in alignment with the CBPR’s focus on facilitating data flows between economies and preventing accidental disclosure and misuse of personal data vis-à-vis online transactions.  Remarking on this move, Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commissioner Tan Kiat How stated, “[t]he seamless exchange of personal data will enable certified Singapore business to plug into even more regional and global business opportunities.  Meanwhile, our consumers will enjoy greater peace of mind when they shop or use vital services online.”

Endorsed by APEC Leaders in 2011, the CBPR is a voluntary, accountability-based system that implements the APEC Privacy Framework (the “Framework”) by reducing barriers to information flows, enhancing consumer privacy, and promoting interoperability across regional data privacy regimes.  Created in 2004, the Framework was developed to facilitate the flow of information between the 21 APEC member economies and their trading partners, by promoting a common set of data privacy principles designed to strengthen consumer privacy protections, encourage digital commerce, and facilitate trade and economic growth.  Both the CBPR and the Framework apply only to personal information controllers, whereas the PRP program focuses exclusively on personal information processors.  Finalized in 2016, the PRP program was designed to certify privacy compliance for personal information processors within the Asia-Pacific region by offering a Trustmark certification to processors that demonstrate their capacity to assist data controllers in complying with relevant privacy obligations.  The PRP program was created in order  that (1) data controllers are able to identify qualified data processors to implement data controllers’ data processing obligations, (2) data processors are able to demonstrate their ability to provide effective implementation of a controller’s privacy requirements, and (3) small and medium-sized institutions are able to gain exposure and visibility into a global data processing network.  Collectively, the CBPR, Framework, and PRP make up the three legs of APEC’s current data protection construct.

APEC is one of the leading Asia-Pacific economic forums designed to “support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”  The three pillars of APEC’s agenda focus on trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation.  APEC currently has 21 member jurisdictions, including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Learn more about the APEC Privacy Framework.

Learn more about the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules.

European Commission Issues GDPR Guidance

Share

The European Commission (EC) recently issued online guidance on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a sweeping European Union (EU) data protection legislation that will take effect on May 25, 2018.  The guidance is intended to be used as a tool to help businesses as well as the EC, national data protection authorities, EU Member States, and other national administrations prepare for the GDPR.  To date, only 2 EU Member States – Germany and Austria – have adopted the relevant national legislation to be in compliance with GDPR.

Continue reading

China Releases New Personal Information Privacy Standards

Share

On January 25, 2018, China released the final version of the Personal Information Security Specification, new voluntary standards on the protection of personal information.  The standards anticipate and address the “issues faced in personal information security during the rapid development of IT technology; with the protection of personal information as their core” and is meant to “regulate all phases of big data operations and related conduct, such as the collection, storage, processing, use and disclosure of personal information.”  The standards will go into effect on May 1, 2018.

The standards will apply to organizations using information systems to process personal information; specific departments that involve network security, third party assessment organizations; and other organizations that deal with the oversight, management, and assessment of personal information security.  Generally, they lay out the following 8 basic principles of personal information security.

Continue reading

Strava’s Heatmap & IoT Devices

Share

Online fitness tracking app Strava recently published a “heatmap” of data showing the physical movement paths of Strava users around the globe.  The Strava app uses mobile phones’ GPS in conjunction with wearable fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, Garmin, and Xiaomi Mi, to track users’ physical activities, capture performance metrics like speed, pace, and distance, analyze users’ performance, and compare performance metrics with other users.  As useful as this information is to Strava users, it became widely known in late January 2018 that Strava’s heatmap, easily available to the public, shows the movement of soldiers and military personnel in different global locations.  This information can be used to identify, with explicit detail, the location and layout of foreign physical military installations in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.

Strava’s heatmap, which was updated in November 2017, is a visualization of the company’s global network of athletes.  According to Strava, the heatmap is the “largest, richest, and most beautiful dataset of its kind,” and consists of the following data points:

  • 1 billion activities
  • 3 trillion latitude/longitude points
  • 13 trillion pixels rasterized
  • 10 terabytes of raw input data
  • A total distance of 27 billion km (17 billion miles)
  • A total recorded activity duration of 200 thousand years
  • 5% of all land on Earth covered by tiles

Strava notes that the platform has numerous privacy rules in place, including an enhanced privacy mode, the exclusion of some or all private activities, the cropping of activities to respect user defined privacy zones, and the option to opt-out of contributing data to the heatmap.

Strava’s heatmap highlights a variety of issues associated with the deployment of  Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  The IoT, a broad category of technology that is generally understood to include physical devices that can collect and share data and connect to the Internet, is quickly changing every aspect of our lives, from the way we work and how we purchase goods and services to how we exercise and how well we sleep.  How these devices connect with other devices as well as consumer expectations continue to evolve is this largely unregulated space.

The FTC’s 2012 report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” provides further insight.

United States Is First Country to Join APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors Program

Share

The United States recently became the first country to participate in the new Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) Privacy Recognition for Processors (“PRP”) program.  Finalized in 2016 and designed to certify privacy compliance for personal information processors within the Asia-Pacific region, the PRP program offers a trustmark certification to processors that demonstrate their capacity to assist data controllers in complying with relevant privacy obligations.  According to APEC, the PRP program was created so that (1) data controllers are able to identify qualified data processors to implement data controllers’ data processing obligations, (2) data processors are able to demonstrate their ability to provide effective implementation of a controller’s privacy requirements, and (3) small and medium-sized institutions are able to gain exposure and visibility into a global data processing network.  Continue reading

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2019 Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved. Lawyer Advertising.

Disclaimer/Privacy Policy