A new decision once again highlights the dangers that companies face if their independent contractors engage in conduct that violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and highlights the need to monitor contractor compliance with the TCPA. In City Select Auto Sales, Inc. v. David/Randall Assocs., Inc., a federal court in New Jersey recently found a roofing company, David/Randall Associates, liable for $22.4 million under the TCPA for the actions of its blast fax solutions provider, Business to Business Solutions (B2B). The plaintiff had alleged that the roofer and its president were liable for the transmission of fax advertisements 44,832 times to 29,113 different fax numbers by its independent contractor, B2B, without obtaining the prior express invitation or permission of the recipients and without including an FCC-required opt-out notice.
It is has been a busy time in the field of unmanned aircraft systems (a.k.a., drones). The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow the widespread use of small unmanned aircraft for a variety of low-altitude, line-of-site commercial operations–something currently prohibited by the agency. However, the FAA does not typically deal with privacy issues. So, while the FAA will regulate the use of these devices, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum calling for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to begin a multi-stakeholder process to outline industry guidelines related to privacy, transparency, and accountability in the use of unmanned aircraft. (See our recent client alert on the FAA small UAS NPRM and the Presidential Memorandum by clicking here.) Although the NTIA’s typical focus is on telecommunications issues, it has convened a multi-stakeholder processes to address privacy issues involving such things as mobile app disclosures and facial recognition technologies. Read More
The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review a Third Circuit decision holding that ordinarily a court, not an arbitrator, determines the availability of classwide arbitration. Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc. 761 F.3d 326 (3d Cir. 2014), cert. denied No. 14-625, — S. Ct. —-, 2015 WL 998611 (U.S. Mar. 9, 2015). The Opalinski decision is important to businesses that use consumer arbitration agreements. The benefits of traditional, individual arbitration – such as lower costs, confidentiality, and the limited scope of an arbitrator’s award – are typically not present in class arbitration. Having a judge, rather than an arbitrator, make the decision of whether to compel individual or class arbitration is meaningful because a judge’s ruling is subject to the regular appellate review process, while an arbitrator’s ruling is subject to only very limited judicial review.
The FCC’s recent net neutrality order, classifying broadband Internet access as a Title II common carrier offering, along with the FCC’s decision to preempt North Carolina and Tennessee state laws that placed limits on municipal broadband networks will be examined in a special live webcast on Broadband US TV on Friday, March 13th from 1pm-2:30pm (Eastern).
The webcast, entitled “FCC Takes Charge – Net Neutrality and Muni Broadband: New Title II Rules for Broadband Access and Preempting State Limits on Municipal Networks” will present details about the rulings, predictions on implementation and court challenges, and what these rulings are likely to portend for broadband in America over the next year and beyond.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently released new guidance directed to local and state law enforcement asking for help in policing unmanned aircraft flights that violate its policies. The FAA is concerned with an apparent increase in the unauthorized or unsafe use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems by individuals and businesses. Read More
On January 13, 2015, in response to the continuing onslaught of cyber attacks, including the recent cybersecurity attack and data loss at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Obama Administration sent to Congress three legislative proposals to improve cybersecurity. The proposals would:
- Establish a single federal breach notification standard preempting a patchwork of state notification laws;
- Encourage cyber threat information sharing within the private sector and between the private sector and the federal government; and
- Enhance law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute cyber crimes.
The President has been highlighting the cybersecurity proposals in a series of speeches leading up to the State of the Union Address today.
To read the full alert, click here.