Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending March 1, 2019

Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending March 1, 2019

Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending March 1, 2019.

Will Congress Follow California’s Data Privacy Legislation Lead?

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Beginning in 2020, California consumers will have more control and say over how Internet companies share, sell, and use their data. Under Governor Jerry Brown, a new law slated to begin in 2020 promises that web users can demand that businesses disclose whatever personal information is collected about them and how that data is being used. Under the new data privacy legislation, California consumers will also have the option to tell the same companies to delete that personal data.

California’s Data Privacy Legislation

The California law also seeks to strengthen privacy protection for young children online. Parents and guardians will be required to give consent before any website, online service, or mobile application may begin selling children’s user data. Moreover, if consumers are able to demonstrate that companies failed to properly safeguard the sensitive, personal data of users, the law has provisions that allows consumers to use in case of such data breaches.

While California has been lauded for passing stricter data privacy legislation, many experts fear that the California law, as currently drafted, is too vague to be considered a good model for a national standard. While the federal government has stated that data privacy remains one of its top priorities, very little legislation and action has been taken on the Congress floor.

State Legislation on Data Privacy

To fill the void, many states have passed their own respective privacy laws, which has made the idea of drafting a federal law that accommodates the different patchwork of state laws an even more daunting task. Because states vary on how stringent their data privacy protection laws are, Congress must decide whether federal law will be more stringent than the strictest of state laws or more lenient in order to accommodate other state laws.

And as if this were not perplexing enough, many companies fear that, with also having to comply with the European Union’s passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), having to accommodate, state, federal, and foreign law will end up bankrupting business.

Read more here.

EU Data Privacy Rules: Google Fined Millions as First Major GDPR Casualty

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In February, France’s data protection agency, known as CNIL, fined Alphabet’s Google 50 million euros ($57 million) for breaching the European Union’s new online data privacy rules – the biggest such penalty levied against a U.S. tech company so far.

The penalty against Google was issued for alleged violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into force in May 2018. It allows users to better control their personal data and gives regulators the power to impose fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue for violations.

“GDPR represents a seismic shift in data privacy rules, requiring tech companies to be more transparent about data use, and giving individuals much more power over the collection and use of their data,” says Jim Chester, a global business and technology attorney and partner in Dallas-based technology boutique Klemchuk LLP.

“Although the industry has been aware of GDPR, it is such a fundamental and comprehensive change in how companies need to think about data privacy that many companies have struggled to adapt their policies – there is no clear ‘best practices’ blueprint for compliance,” Chester adds.

Find the full article here.

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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.

Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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