FTC data security by Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com

In Wyndham, the FTC won a battle but perhaps lost its data security war

Tech Policy Daily readers are likely aware that sometimes a seemingly big loss (or win) in court can prove to be a major win (or loss) in practice. This is what happened in Verizon, where the DC Circuit rejected the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules but upheld the FCC’s underlying legal authority. On Monday, the Third Circuit released a similarly important opinion relating to the FTC’s authority to regulate data security practices. In this case the court has given the FTC what seems to be a win. But in doing so the court rejected the agency’s basic approach to data security regulation, ignoring the FTC’s efforts over the past 15 years to regulate data security practices. This is a major blow to the FTC, which has steadfastly argued – including in this case – that it has developed its own law of data security that should apply in cases such as this.
Data security by Shutterstock

How to make data security a priority for the government

Last week, the IRS acknowledged that criminals had obtained the tax returns of more than 300,000 Americans – three times as many as was initially reported. This comes after the catastrophic breach of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM’s) files, in which the security clearance forms for most of the federal workforce were lost. It is well past time to think more systematically about government data retention.

Time to whip ISIS on the Internet, Part 3: Getting public policy right

Defeating ISIS will require a unique combination of tools – a strong defense of American values on the Internet and beyond, a smart messaging strategy, cooperation between the government and the private sector, and more. Among these tools, however, is something policymakers may not expect: An open Internet.
Patents by Shutterstock.com

How to eliminate junk patents without going broke

Patent reform efforts tend to focus on trolls, who purchase often-dubious patents and then use them to intimidate often-clueless businesses into paying settlements for patents they haven’t actually violated. They pay the settlements because settling is generally cheaper than going to court to prove their innocence. That’s fine as far as it goes – trolls are a problem – but such reform efforts don’t go to the root of the problem with the patent system as a whole.