In response to the killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani, the government of Iran and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have declared the country’s intention to strike back at the United States. According to reports, their desire is to respond proportionally, but not start a war, and they are contemplating multiple options, any subset of which they may implement. Continue Reading Iran’s Imminent Cybersecurity Threat

As one year ends, another begins.  So too it seems with California’s embrace of multi-million dollar privacy class actions.  The purported illegal recording of cellular or cordless phone calls under Section 632.7 of the California Penal Code has long been a favorite of the class action bar due to the availability of staggering statutory damages.  These actions are all but dead, however, following the Fourth Appellate District’s decision in Smith v. LoanMe, Inc., 2019 DJDAR 11930, holding that some form of eavesdropping is required to state a cause of action under Section 632.7.  No longer is the simple recording of a cellular or cordless telephone call between the actual participants to the call actionable.  While many have long argued that the actual language of the statute as well as its legislative history – including the legislative history of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (Pen. Code §§ 630, et seq.) in general – require some form of spying to state a claim under Section 632.7, the court of appeal in LoanMe has made it official.  Barring review or inconsistent rulings by other appellate districts, privacy class actions seeking statutory damages under Penal Code section 632.7 are the past.   Continue Reading The Death of One California Privacy Class Action, and the Birth of Another

When it comes to compelling arbitration in California, courts often put the moving party to the test. The most recent example is the Fourth Appellate District’s decision in Fabian v. Renovate America. Affirming a lower court’s decision, the Court of Appeal held that the defendant failed to meet its burden of proof that an electronically signed contract – one containing a 15-digit alphanumeric verification from DocuSign and the words “Identify Verification Code: ID Verification Complete” – was in fact signed by the plaintiff. Stating that the “burden of authenticating an electronic signature is not great,” the Court of Appeal went on to hold that the defendant had not met its burden as it had failed to submit evidence explaining the DocuSign verification process. The court of appeal acknowledged the acceptance of a DocuSign verified signature in Newton v. Am. Debt Servs (N.D. Cal. 2012) 854 F.Supp.2d 712, but distinguished that case finding that Renovate had not submitted “evidence about the process used to verify Fabian’s electronic signature via DocuSign, including who sent Fabian the Contract, how the Contract was sent to her, how Fabian’s electronic signature was placed on the Contract, who received the signed the [sic] Contract, how the signed Contract was returned to Renovate, and how Fabian’s identification was verified as the person who actually signed the Contract.” Continue Reading Is Hate Too Strong A Word (When It Comes To Compelling Arbitration In California)?

Background

Amidst the ongoing power struggle between communications service providers striving for unfettered access to rights-of-way to place their facilities, and municipalities working to protect their authority over such rights-of-way, local governments retained a measure of control over the deployment of wireless equipment in their rights-of-way when the California Supreme Court held that municipalities may consider aesthetics when granting wireless installation permits. Continue Reading California Supreme Court Incommodes Wireless Access to Rights of Way

This post originally appeared as an article in Cannabis Business Executive on December 5, 2019.

A cannabis product business is no simple venture. Cannabusinesses have to innovate to remain competitive just like any other company, but in an industry plagued by complex and changing federal and state regulations of marijuana (aka cannabis). At the heart of every innovation lies potentially protectible intellectual property (IP) rights and that is no different in the cannabis industry. In our two-part article, we provide cannabis entrepreneurs with an overview of the IP protections available to them for their innovations. In Part I, we discuss trade secret protection. In Part II, we will cover patent protection. In both parts, we will address choosing between trade secret and patent protection. Continue Reading Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry – Protecting Innovations And Products, Part I (Trade Secrets)

Many organizations are currently focused on updating their privacy policy to include content required by CCPA. While making those edits, now is a good time to take a step back and think more broadly about privacy program and operations generally, and in particular about the non-CCPA parts of your privacy policy. Continue Reading Is Your Privacy Policy Ready for 2020?

On November 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a proposed rule that could change how you procure IT goods and services.

The rule would allow the Commerce Department to review your company’s purchase of information and communications technology and services (ICTS), and to impose mitigation measures or unwind your transaction.

Go ahead. Read that again. We’ll wait. Continue Reading Where’d You Get Your Tech? New Rules May Allow the U.S. Government to Unwind Your Latest IT Transaction

The U.S. Department of Commerce is considering tightening export controls in two major ways. The changes are aimed at choking off supplies to Huawei, but the move could impact a wide range of commercial transactions for all EAR items and technology exported or reexported to China. Continue Reading Chasing Huawei: BIS May Change the Rules of the Game to Target One Player

The Network Advertising Initiative, which provides guidance to advertisers who engage in personalized advertising, updated its Code of Conduct (2020 Code) earlier this year to address, inter alia, data collected offline and used for tailored advertising, as well as CCPA and TV-based tailored advertising. In anticipation of the January 1, 2020 effective date of the Code, the NAI recently issued a guidance on how to get “opt-in consent.” While the NAI Code and guidance is applicable only to NAI members, the requirements are important for all to know, since it is these members who typically implement companies’ online behavioral advertising. Continue Reading NAI’s 2020 Code Effective January 1 Along with CCPA

The European Data Protection Board recently requested comments on its data protection “by design and default” guidelines. Comments are due by mid-January of next year. The Guidelines provide clarity about how to address GDPR’s requirement that companies take “appropriate” technical and organizational steps to protect personal information and individuals. Part of the law’s requirements, according to the guidelines, is that companies can show that the measures they took are effective. Continue Reading New European Data Protection Board Guidance on Data Protection by Design and by Default