The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of everyday physical objects that surround us and are increasingly being embedded with technology to enable those objects to collect and transmit data about their use and surroundings. TVs connected to the Internet and refrigerators connected to online delivery services are just the start of it. In the new world of the IoT, the possibilities are enormous, and the technology industry has so far only scratched the surface of what “machine-to-machine” (M2M) interconnectivity could achieve.

But the ingenuity and innovation which companies will apply to turn the IoT into practical reality is constrained by law and regulation. Existing issues may take on new dimensions and, as technologies combine, so will the legal consequences of those technologies.

In this post, we look at the prospects for the IoT. In a second post to be published shortly, we will examine the likely legal and regulatory factors that will affect the development and growth of IoT technology and the markets that such technology will create.
Continue Reading The Internet of Things Part 1: Brave New World

California’s AB 370, if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, would be the first piece of legislation in the world directly addressing “do not track” (DNT) to become law. It has passed both houses of the California Legislature and would likely take effect in January. The bill, which would amend California’s existing Online Privacy Protection Act

Article courtesy of Morrison & Foerster’s Mobile Payments Practice

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., continue to show interest in understanding and developing regulatory proposals relating to mobile apps. The interest appears to be driven, at least in part, by policymakers’ concerns about consumer privacy when using mobile phones and other smart hand-held devices. The issue of

Europe is currently undergoing a significant reform of its privacy regime. Under the current European Union (EU) Privacy Directive, individuals already have broad rights curtailing companies’ ability to process their personal data. The proposed EU Privacy Regulation seeks to broaden these rights even further. In particular, the proposed “right to be forgotten” may ultimately

On March 26, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission” or “FTC”) released its much-anticipated final privacy report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change.  The report builds upon the Commission’s December 2010 preliminary report, and provides recommendations for businesses and policymakers with respect to online and offline privacy practices.  The

Earlier this year, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced S. 799, the “Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011,” which would establish, for the first time in the United States, a comprehensive framework for the collection, use, storage, and transfer of covered information.  If passed as currently drafted, the bill

Google’s recent announcement that it is preparing to offer behaviorally targeted ads for mobile devices has led to concerns regarding the tracking required to implement such functionality.  Online behavioral advertising has typically been implemented using cookies placed through a user’s web browser when the user visits a website.  Mobile devices, however, often access the Internet

When consumers sue online service providers for data breaches involving such consumers’ personally identifiable information (“PII”), courts routinely dismiss such suits based on the failure to allege an “injury in fact” as required to establish constitutional standing — see, for example, the decisions in Bell v. Acxiom Corporation and Amburgy v. Express Scripts, Inc