Labor law commentary by Howard Bloom. After being hit with a data breach, the last thing a company might want is the scrutiny of the union representing its employees affected by the incident. When the data breach potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of United States Postal Service employees was reported, it was not long after that… Continue Reading
Many of us have likely received a notification from our bank or credit card company concerning suspected fraud or improper charges. However, the legality of those messages is not always clear. To this end, on October 14, 2014, the American Bankers Association (Association) filed a petition for exemption requesting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exempt… Continue Reading
Following up on our recent post on the subject, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe, Editorial Manager-LexBlog, on the FCC’s first foray into policing a cybersecurity incident. In the brief video interview, I explain what happened and what it could mean going forward. Special thanks to Colin, and LXBN TV, for the… Continue Reading
On October 24, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its intention to fine two telecom companies $10 million for several violations of laws protecting the privacy of phone customers’ personal information. This marks the FCC’s first data security case and the largest privacy action in the FCC’s history. According to the FCC, TerraCom, Inc…. Continue Reading
While recent legislation has tended to tighten data breach notification requirements (e.g., Florida and California), Assembly Bill 1755 extended the breach notification deadline from five to 15 days for certain healthcare providers. More specifically, according to AB1755 which becomes effective January 1, 2015, the deadline to provide notification of a breach of medical information for healthcare providers covered by… Continue Reading
California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-1710 into law yesterday amending its existing data breach notification statute. The most significant change – companies that experience a data breach must provide information in the notification that if identity theft prevention and mitigation services are provided, they must be provided for at least 12 months to affected persons… Continue Reading
When many people think about identity theft and data breaches, they tend to think about credit card data and bank accounts. This makes sense given the large-scale breaches in the news lately. However, Reuters reported last week that medical information is ”worth 10 times more than  credit card number[s] on the black market” a trend that… Continue Reading
On January 1, 2015, Delaware employers who dispose of records which contain the unencrypted personal identifying information of employees must take steps to ensure the privacy of such information. The bill, H.B. 294, was recently signed by Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell. The new law defines personal identifying information as an employee’s first name or first initial… Continue Reading
In what is believed to be the largest security breach to date, the Associated Press reported that Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords. According to the AP, Milwaukee security firm, Hold Security, learned of the breach, but has yet to provide details about the series of website hackings believed to have affected… Continue Reading
The New York Department of Financial Services recently published proposed regulations which would require virtual currency businesses operating in New York State to safeguard data and protect customer privacy. Notably, the proposed regulations include requirements for virtual currency business to maintain cyber security programs and business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Virtual currencies under the regulations… Continue Reading
As we reported earlier, Florida lawmakers passed extensive revisions to its existing data breach notification law, SB 1524. On June 20, 2014, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law, which becomes effective on July 1, 2014. Our earlier post provides more of a discussion about key provisions of the law. But here are a… Continue Reading
Since mid-2013, the Department of Health and Human Services has recovered more than $10 million from numerous entities in connection with alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). However, during a recent American Bar Association conference, Jerome B. Meites, a chief regional civil rights counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”)… Continue Reading
An Office for Civil Rights (OCR) report issued this month reveals some interesting details about data breach activity under HIPAA, as well as some helpful reminders and recommendations for covered entities and business associates. Section 13402(i) of the HITECH Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to various Senate… Continue Reading
On the heels of recent nationwide data breaches of consumer personal information, the Florida State Senate has proposed SB 1524, which if adopted will become effective on July 1, 2014, to revamp and replace existing state data security law and, in particular, impose a statutory requirement to safeguard personal information, reporting a breach to the… Continue Reading
Skagit County, Washington, has agreed to settle potential violations of the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), according to an announcement by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Friday. OCR reported that Skagit County, home to approximately 118,000 residents, agreed to a $215,000 monetary settlement and to comply… Continue Reading
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) issued a Staff Advisory on best practices for financial institutions that must comply with Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) provisions on data security and customer privacy. GLBA was enacted to ensure that financial institutions respect the privacy of their customers and protect the security and confidentiality of nonpublic personal information. Specifically,… Continue Reading
After years of identity theft holding the top spot for crimes reported to the Federal Trade Commission, and following recent reports of massive data breaches, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress today to enact a national law setting a uniform standard for notifying individuals regarding breaches involving their personal information, according to a report by… Continue Reading
In honor of National Data Privacy Day, we provide the following “Top 14 for 2014.” While the list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide critical areas businesses will need to consider in 2014. Location Based Tracking. As the utilization of GPS enable devices becomes more and more prevalent, employers are often faced with… Continue Reading
North Dakota has amended its data breach notification law to include "medical information" and "health insurance information." See N.D. Century Code, Section 51-30-01. Amendments to the law also provide an exemption for HIPAA covered entities, business associates, or subcontractors so long as they are in compliance with breach notification requirements under title 45, Code of Federal Regulations,… Continue Reading
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requested an "emergency review" of its recently proposed rule that "[Federally-facilitated Exchanges or FFEs], non-Exchange entities associated with FFEs, and State Exchanges must report all privacy and security incidents and breaches to HHS within one hour of discovering the incident or breach." We reported on the proposed… Continue Reading
Texas amends its data breach notification statute and the law’s effects on persons out of state.
California Attorney General issues data breach report and announces enforcement priority to investigate breaches involving unencrypted personal information.
HIPAA data breach affecting 441 patients leads to investigation resulting in $50K in penalties due to alleged lapses in security compliance.
Another reported HIPAA breach results in $1.5 million dollar settlement between HIPAA covered entity and HHS’ Office of Civil Rights