Archives: Identity Theft

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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

Employers Can Provide Credit Monitoring and Other Identity Protection Services to Employees Tax-Free BEFORE a Breach Happens, IRS Says

Earlier this year, we reported that the Internal Revenue Service clarified that it would not consider the value of credit monitoring and other identity protection services provided by employers to employees in connection with a data breach to be taxable income to the employees. IRS Announcement 2015-22. In response to comments, the IRS expanded this … Continue Reading

DNC, Bernie Sanders’ Data Breach – Breaches Are Not Just About Social Security Numbers or Payment Cards

Are pundits discussing the personal information allegedly accessed by a campaign staffer for Bernie Sanders? No, not really, and that is the point. Scheduled to debate tonight at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are almost certain to joust over an alleged intrusion into Clinton’s voter … Continue Reading

Leading Cause of Data Breaches – Employee Error, ACC Survey Concludes

When people think about data breaches, they tend think more about the illegal hacking into computer networks by individuals, criminal enterprises or even nation states, than they do about simple employee error. This makes some sense as hacking incidents seem to be more interesting and draw more media attention. Holding this belief, however, can cause … Continue Reading

Million Dollar HIPAA Settlements Are About Compliance, Not Harm to Individuals

In the last two weeks, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced two substantial settlements under HIPAA that together totaled $4.35 million. These large amounts seem to be driven not by actual harm to individuals, but in significant part by alleged HIPAA compliance failures identified by OCR following investigations commenced in response to receipt of data … 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

Data Breach in Georgia Affecting Six Million Voters Adds to 2015 National Tally

The Georgia Secretary of State acknowledged that last month his office improperly disclosed social security numbers and other private information for more than 6,000,000 registered voters in Atlanta due to a “clerical error.” Anyone in Georgia who is registered to vote (approximately 6.2M citizens) may be affected. The Secretary acknowledged that his office shares voter … 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

Cancer Care Group to Pay $750,000 to Settle HIPAA Breach, as KPMG Finds 81 Percent of Hospitals and Health Insurance Companies had a Breach in the Past Two Years

On September 2, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reported that it agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy and security regulations with Cancer Care Group, Inc. The dollar amount of the settlement, $750,000, is significant, and the agreement to adopt a robust, multi-year corrective action plan under the watchful eye of the … Continue Reading

Credit Monitoring Services Following Data Breach NOT Taxable Income to Employees, IRS Announces

When an employer is responding to a breach of their employees’ personal information, one of the last things they may think about is whether the value of the credit monitoring or other identity protection services they make available to affected employees should be considered taxable to the employees and reported as such. In Announcement 2015-22, the … Continue Reading

Nevada Updated Its Definition of Personal Information, Have You?

When businesses set out to safeguard “personal information,” a fundamental consideration is what that term means. Likewise, when negotiating a third-party vendor agreement, it typically is not enough to rely on the standard definition for “confidential information.” Recently, Nevada and other states have updated their definitions of personal information in connection data breaches notification and … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Tell Congress – Don’t Preempt Our Breach Notification Laws!

In the wake of recent, large-scale data breaches, one being the breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) affecting millions of federal employees, a number of bills have been battling their way through Congress to address breach notification and data security requirements at the federal level. There has been an ongoing pattern for years … Continue Reading

Courts Restrict Ability of Customers and Employees to Sue Companies Following a Data Breach, But Risks of Other Liabilities Remain

Among the multitude of unpleasant issues facing a company whose network has been breached is potential liability to customers and employees whose personal information has been compromised.  However, recent district court decisions from around the country continue to limit the opportunity of those customers and employees to have their day in court.  Specifically, these cases … Continue Reading

Connecticut Enacts SB 949 Requiring One Year of Free Identity Theft Protection Services For Certain Data Breaches

Senate Bill 949 is now law in Connecticut, after being signed by Governor Malloy on June 11. As we reported, this law amends the state’s current breach notification mandate to require that for breaches of certain personal information covered business must provide one year of free identity-theft protection for affected persons. So, beginning October 1, 2015, … Continue Reading

Connecticut May Require Businesses to Offer One Year of Identity Theft Protection Services Following a Data Breach, Joining Other States in Strengthening Notification Laws

Following a string of states across the country that have strengthened their data breach notification laws in recent months, Connecticut is about to amend its law to require, among other things, that businesses provide one year of identity-theft protection for persons affected by the breach. Many businesses already extend such services to breach victims, but, … Continue Reading

Will Your Cyber/Breach Insurance Be There When You Need It?

The answer to this question may depend on the actions that the insured takes when it applies for coverage and during the period the policy is in force. The demand for cyberinsurance that is intended to cover exposures from data breaches, among other things, has exploded in recent years, reports The Hill. This is due in large part … Continue Reading

Next Step in U.S. Postal Service Breach – NLRB Sues Postal Service

As discussed in an earlier post, shortly after the United States Postal Service reported a data breach potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of  employees, the American Postal Workers Union filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board alleging the Postal Service should have bargained with the union over the impact and response to the … Continue Reading

The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015

On March 25, 2015, the United States House of Representative, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade approved draft legislation which would replace state data breach notification laws with a national standard.  This draft legislation comes on the heels of the President’s call for a national data breach notification law.  The proposed legislation is … Continue Reading

Email Autofill Error Exposes Personal Information of G20 World Leaders

With breaches caused by payment card thieves and hackers dominating the news, it is easy for mid-sized and small companies to think that data breaches are unfortunate events that affect only large companies. Not only is this sentiment misguided, but in relative terms the information contained in exposed emails can cause far more damage to an organization than the loss … Continue Reading

Illinois Attorney General Seeks Stronger Data Breach Notification Law, Requirement to Safeguard Personal Information

Reacting to a report that identity theft was a top concern for Illinois residents (second in a list of ten), Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a legislative proposal to strengthen the state’s existing data breach notification law. The call for stronger breach notification laws is a trend that has emerged in other states, such as … Continue Reading

Indiana Measure to Amend Breach Notification Law Passes Senate

Late last year we reported Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller was seeking legislation which would better protect the online personal and financial information of Indiana residents. That legislation, S.B. 413, was unanimously passed by the Indiana Senate on February 24, 2015.  Indiana’s bill follows similar efforts in New Jersey, New York and Oregon. As previously mentioned, the Indiana … Continue Reading

Indiana Joins a Growing List of States Seeking to Tighten Data Security and Data Breach Notification Requirements in 2015

As we reported, there are a number of signs pointing to a significant tightening of regulation and increased enforcement of data security mandates. Following efforts in New Jersey, New York and Oregon, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced his office is seeking legislation that would better protect the online personal and financial information of Indiana … Continue Reading

New Data Protection Powers Requested in Oregon

On December 9, Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, announced to the Oregon House and Senate Judiciary Committee that she would be introducing legislation to expand existing personal data protections for Oregon consumers while implementing additional enforcement measures to combat non-compliance. According to Ms. Rosenblum, Oregon’s laws have not kept up with the rapid increase in … Continue Reading
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