TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS

It was recently reported that thousands of websites—including www.whitehouse.gov—have been using advanced persistent tracking mechanisms unbeknownst to visitors and potentially in violation of the sites’ own privacy policies.

One such website-visitation tracking mechanism—canvas fingerprinting—secretly extracts a persistent, long-term fingerprint that is much harder for visitors to block or opt out of than cookies. The White House’s privacy policy specifically mentions its use of cookies, but not canvas fingerprinting. It also provides a link to a detailed explanation of the types of cookies it employs, how third-party providers analyze the collected data, and how visitors can manage their browser settings.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is urging Congress to pass legislation to bolster the country’s cyber defenses. The proposed bill—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA)—may unleash a brute-force attack in the cyber war, but opposition based on privacy and civil liberties concerns could stop the bill dead in its tracks.

“When I’m gone, what will happen to my social media profiles?” The increasing use of digital accounts has resulted in a search for answers to this and similar questions, with the goal of reaching an appropriate balance of probate considerations and privacy and cybersecurity laws. The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) weighed in with its proposed solution to the issue of access to a deceased or incapacitated person’s “digital assets”—e.g., email accounts, social media profiles, digital photos and videos, and other electronic records—with its recent approval of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA), which is a model law that must be adopted by a state to become effective.

Cloud services are all the rage, and the race is on to adopt this new technology, but what if we just sit back and gaze? What is the hard data telling us? Skyhigh Networks recently released its latest quarterly Cloud Adoption & Risk Report, which offers the following insight based on enterprise customer usage data:

The European Commission (the Commission) recently issued a press release recognizing the potential of data collection and exploitation (or "big data") and urging governments to embrace the positive aspects of big data.

The Commission summarized four main problems that have been identified in public consultations on big data:

  • Lack of cross-border coordination
  • Insufficient infrastructure and funding opportunities
  • A shortage of data experts and related skills
  • A fragmented and overly complex legal environment

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which sets forth guidelines for and places certain restrictions on sending "commercial electronic messages" (CEMs) to Canadian residents, is now in effect. Under CASL, sending a CEM to a Canadian resident’s email address requires consent from the resident, the sender’s identification information, and an unsubscribe mechanism. The summary below is derived from the CASL compliance-related information compiled by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC):

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 129, a bill intended to ensure that the use of various forms of alternative currency does not violate California law. Section 107 of the California Corporations Code, which previously prohibited an individual or corporation from issuing or putting into circulation “anything but the lawful money of the United States,” was repealed under AB 129 to clarify that the code does not prohibit the issuance and use of alternative currency.

With the cloud and other solutions changing the ways that companies provide and consume IT and do business, it is fascinating (and important) to think about what data centers and IT organization will look like in 10 years. How does emerging technology and innovation change the way you plan for and contract for data center–related services? Think about it: will there be less internal infrastructure because of cloud offerings but a greater focus on security and data? Will shorter terms increase the ability to stay flexible and dynamic? What happens to disaster recovery and business continuity?

It is important to think about the effect of long-term visions on real-time or short-term contracting requirements. Emerson offers an interesting view of the state of data center operations in 2025 in its Data Center 2025 report.

More companies are outsourcing recruitment process functions or are, at least, starting to consider the value of outsourcing these functions. When working with internal or external clients to evaluate recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or negotiating RPO contracts, it is important to understand the RPO market. An interesting trend highlighted by the Everest Group in its RPO Annual Report 2014 is an increase in multicountry RPO engagements. Check out the report.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a new draft guidance announcing the FDA’s intent to not actively regulate medical device data systems (MDDS), medical image storage devices, and medical image communications devices. This latest development appears to be the next step in the FDA’s overall deregulatory approach for health IT devices and associated software. Once finalized, the guidance, which was issued on June 20, will also have important device tax implications for manufacturers of MDDS and other health IT devices no longer subject to device registration and listing requirements.

More details regarding the draft guidance can be found in an update published by Morgan Lewis’s FDA Practice.