Legislative Spotlight: Self-Driving Cars Part 1

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The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3388, the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act” or the “SELF DRIVE Act” last month. The bill would remove regulatory barriers to develop self-driving or autonomous cars by giving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) authority to establish federal safety, design, and performance standards for automated cars, excluding commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses. States would still be responsible for the vehicle registration, driver’s licensing, insurance, and safety and emissions inspections. The bill would also allow states to impose stricter performance requirements than those set by NHTSA.

We have outlined the privacy and cybersecurity provisions of this bill, as well as the NHTSA’s voluntary security standards for self-driving cars.

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A Top-5 Panel Round-up of the Mobile World Congress Americas

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The Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) brought more than 30,000 attendees together from around the world to discuss the latest technologies, telecommunications developments, and policies last month.  The conference, which was held in San Francisco, included a massive exhibition floor, numerous panel events, and countless ancillary networking events.  What follows is a top-five round-up of key takeways from MWCA panels, in no particular order.

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Mark your calendars! FTC Workshop on Information Injury set for December

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The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureaus of Consumer Protection and Economics will host a workshop to examine consumer injury in the context of privacy and data security on Dec. 12, 2017.   Consumer injury is often difficult to quantify generally and especially challenging when there are allegations of a privacy or data security breach or other types of unauthorized access to personal information.  The FTC’s workshop will explore how to measure accurately such injuries; what frameworks might be used to assess different injuries as well as how consumers and businesses evaluate the benefits and costs associated with providing, collecting and using personal information.

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U.S. Government Restricts the Use of Kaspersky Cybersecurity Software

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Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a binding order restricting the government’s use of cybersecurity software developed by Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs.

Government departments and agencies have 90 days to remove or discontinue use of any Kaspersky Labs software products—but the buck doesn’t stop there. Kaspersky boasts more than 400 million users and 270,000 corporate clients, meaning organizations that provide any services involving federal information systems would be wise to investigate whether they, either directly or indirectly, use Kaspersky products and services. Continue reading “U.S. Government Restricts the Use of Kaspersky Cybersecurity Software”

Equifax Breach: Good Data Security Practices Matter

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The Equifax breach affecting as many as 143 million U.S. consumers highlights the segmented legal landscape surrounding data security as well as the challenges of regulating it.  News reports indicate that federal agencies, including the FTC, and a number of  state Attorneys General either are or have been called to investigate Equifax and a number of class actions have already been filed.

Some commentators have suggested that the Equifax breach requires a regulatory response, but it is not clear that regulation would have prevented the breach.

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Pending IoT Legislation Would Impose Significant Obligations on Manufacturers

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With the House and Senate returning to Washington in September, two recently-introduced Senate bills seek to address perceived vulnerabilities in the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices sold to the federal government and medical devices which regularly connect to the Internet.

Among the key takeaways in the legislation:

  • Legislation covers both products sold to the federal government and medical devices;
  • Legislation addresses “life of device” obligations of IoT device manufacturers;
  • Disclosure and Certification Requirements could create additional liability for manufacturers of Internet of Things devices.

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