How Patel v. Facebook Might Tee Up a Privacy Battle at the Supreme Court

Last month, the Ninth Circuit issued an important decision on privacy and Article III standing in Patel v. Facebook.  And while the decision is sure to have far-reaching consequences, it may trigger a fight at a court with even farther-reaching consequences:  the Supreme Court.  This is because Patel appears to create a circuit split with a Second Circuit decision from 2017, Santana v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

UAS Drone Delivery Gets Off the Ground

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that on September 27, it awarded a Part 135 Standard air carrier certification to the UPS drone subsidiary UPS Flight Forward, the first such certification awarded to an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or, more commonly, drone) delivery service.  This certification permits UPS Flight Forward to make deliveries using drones flying beyond visual line of sight.   

House Hearing on FAA Reauthorization Focuses on UAS Implementation Delays

On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the Subcommittee on Aviation of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the implementation of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The first panel included Daniel Elwell, Deputy Administrator of the FAA, and the Honorable Joel Szabat, Acting Undersecretary for Policy at the DOT. Joining the Deputy Administrator and the Acting Undersecretary were Lirio Liu, Acting Deputy Associate Administrator of the FAA, and Blaine Workie, the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at the Department of Transportation.

Where the FCC Looks for UAS Spectrum Advice

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the federal agency responsible for implementing America’s communications laws, including developing rules related to commercial and state and local spectrum use.  But you may not realize that much of the FCC’s important spectrum work, particularly with respect to innovative technologies, is aided by the Technological Advisory Council (TAC).  The TAC is an advisory committee comprised of experts from government and industry that helps the FCC develop informed technology policies.  And for the past couple of years, the TAC has been looking at spectrum for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). 

There’s Bipartisan Agreement that Remote ID Is Taking Way Too Long

Last week, the Department of Transportation’s Report on Significant Rulemakings revealed that the timing for issuance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Remote ID for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) had slipped again, this time from September to December 2019. Speaking at a conference in Seattle yesterday, FAA Chief Counsel Arjun Garg emphasized that the FAA remained committed to issuing the Remote ID NPRM as soon as possible, but that they “want to get it done right,” and no one would benefit from an NPRM that failed to address all of the relevant issues. 

NIST Releases a Preliminary Draft of its Privacy Framework

Slightly shy of a year from kicking off the Privacy Framework effort, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a preliminary draft of the document, entitled NIST Privacy Framework:  A Tool for Improving Privacy Through Enterprise Risk Management (Draft Framework or Draft).  This Draft comes amidst a continued flurry of privacy activity at both the state and federal levels.