Supreme Court Supports State’s Right to Restrict Access to Data
On April 29, in what was a very disappointing ruling for the information industry, open government advocates and proponents of data-driven innovation, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld Virginia’s citizens-only restriction on public records access. In the case, McBurney v. Young, the Court found that the effect of the “citizen restriction” on commerce was merely “incidental” since the state created the market for the information through a monopoly, it could discriminate against noncitizens who access that information. As disappointing and surprising as the Court’s ruling is, the notion that a state would fail to recognize the benefits of maximizing the availability of data is perhaps even more troubling. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse blog.
Conclusion Could Be Near for Mobile Privacy Code of Conduct
The Department of Commerce (DOC)-led multistakeholder initiative to develop a voluntary code of conduct for mobile transparency could be drawing to a conclusion in the next month or so. In the face of participant fatigue and increased political pressure to finalize an outcome, significant progress has been made on a draft Code that would provide guidance for so-called “short form” notices for mobile apps. Of course, as is the nature of these processes, there are still significant outstanding items where agreement needs to be reached. Most significantly, the code needs to strike the right balance of flexibility to maximize the effectiveness of disclosure across a very broad mobile app environment. SIIA has been a leading participant in the discussions since the initiative was launched in mid-2012, seeking to establish an effective voluntary privacy framework that would obviate the need for cumbersome legislation or regulations. Stay tuned for further updates in the weeks ahead.
FTC Releases COPPA Guidance, SIIA Analysis for Ed-tech Providers
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday reaffirmed that July 1st is the effective date for companies to comply with revised regulations for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This decision came despite the urging of SIIA and a broad swath of industry to provide more time for companies to implement. After all, it was not even two weeks ago that the FTC released its updated FAQ guidance to clarify the December 2012 changes to COPPA.
In response to the revised guidance and in anticipation of the Rule’s implementation, SIIA created a summary and analysis of key COPPA provisions most relevant to SIIA members, particularly those serving students and schools through educational products and services. The FTC has also produced a compliance guide and other resources. SIIA has provided a summary of the rule and an analysis of the new guidance for School/Education Providers. Read more.
David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPubPolicy.