Earlier this week, Mintz Levin’s Chris Harvie, a Member in the Communications section, spoke at the PLI Broadband and Cable Industry Law Seminar in New York City. Chris provided an overview of the cable privacy provisions found in Title VI of the Communications Act and discussed the restrictions and obligations that apply to the collection and use of personally identifiable information (PII) by cable operators. He also gave an overview of noteworthy Federal cases that provide guidance on the nature and scope of the Cable Act’s restrictions on the collection and use of PII.
The panel also featured Gerard J. Lewis, Jr., Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at Comcast Cable Communications, LLC and David Sohn, Senior Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology. Mr. Lewis provided an overview of the latest policy developments at the FTC and FCC with respect to behavioral advertising, noting the growing concern expressed by privacy advocates that the “notice and consent” model for consumer privacy protection may not suffice in the online world. Mr. Sohn provided a privacy advocate’s perspective on the debate, and expressed support for the establishment of fair information practices that would govern how and when Internet users’ clickstream data can be used in connection with online behavioral advertising.
The discussions at the PLI seminar are especially relevant in light of the FTC's second privacy roundtable addressing online behavioral advertising issues which is being held today. Both FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck have expressed doubts about the adequacy of the notice and consent, suggesting that we maybe moving to a “post-disclosure” era. We'll be blogging about today's FTC Privacy Roundtable at a later date.