FTC urges tweaks to COPPA, Senate still pressing data security and NIST Building Cloud Roadmap

Big news on the privacy front last week, on Thursday the FTC issued its long awaited proposal to revise COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). The proposed amendments pose some significant challenges, including expanding the type of data covered by COPPA, including geolocation information and other “persistent identifiers” such as cookies for behavioral advertising. The amendments would also revise the means by which companies must notify parents and put in place new security measures to protect kids’ sensitive information. SIIA is reviewing, and comments on the proposed amendments are due Nov. 28th.

Also last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee was unable to advance any of the privacy/data security bills at its markup on Thursday due to a lack of Republican members to constitute a quorum. And the exchange between Chairman Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Grassley (R-IA) revealed considerable concerns from the Republican side of the Committee that the bills present too great a new regulatory burden on businesses. The bills (S. 1151, S. 1408 and S. 1535) are again scheduled for consideration this Thursday. And not to fall behind Judiciary, Commerce Cmte. Chair Rockefeller (D-WV) scheduled–but then quickly postponed–consideration of his rival legislation, the Data security Breach Notification Act (S. 1207).

With cloud computing generating a lot of buzz in Washington recently, a couple very significant developments went little noticed. That is, NIST recently released two more key guidance documents aimed at accelerating the U.S. Government adoption of cloud computing. One is the Draft Reference Architecture, and the other the Draft Standards Roadmap. Both documents are key elements of the broad Cloud Computing Roadmap to be released in early November, seeking to provide key guidance to Federal agencies in their effort to implement the Administration’s Cloud First Policy.

Finally patent reform is officially in the books–the U.S. code, that is. On Friday, President Obama signed and officially enacted the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249, PL 112-29).

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