Archives: Workplace Privacy

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Employer Denied Access to Employee GPS Data

A federal district court in Indiana recently denied an employer’s motion to compel discovery of employee GPS data in defense of an action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   Crabtree v. Angie’s List, Inc. Plaintiffs asserted claims for denial of overtime pay during a one-year period in which they worked as Senior Sales … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Company Claims Against Former Executive For Unlawful Access to Email

A terminated executive who accessed co-worker emails in the process of reporting possible company wrongdoing lost his appeal on several grounds. In Brown Jordan Intl, Inc. v. Carmicle, the Eleventh Circuit found that the employee violated both the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Carmicle reported to the company … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Warning About W-2 Cyber-Scams, Especially for Schools, Nonprofits and Tribal Organizations

On February 2, 2017, the IRS issued a warning to all employers regarding the resurgence of a W-2 based cyber scam. The scam, which targets the corporate world during tax season, is currently “spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits.” (irs.gov/news-events). This cyber-scam is simple, but highly successful. It consists of … 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

Data Analytics Enables Health Plans to Predict When Employees Need Health Services and For How Long

We know that data analytics is being used to influence a wide range of things such as the pair of shoes one might want to buy or what news is “trending” on Facebook. Similar tools are being applied to employer-sponsored group health plans. According to a recent HealthcareITnews article, vendors such as Advanced Plan for … 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

Pension Plan Suffers Cybersecurity Attack, ERISA Advisory Council Offers Cybersecurity Recommendations to DOL

It has been reported that infamous bank robber, Slick Willie Sutton, once said, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is.” Data thieves, understandably, have a similar strategy – go where the data is. The retail industry knows this as it has been a popular target for payment card data. The healthcare and certain … Continue Reading

Cyber Security Awareness Needs To Last Beyond October

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designed October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. But as we leave October, remember that data security is an ongoing challenge that requires continued vigilance not just from information system hacking, but also from employee error and other threats. Setting up a comprehensive training and awareness program is … 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

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

EEOC Files Suit Targeting Employment Application “Health History”

On March 22, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri against Grisham Farm Products, Inc. alleging that its employment application violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”). Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Grisham Farm … 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

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

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

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

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

Prohibiting Recording Devices – The Dreaded “Maybe”

Can we prohibit employees from making audio recordings at work?  As advancements in technology continue to increase, and it becomes easier and easier for employees to surreptitiously record conversations, this inquiry is posed by many employers.  In fact, we discussed this very question back in 2013.  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is perhaps the most … 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
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