Archives: Monitoring

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Email Privacy Act Introduced With Bi-Partisan Support in the House

On January 9, 2017, lawmakers in the House re-introduced legislation, the Email Privacy Act, which, if enacted, would require the government to obtain a court-issued warrant to access electronic communications, including emails and social networking messages, from cloud providers (e.g., Google, Yahoo) when such communications are older than 180 days. Current law, the Electronic Communications … 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

A New Kind of Employee Badge – Monitoring, Analytics and More

It is not uncommon for employers to assign badges to their employees to grant access to certain locations on the employer’s property and parking garages. Many employees have them, use them, lose them and think little of them. But, badges made by Humanyze are so much more, raising concerns from privacy advocates and others. According … Continue Reading

Claim For Violation of Wiretap Act Not A Slam Dunk under Spokeo

A motion to dismiss has been filed in a California case filed by a New York woman who claims that the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (the “Wiretap Act”), 18 U.S.C. § 2510, et seq., by distributing a mobile content app that invades users’ privacy by turning on … Continue Reading

Yelling at Your Smartphone Could Get You Fired!

Michael Schrage at Harvard Business Review warns his readers, “Stop swearing at Siri. Quit cursing Cortana,” arguing such behavior could soon be seen just as destructive to an organization as ridiculing a subordinate. In the 1993 film, Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone’s character, John Spartan, received multiple tickets from a wall box that overheard him violate … Continue Reading

Facebook’s “Trending” Section and Human Resources Analytics

According to a recent New York Times article, “Facebook scrambled on Monday to respond to a new and startling line of attack: accusations of political bias.” Slate followed with a report that the online social networking giant became the subject of a United States Senate inquiry, with Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune wanting information about how … 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

March Monitoring Madness and Monitoring Methods

As NCAA basketball tournament season approaches, employers may be wondering if they can monitor employees at work to see how much time they are spending checking their brackets, or for other purposes. There are many reasons companies monitor employees, including boosting productivity, dissuading cyber-slacking or social “not-working,” protecting trade secrets and confidential business information, preventing … 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

Council of Europe Issues Major Ruling on Employee Monitoring

The European Court of Human Rights, a body of the Council of Europe, has issued a major court ruling on employee monitoring which deserves attention on this side of the pond and provides some guidance for companies with employees in Europe. Europe has generally taken a more protective stance than the U.S. when it comes to protection … 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

Driver Privacy Act of 2015

An increasing number of companies have been installing or otherwise using some of the latest monitoring technologies in vehicles driven by employees – whether those vehicles are owned by the company or the employee – usually for safety and/or logistics management. These technologies include “event data recorders” or EDRs that capture a range of information … 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

Wearables, Wellness and Privacy

Bloomberg BNA (subscription) recently reported that this fall the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) will be issuing a report on Fitbit Inc.’s privacy practices. Avid runners, walkers or those up on the latest gadgets likely know about Fitbit, and its line of wearable fitness devices. Others may know about Fitbit due to the need … Continue Reading

The Hololens From Microsoft – Help Can Be Right Under…Over Your Nose

The saying – never let them see you sweat – soon may be more difficult to accomplish with Microsoft’s Hololens. Like Google Glass, the Hololens is worn as a headset. But this device has a “plurality” of sensors that gather a range of biometrics parameters (heart rate, perspiration, etc.) which determine along with other information … Continue Reading

States Continue to Protect the Personal Social Media Accounts of Employees, with Oregon Likely to Add an Interesting Twist

Over the past few years, states around the country have enacted laws limiting an employer’s ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. Earlier this year, Montana’s Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 342 into law. Before that, Virginia enacted a similar measure. On May 19, Connecticut’s Governor added the Nutmeg state to … 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

Secretary in Germany Successfully Challenges Employer’s Monitoring…Is Your Monitoring Program Defensible?

According to a report by Deutsche Welle, the German Federal Labor Court held that employers may monitor employees only when they have concrete suspicions of wrongdoing that are based on fact. In the U.S., the standards for engaging in monitoring employees may not be quite that high, but employers should be thinking about whether a … Continue Reading

Healthcare Providers and Business Associates: Don’t Ignore the Insider Threats

News reports of security risks, hackings and breaches caused by individuals, terror groups or even countries around the world certainly are important and can be unsettling. But, for many organizations, including healthcare providers and business associates, a significant and perhaps more immediate area of data risk rests with an organization’s workforce members. An organization’s information … Continue Reading

“Employees Must Be Permitted To Use Company Email for Statutorily Protected Communications” -NLRB

We reported earlier that the National Labor Relations Board had been considering changing its previous position that  “employees have no statutory right to use the[ir] Employer’s e-mail system for Section 7 purposes.”  The NLRB’s position in this regard was established in 2007, under the NLRB’s ruling in Register Guard.  Today, in Purple Communications Inc. and … Continue Reading
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