Exclusive Q&A on Technology, Media & Telecommunications with Sandra Jeskie
Posted: 8th January 2018 08:26Who Are The Main Regulators And What Are The Key Legislations That Apply To Technology, Media & Telecommunications (“TMT”) In Your Jurisdiction?
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is the primary regulator for promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anticompetitive business practices. In the U.S., the FTC has become the de facto privacy watchdog. Under a broad FTC Act, it guards against unfairness and deception by enforcing companies' privacy policies which address how a company collects, uses and secures consumers' personal information. It also addresses financial privacy, children’s online privacy and consumer privacy relating to credit reports under various U.S. statutes.
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is the primary regulator of telecommunications in the U.S. It has the statutory authority to regulate interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.
States are also very active in regulating activities within their state, including privacy and security. Several states have created their own authorities for protecting consumer privacy.
Have There Been Any Recent Regulatory Changes Or Interesting Developments?
The FCC recently expanded the spectrum available for fifth generation (or “5G”) wireless services using frequencies much higher than those currently used for mobile broadband. The addition of 5G networks, which will be 1,000 times faster than the current 4G networks, will become the central backbone to the Internet of Things (“IOT”). The IOT is expected to change how we live, work and travel. It will enable truly connected homes, cars, smart transportation and buildings, and permit individuals to control everything around them.
The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) recently issued new regulations relating to the use of drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting non-hobbyist operations. The new rules are designed to minimise risks to other aircraft, people and property on the ground. The FAA is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation, as well as overseeing the development of the air traffic control.
How Is Technological Innovation – Such As Drones, Wearable Devices, Cognitive Thinking And The Internet Of Things (“IoT”) – Altering The Cybersecurity Landscape?
With regard to wearable devices and the IoT, devices and sensors will become interconnected in ways that we cannot currently anticipate. The increased interconnectivity will result in significant growth in both privacy and cybersecurity concerns.
Given the interconnectivity of a large number of devices and sensors, there will be a lack of transparency in the collection of information. Users will likely not have the ability or interest to adjust their privacy settings for each sensor. Although small, sensors are powerful, collecting data that users may not have anticipated or consented. The interconnectivity of devices will also make it difficult to determine when a device is engaging in unwanted functions.
Security vulnerabilities will be significantly magnified given the large volume of data collected and shared among other devices. Breaches may also be more difficult to ascertain and to track, raising issues of which party bears responsibility, how breaches will be remediated, who engages in notification and legal liability.
How Are Regulators Responding To The Pace Of Change In Technology, Media & Telecommunications?
U.S. regulators are collecting information, seeking public comment and preparing to regulate new
technologies. For example, the FTC is hosting a series of seminars in fall 2016 to examine new and evolving technologies that are raising critical consumer protection issues, such as ransomware, drones, and smart TV.
Are You Noticing Any Specific Litigation Trends?
Technology is evolving so quickly that in the litigation context, we continue to see the application of old laws to new technologies in ways that were previously unanticipated.
What Key Trends Do You Expect To See Over The Coming Years?
Over the coming years, I expect to see increased legislation in many new and evolving technologies, such as drones, self-driving cars, IoT, augmented reality, and cognitive learning.
Sandra Jeskie is an experienced trial lawyer and trusted advisor and in the areas of information technology, software litigation, internet, data privacy, cybersecurity, commercial litigation and the management of intellectual property and pharmaceutical litigation for clients across the United States. Law360 listed her as "Best-of-the-Best Attorneys" and "Cream of the Crop Litigators"; she is recognized in the International Who's Who of Internet and e-Commerce Lawyers and listed by Best Lawyers in the areas of privacy and data security law.
Relying on her MBA and 16 years of experience as a computer scientist, she is known for her ability to digest complex business and technical details to provide her clients with practical business advice or simplify complex technical matters for the court.
She has been honored to serve as special master to federal courts, AAA arbitrator, President of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw), adjunct professor and commentator on televised programs. She has taught at nearly a hundred professional education conferences in numerous cities around the United States and in fourteen countries in Europe, Asia and South America, and is often quoted in the press.
T: +1 215-979-1395