Archives: Consumer Privacy

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SCOTUS Won’t Slime Viacom in Class Action Challenging Tracking Children Online

A class action alleging Viacom illegally obtained and disclosed personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen through the Nickelodeon website recently reached the end of line (almost) when the class’ petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court this month. The high court chose not to further define the … Continue Reading

Maureen K. Ohlhausen Appointed as Acting FTC Chairwoman

On January 13, current FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced that she would resign from her position effective February 10, 2017. Ramirez was instrumental in increasing the FTC’s cybersecurity enforcement authority, going after a wide range of data security related private offenders and demonstrating the FTC’s cyber “watchdog” status. Last Wednesday, January 25, President Trump’s administration … Continue Reading

Top 10 for 2017 – Happy Data Privacy Day

In honor of Data Privacy Day, we provide the following “Top 10 for 2017.”  While the list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide some hot topics for organizations to consider in 2017. 1.  Phishing Attacks and Ransomware – Phishing, as the name implies, is the attempt, usually via email, to obtain sensitive or personal … Continue Reading

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez Steps Down

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently announced that FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez will be stepping down effective February 10, 2017. Ms. Ramirez guided the agency through a period of significant enforcement activity, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity and consumer privacy. President-elect Donald Trump will now have the opportunity to fill three vacancies at the … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Claim of False Representations by Digital Advertising Company

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has entered into a Consent Order to resolve a complaint brought against a digital advertising company, Turn Inc. Turn provided advertisers with the ability to engage in targeted advertising by tracking consumer’s activities or characteristics to deliver ads tailored to the consumer’s interests.  The FTC alleged that Turn violated federal … Continue Reading

DFS’ Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation Edges Closer to Becoming Final Following Public Hearing

The New York State Assembly Committee on Banks held a public hearing on December 19, 2016, receiving testimony about both the benefits and challenges of a recently proposed regulation to address the growing threat posed by cyber-attacks on banks, insurance companies and most other entities which are regulated by the Department of Financial Services (DFS). The … Continue Reading

Study Finds Companies May Do Too Much For Data Breach Victims

A recent study at the University of Arkansas suggests that organizations should avoid doing too much for individuals affected by a data breach. That is, when organizations provide compensation to breach victims that exceeds the victims’ expectations it could backfire. Those victims may become suspicious, thinking the organization has something to hide, which could have … Continue Reading

EU Top Court Rules IP Addresses Maybe Protected Personal Data

In a decision that could have significant impact for online companies that have European operations, the European Union’s (EU) top court ruled that Internet Protocol addresses (IP addresses) could, under certain circumstances, constitute protected data under EU data protection law (Breyer v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, E.C.J., No. C-582/14, 10/19/16).  As most of us know, the IP … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Cloud Computing Guidance Which Is Helpful To All Users of Cloud Services

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) provided guidance for HIPAA covered entities and business associates that use or want to use cloud computing services involving protected health information (PHI). Covered entities and business associates seeking cloud services often have many concerns regarding HIPAA compliance, and this guidance … Continue Reading

3 Essential Steps For Responding To Ransomware Attacks

Likely because most victims comply with their demands, the incidence of attacks by ransomware hackers has exploded in 2016. Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) in July notes that, on average, there have been 4,000 reported ransomware attacks per day thus far in 2016, far exceeding the average of … Continue Reading

Nebraska Amends Data Breach Notification Law

On April 13, 2016, Nebraska’s breach notification statute was amended when Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB835 into law.  The Amendment included a variety of changes, including a regulator notification requirement and broadens the definition of “personal information” in the state data breach notification statute, Neb. Rev. Stat. §87-802 – 87-804. These amendments become effective on … Continue Reading

FCC Chair Proposes New Broadband Rules

One year ago, in March 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) reclassified broadband Internet access service as a common carrier Telecommunications Service subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.  At that time, however, the FCC recognized that the then-current rules were not well suited to broadband privacy.  On March 10, 2016, the … Continue Reading

Internet of Things Bill Introduced

Recognizing the growing number of connected and interconnected devices, a bipartisan group of Senators recently introduced a bill which would convene a working group of Federal stakeholders to provide recommendations to Congress on how to appropriately plan for and encourage the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT). The Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of … Continue Reading

European Commission Unveils EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (Update)

Earlier today, the European Commission (the Commission) issued a draft “adequacy decision” as well as the texts that will constitute the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (the Privacy Shield). This includes the Privacy Shield Principles companies have to abide by, as well as written commitments by the U.S. Government on the enforcement of the arrangement, including assurance … Continue Reading

President Seeks $19 Billion and Creates a Commission to Address Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama requested $19 billion in his budget for 2017 to address cybersecurity in the United States, $5 billion more than was budgeted for the current year. Today, he issued an Executive Order that will create a commission within the Department of Commerce to be known as the “Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.” So, … Continue Reading

Top 10 for 2016 – Happy Data Privacy Day

In honor of Data Privacy Day, we provide the following “Top 10 for 2016.”  While the list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide some hot topics for organizations to consider in 2016. EU/U.S. Data Transfer (status of Safe Harbor).  On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled … Continue Reading

CFTC Approves Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations

Recognizing cyber security as one of the most important issues facing financial markets today, and identifying cyber-attacks as a top threat, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved proposed enhanced rules on cybersecurity for derivatives clearing house organizations, trading platforms, and swap data repositories.  The proposals, published in separate Federal Register Notices as Part … Continue Reading

FTC’s Big Data Report Has Suggestions for the Workplace

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a report discussing “big data.” The report compiles the agency’s learning from recent seminars and research, including a public workshop held on September 15, 2014. Known best for its role as the federal government’s consumer protection watchdog, the FTC highlights in the report a number of … Continue Reading

EU Publishes Text of New General Data Protection Regulation

On December 17, 2015, following four years of sometimes acrimonious debate, the EU Parliament and Council of the European Union informally agreed on the final draft of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The GDPR will replace what privacy experts refer to simply as “95/48” –or the 1995 law known as EU Data Protection Directive— … Continue Reading

Happy Holidays Financial Institutions, Less Privacy Paperwork in the New Year

It seems the White House and Congress can agree on at least one thing—financial institutions are over-burdened by current privacy notice rules. In a move that is hoped to save financial institutions significant costs on postage, printing and administrative resources, on Friday, December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the … Continue Reading

Healthcare Worker Gives New Employer Patient Records, Old Employer Pays $15,000 to NY Attorney General For HIPAA Violation

One of your employees discloses your organization’s patient information to a soon-to-be new employer for use in generating business at the new employer’s competing business, and your company has to settle with the New York State Attorney General for HIPAA violations. Make sense? This is what happened according to a published settlement agreement (pdf) that was … Continue Reading

Senate Passes Cybersecurity Law as the Struggle Between Data Security and Privacy Continues

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act or CISA passed the Senate this week by vote of 74-21, but not without controversy. CISA would not establish a generally applicable federal standard for safeguarding personal information, nor would it enact a federal breach notification requirement. Rather, if signed into law, CISA would among other things create a framework … Continue Reading

Changes to California’s Data Breach Notification Requirements

On October 6, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed three new laws which substantially alter and expand the state’s security breach notification requirements. The new changes to California Civil Code sections 1798.29 and 1798.82, the Golden State’s laws that require notifications by state agencies and private sector entities of certain breaches of security (i) provide … Continue Reading
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