Archives: Data Security

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Sharing of Passwords Under Certain Circumstances Unlawful

Many companies have experienced the departure of an employee and the elimination of that former employees access to the company’s computers and networks. In the recent case of USA v. Nosal, D.C. No. 3:08-cr-00237-EMC-1 (July 5, 2016), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was presented with the following facts:  Nosal, a former employee of Korn/Ferry … Continue Reading

Smaller HIPAA Breaches To Get More Attention by Office for Civil Rights

The HIPAA breach notification rule has two buckets for classifying data breaches – those that involve “protected health information” (PHI) of 500 or more individuals and those that involve fewer than 500 individuals. Since the breach notification rule became effective, the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) focus has been on the 500 and over bucket. But … Continue Reading

HIPAA and $15 Million in 2016

For years, many questioned whether the HIPAA privacy and security rules would be enforced. The agency responsible for enforcement, Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), promised it would enforce the rules, but just after a period “soft” enforcement and compliance assistance. That period appears to be ending. During the first seven months … Continue Reading

The Privacy Shield Is Finally Here

Earlier today the European Union and U.S. officials announced the final approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield data transfer agreement (“the Privacy Shield”).  Beginning August 1, 2016, organizations based in the U.S. will be able to self-certify their compliance with the Privacy Shield. The Privacy Shield is meant to replace the EU-U.S. Safe Harbour agreement … Continue Reading

5 Practice Tips for Law Firms as Data Breach Spotlight Swings Their Way

While data breach incidents affecting the entertainment, retail, healthcare, and financial industries have garnered more attention in past years, the data breach spotlight recently shifted to law firms. This shift was triggered by media coverage of the breach and leak of the Panama Papers, and by reports that, in 2015, hackers breached the networks of … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts Amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act

Last month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the State’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) that expand the definition of protected personal information and increase certain data breach notification requirements.  The amendments, highlighted below, take effect January 1, 2017. Currently, “personal information” is limited to an individual’s first name … Continue Reading

European Parliament: EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Needs Further Improvement

Earlier today, the European Parliament passed a non-legislative resolution saying the EU Commission should go back to negotiating with the United States to remedy “deficiencies” in the proposed EU-U.S. Privacy Shield for EU citizens’ data which is transferred to the US for commercial purposes. The resolution, which passed by a vote of 501-119, with 31 … 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

Employers Beware of Phishing Scams

On April 20, 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of California against Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. The lawsuit was initiated by a former employee whose W-2 was allegedly disclosed as part of a phishing scam that occurred in late March 2016 amid reports that Sprouts’ employees … Continue Reading

Tennessee Amends Breach Notification Statute

On March 24, 2016, Tennessee’s breach notification statute was amended when Governor Bill Haslam signed into law S.B. 2005. Under the amendment, notification of a data breach must now be provided to any affected Tennessee resident within 45-days after discovery of the breach (absent a delay request from law enforcement).  Previously, and like the vast majority of … Continue Reading

Check Your Spam Filter, You Might Have Been Selected for a HIPAA Audit!

Yesterday, the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (Program). In its announcement, the OCR reports that the Program is underway and provides some helpful FAQs for covered entities and business associates about the Program. Preparation is critical and there are some key points covered entities and business … Continue Reading

Should We Train Our Employees About Good Data Privacy and Security Practices?

Yes! It is the law in more places and circumstances than you suspect. Check out our report to learn more, including suggestions for setting up a training program. Late last year, The Wall Street Journal reported on a survey by the Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) that found “employee error” is the most common reason for a … Continue Reading

The Inexplicit Requirement and Definitive Necessity for Employers to Implement Privacy Policies

In the face of seemingly daily news reports of company data breaches and the mounting legislative concern and efforts on both the state and federal level to enact laws safeguarding personal information maintained by companies, employers should be questioning whether they should implement privacy policies to address the protection of personal information they maintain on … 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

Dwolla Fined $100,000 by CFPB in First Data Security Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) gave the fintech online payment sector a “wake up call” with an enforcement action against a Des Moines start up digital payment provider, Dwolla, Inc. (“Dwolla”). The CFPB alleged that Dwolla misrepresented how it was protecting consumers’ data. Dwolla entered into a Consent Order to settle the CFPB charges … Continue Reading

Use Of Personal Cloud-Based Document Accounts Requires New Strategies By Employers

Whether Google Docs, Dropbox, or some other file sharing system, employees, especially millennials and other digital natives, are increasingly likely to set up personal cloud-based document sharing and storage accounts for work purposes, usually with well-meaning intentions, such as convenience and flexibility. Sometimes this is done with explicit company approval, sometimes it is done with … 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

HIPAA Covered Entities Not Responsible For Intercepted Transmission of PHI When Individual Requested Unsecured Transmission, Office for Civil Rights Concludes

Earlier this month, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on an individual’s right to access the individual’s health information. That an individual has a broad right to access has been recognized in the HIPAA privacy regulations since they became effective in 2003. OCR has found, however, that individuals are facing obstacles to accessing their … Continue Reading

Reasonable Data Security Defined by California AG

Last week, California Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris – who has been mentioned as a potential nominee to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s recently vacated seat on the U.S. Supreme Court – issued the California Data Breach Report (Report).  The Report provides an analysis of the data breaches reported to the California AG from 2012-2015. The … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Offer Guidance on Sharing Information About Cyber Threats

The federal Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice and The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued guidance on the implementation of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA).  Among the four guidance documents issued by these agencies is one outlining the ways non-federal entities (which would include private employers) can share … Continue Reading

Identity Theft is the First of the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams of 2016

Each year at the beginning of tax season, the IRS releases the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of twelve tax scams to be mindful of when individuals are filing their taxes.  This list is something to consider sharing with colleagues or friends within your organization. The first member of the 2016 Dirty Dozen is identity theft. Tax-related … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Connected Medical Devices

Demonstrating a continued focus on information security, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published draft guidance on Design Considerations and Pre-market Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices.  As the title indicates, the draft guidance focuses on issues manufacturers should address in the development and design of medical devices prior to sale to consumers.  This draft guidance … Continue Reading

The Status of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

As we previously reported, the EU and U.S. reached agreement last week on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield to replace the invalidated EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Program for transatlantic data transfers.  While the announcement of the Privacy Shield is a relief to the thousands of companies who relied on the Safe Harbor Program, details remain unclear. What … Continue Reading
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