STLR Link Roundup – April 9, 2019

Proposed Amendment to the CCPA Would Create a Private Right of Action for All Violators

After the enactment of the GDPR in May 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was a “first-in-the-nation regulatory overhaul” for data protection. “The CCPA expanded consumer data protection laws by requiring large businesses operating in California to, among other things, notify their customers about the nature of their data collection (including what type of data is being collected and the purpose of the data), allow customers to view and delete their data from the company’s databases, and allow customers to view information about the sale of their data and to halt the sale of their personal information.” Currently, the statute, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020, only provides for limited enforcement actions when a company’s failure to comply with the statute causes an actual data breach. However, this proposed amendment would create a private right of action for all CCPA violations, thus opening tech companies up to even more potential liability.

Singapore’s New Fake News Law Might Have a Chilling Effect on Free Speech

Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill has raised concerns that the bill will have negative consequences on free speech.  The government will be allowed to “force corrections” to online content that is “false;” facts will be added so the “facts can travel together with the falsehood.” Those deemed to be malicious actors may be fined “up to SG$50,000 ($37,000)” or sentenced to “five years in prison for their content.” If posted using “an inauthentic online account or a bot,” the fine can reach to up to SG$100,000 ($74,000) or up to a 10-year jail term. The proposed bill “can be activated by any government minister if they believe that a false statement of fact… has been or is being communicated in Singapore.”

Musical App To Pay Record $5.7MM Settlement to the FTC

On February 27, 2019, the FTC announced that TikTok will settle accusations that it violated children’s privacy laws for $5.7M. It was allegedthat TikTok “illegally collected personal information from children” by failing to get their parents’ permission before they registered, anviolation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). One of the key provisions of COPPA is that any app or website, like TikTok, that invites children to create an account must gain parental consent before allowing users under 13 years of age to share personal information with the app or site. In addition to the settlement money, TikTok will now ask for parental consent for users under 13 going forward and remove any content uploaded by users under 13 from the site. 

FCC Pays Journalist’s Fees in Connection a Story About Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to pay $43,000 to a journalist “who sued the commission for stonewalling his request for information about the repeal of net neutrality rules.”  Jason Prechtel, who works as a freelance writer, was researching “public comments to repeal net neutrality” that had reportedly made using stolen identities. Prechtel was looking for information about who submitted these comments. He subsequently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FCC. Investigators believe that various entities, including a prominent D.C. publication, may be implicated. When agency failed to provide the requested information, Prechtel sought  a court order to obtain the information. In the settlement, the FCC agreed to reimburse Prechtel for his attorney’s fees and cost. However, Chairman Ajit Pai did not admit to any wrongdoing on the part of the FCC.


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