On April 2, 2024, the FCC released a Report and Order (the “Order”) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “Further Notice”) approving a rule change on a bipartisan, unanimous basis to allow radio broadcasters to use FM boosters to direct hyper-local programming for a portion of each hour at specific geographic areas rather than to do what radio stations have done for a century, which is sending the same broadcast stream over the entire market.  Prior to the rule change, radio stations could only use FM boosters to retransmit the main signal to areas not well covered by the primary antenna. 

Continue Reading FCC Approves Rule Change Revolutionizing Radio Industry

A new post on the Covington Inside Privacy blog discusses remarks by California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) Executive Director Ashkan Soltani at the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ global privacy conference last week.  The remarks covered the CPPA’s priorities for rulemaking and administrative enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act, including with respect to connected vehicles and artificial intelligence.  You can read the post here.

On April 4, 2024, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel released a draft of the agency’s long-anticipated Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet Order (Open Internet Order), which would reclassify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.  The FCC is expected to consider and vote on the draft at its next Open Commission Meeting scheduled for April 25, 2024.  The FCC is expected to adopt the Open Internet Order now that Democrats hold a 3-2 majority at the agency.

Continue Reading FCC Shares Draft Open Internet Order Ahead of April Meeting

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) raised the fixed broadband speed benchmark from 25/3 megabits per second (“Mbps”) to 100/20 Mbps and concluded that “advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” As a consequence, the FCC concluded that “section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act of 1996] requires [it] to ‘take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.’”

Continue Reading FCC Raises Speed Benchmark for Fixed Broadband Services

On March 15, 2024, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached political agreement on the European Health Data Space (EHDS).

In a series of posts on Inside Privacy, our colleagues discuss the EHDS’ key takeaways, obligations on data holders, and obligations on data users.

Earlier this month, the Kentucky legislature passed comprehensive privacy legislation, H.B. 15  (the “Act”), joining California, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Montana, Oregon, Texas, Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.  The Act is awaiting the Governor’s signature. If signed into law, the Act would take effect on January 1, 2026.  This blog post summarizes the statute’s key takeaways.

  • Scope:  The Act would apply to controllers and processors that conduct business in Kentucky or produce products or services that are targeted to Kentucky residents, and that, during a calendar year either: (i) control or process personal data of at least 100,000 consumers or (ii) control or process data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive more than 50% of their gross revenue from selling personal data.
  • Consumer Rights:  The Act would, among other things, grant consumers the rights of access, deletion, portability, and correction.  The Act would also allow consumers to opt-out of targeted advertising, the sale of personal data, and profiling in furtherance of decisions producing legal or similarly significant effects.
  • Sensitive Data:  Controllers would be required to obtain consent before processing a consumer’s sensitive data.  The Act defines sensitive data as personal data that indicates racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, a mental or physical health diagnosis, sexual orientation, or citizenship or immigration status, genetic or biometric data processed to identify unique individuals, personal data collected from a known child, and precise geolocation data.
  • DPIAs:  The Act would require Data Protection Impact Assessments (“DPIAs”) for processing activities that involve targeted advertising, the sale of personal data, profiling (in limited circumstances), processing of sensitive data, or would otherwise present a heightened risk of harm to consumers. 
  • Enforcement:  The Kentucky Attorney General will have exclusive authority to enforce the Act.  The statute would also grant controllers and processors with a 30-day right to cure that does not sunset.

This quarterly update highlights key legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments in the first quarter of 2024 related to artificial intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), and data privacy and cybersecurity.  As noted below, some of these developments provide industry with the opportunity for participation and comment.

Continue Reading U.S. Tech Legislative, Regulatory & Litigation Update – First Quarter 2024

State lawmakers across the country continue to pursue new legislation to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”), and especially the creation and distribution of AI-generated content (sometimes referred to as “deepfakes,” “synthetic content,” or “fabricated media”).  On March 21, 2024, Tennessee’s governor signed the Ensuring Likeness, Voice, and Image Security Act (“ELVIS Act”) (HB 2091), marking a new push by state lawmakers to protect the commercial interests of artists and musicians from AI-generated impersonations.

Continue Reading Tennessee Enacts Legislation to Protect Musicians from AI-Generated Voice Impersonations

In February 2024, the regional director for the Region 1 office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that the men’s basketball team for Dartmouth College (“Dartmouth”) are university employees, allowing the team to proceed with an election to unionize. This ruling came months after the men’s basketball team filed a petition to unionize and join the Service Employees International Union, Local 560 (“Local 560”), which Dartmouth challenged. After the ruling, Dartmouth submitted an emergency motion to stay the election or impound the votes. However, the motion was denied, and on March 5th the Dartmouth men’s basketball team held an official election and voted 13-2 in favor of joining Local 560.

This is not the first time that the NLRB has evaluated the employment status of college athletes. In 2015, the NLRB evaluated a petition to unionize from Northwestern University’s football team. The regional office ruled that the Northwestern players were employees, but the case was subsequently appealed to, and reversed by, the NLRB[1] based on jurisdictional grounds, leaving the issue of student-athletes as employees unresolved.

Joining a union could provide additional rights to the Dartmouth basketball players, such as the ability to negotiate for compensation or better working conditions. However, allowing student-athletes to join a union could cause ripple effects for other colleges and universities and their athletic teams.

This post outlines the key takeaways from the Dartmouth ruling; what this ruling could mean for Dartmouth, other student-athletes, and other universities; and the likely next steps for Dartmouth.

Continue Reading Men’s Basketball Team Scores With NLRB Ruling

On March 28, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidance on governance and risk management for federal agency use of artificial intelligence (AI).  The guidance was issued in furtherance of last fall’s White House AI Executive Order, which established goals to promote the safe, secure, and trustworthy use and development of AI systems.

Continue Reading OMB Issues First Governmentwide AI Policy for Federal Agencies