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Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is a partner specializing in communications, media and technology matters who serves as Co-Chair of Covington’s Technology Industry Group and its global and multi-disciplinary Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) Groups. She represents and advises technology companies, content distributors, television companies, trade associations, and other entities on a wide range of media and technology matters. Jennifer has almost three decades of experience advising clients in the communications, media and technology sectors, and has held leadership roles in these practices for almost twenty years. On technology issues, she collaborates with Covington's global, multi-disciplinary team to assist companies navigating the complex statutory and regulatory constructs surrounding this evolving area, including product counseling and technology transactions related to connected and autonomous vehicles, internet connected devices, artificial intelligence, smart ecosystems, and other IoT products and services. Jennifer serves on the Board of Editors of The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

Jennifer assists clients in developing and pursuing strategic business and policy objectives before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress and through transactions and other business arrangements. She regularly advises clients on FCC regulatory matters and advocates frequently before the FCC. Jennifer has extensive experience negotiating content acquisition and distribution agreements for media and technology companies, including program distribution agreements, network affiliation and other program rights agreements, and agreements providing for the aggregation and distribution of content on over-the-top app-based platforms. She also assists investment clients in structuring, evaluating, and pursuing potential investments in media and technology companies.

This week, the FTC published a blog post on the collection and use of consumer data in vehicles.  The FTC warned that “Car manufacturers—and all businesses—should take note that the FTC will take action to protect consumers against the illegal collection, use, and disclosure of their personal data” and provided a summary of some recent

Over the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has received requests from U.S. Senators asking the FTC to investigate the data collection practices of several automotive manufacturers.  Last week, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to the FTC asking the agency to investigate several automakers for “deceiving their customers by falsely claiming to require a warrant or court order before turning over customer location data to government agencies.”  Among other things, the letter alleges inconsistent data collection and retention practices in the industry, asserting that some automakers only collect location data for a “critical safety event” (e.g., collision, air bag deployment, or automatic emergency braking event) while others “routinely collect[] and retain[] vehicle location data.”  The letter also states that only one automaker has a policy of informing consumers about legal demands for their data.  The letter refers to the FTC’s recent geolocation “crack down” in other contexts and urges “the FTC to investigate these auto manufacturers’ deceptive claims as well as their harmful data retention practices” and to, “in addition to taking appropriate action against the companies, . . . consider holding these companies’ senior executives accountable for their actions.”Continue Reading Data Collection by Auto Manufacturers under Scrutiny

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 are pursuing a variety of legislative proposals aimed at regulating the development and use of artificial intelligence (“AI”).  In the past two months, legislators in Florida, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington passed legislation regulating AI-generated content, and Utah’s legislature passed legislation regulating generative AI and establishing a state test bed for evaluating future AI regulations.  These are just a sampling of the wave of legislative proposals advancing in states across the country.Continue Reading State Lawmakers Pass Flurry of AI Legislation

On March 14, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is expected to approve a Report and Order (“R&O”) that would create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program for Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices.  As previewed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) released last August, which we covered here, this IoT Labeling Program would “provide consumers with an easy-to-understand and quickly recognizable FCC IoT Label that includes the U.S. government certification mark (referred to as the Cyber Trust Mark).”  

The R&O explains that the IoT Labeling Program would “help consumers make informed purchasing decisions, differentiate trustworthy products in the marketplace, and create incentives for manufacturers to meet higher cybersecurity standards.”  It provides details about the program and how manufacturers can seek authority to use the FCC IoT Label:Continue Reading FCC Planning to Move Forward with Voluntary IoT Labeling Program

This quarterly update highlights key legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments in the fourth quarter of 2023 and early January 2024 related to technology issues.  These included developments related to artificial intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), data privacy, and cybersecurity.  As noted below, some of these developments provide companies with the opportunity for participation and comment.Continue Reading U.S. Tech Legislative, Regulatory & Litigation Update – Fourth Quarter 2023

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Office of Technology announced that it will hold a half-day virtual “FTC Tech Summit” on January 25, 2024 to address key developments in the field of artificial intelligence (“AI”).

The FTC’s event website notes that the Summit will “bring together a diverse set of perspectives across academia, industry

Technology companies are grappling with unprecedented changes that promise to accelerate exponentially in the challenging period ahead. We invite you to join Covington experts and invited presenters from around the world to explore the key issues faced by businesses developing or deploying cutting-edge technologies. These highly concentrated sessions are packed with immediately actionable advice. Each day closes with an industry spotlight, providing insights from leading tech authorities. This year’s industry spotlights will feature:

  • Dennis Garcia, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft – Emerging Trends for AI in Latin America
  • Janel Thamkul, Deputy General Counsel, Anthropic – The Frontier Model Landscape
  • Eric Sprink, CEO, Coastal Community Bank – Developments in the Regulatory Landscape

Continue Reading Covington’s Fifth Annual Technology Forum – Looking Ahead: New Legal Frontiers for the Tech Industry

The field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is at a tipping point. Governments and industries are under increasing pressure to forecast and guide the evolution of a technology that promises to transform our economies and societies. In this series, our lawyers and advisors provide an overview of the policy approaches and regulatory frameworks for AI in jurisdictions around the world. Given the rapid pace of technological and policy developments in this area, the articles in this series should be viewed as snapshots in time, reflecting the current policy environment and priorities in each jurisdiction.

The following article examines the state of play in AI policy and regulation in the United States. The previous article in this series covered the European Union.Continue Reading Spotlight Series on Global AI Policy — Part II: U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Developments

This quarterly update summarizes key legislative and regulatory developments in the third quarter of 2023 related to key technologies and related topics, including Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), and data privacy and cybersecurity.Continue Reading U.S. Tech Legislative & Regulatory Update – Third Quarter 2023