Archives: Information Risk

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Information Blocking and HIPAA’s Right to Access – Is Your Practice Compliant?

Patient record requests can be a significant administrative burden for health care providers. An OCR enforcement initiative and a new federal law give providers more reason to get this process right.  We summarize these rules here. Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule became effective in 2003, it generally … Continue Reading

Connecticut Enacts Safe Harbor from Punitive Damages in Data Breach Cases

Effective October 1, 2021, Connecticut becomes the third state with a data breach litigation “safe harbor” law (Public Act No. 21-119), joining Utah and Ohio. In short, the Connecticut law prohibits courts in the state from assessing punitive damages in data breach litigation against a covered defendant that created, maintained, and complied with a cybersecurity … Continue Reading

Musings of Retirement Plan Fiduciaries on Cybersecurity: Episode Two

Individuals who serve as a fiduciaries to their company’s retirement plan often feel they may not be sufficiently informed or qualified to make prudent decisions for the plan. They might ask themselves: “How do I know which are prudent investments?” or “What amount of plan fees are ‘reasonable’”? Now, the DOL is requiring plan fiduciaries … Continue Reading

DOL Has Started to Audit Compliance with Its Cybersecurity Guidelines

In April, we posted about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issuing cybersecurity guidance for employee retirement plans. That is, April 14, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the DOL updated its audit inquiries to include probing questions for plan fiduciaries about their compliance with “hot off the press” agency guidelines. So, what do … Continue Reading

Colorado Becomes Third State To Enact a Comprehensive Privacy Law

Colorado is officially the third U.S. state to enact comprehensive privacy legislation, following California and Virginia. The Colorado General Assembly passed the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), Senate Bill 21-109, on June 8, 2021, and Governor Jared Polis signed it into law on July 7, 2021. The Colorado Privacy Act takes effect July 1, 2023, six … Continue Reading

The “New” EU Standard Contractual Clauses: FAQs for U.S. Organizations

Globalization, compliance, and the growth in outsourcing have created a myriad of cross-border data transfer scenarios. These scenarios include marketing to and servicing customers, assessing global compliance with diversity and including goals, and outsourcing back office business functions. However, the emergence of far reaching data privacy regulation, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation … Continue Reading

NIST Preliminary Draft Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management Provides Risk Management Strategies

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released a preliminary draft of its Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management. The public comment period for this draft runs through July 9, 2021. NIST says “The profile can be used as a guide to managing the risk of ransomware events. That includes helping to … Continue Reading

City of Baltimore May Criminalize the Use of Facial Recognition Technologies by Businesses

The Baltimore City Council recently passed an ordinance, in a vote of 13-2, barring the use of facial recognition technology by city residents, businesses, and most of the city government (excluding the city police department) until December 2022.  Council Bill 21-0001  prohibits persons from “obtaining, retaining, accessing, or using certain face surveillance technology or any … Continue Reading

Musings of Retirement Plan Fiduciaries on Cybersecurity: Episode One

By now, plan fiduciaries and their service providers likely have heard about the DOL’s cybersecurity guidance. The Department of Labor’s stepping into cybersecurity in this way – a posting of best practices on the agency’s website – has left plan fiduciaries with some questions. Here are a few: “When is this effective?” “Does this apply … Continue Reading

Connecticut on its Way to an Enhanced Data Breach Notification Law

UPDATE: On June 16, Gov. Ned Lamont signed HB 5310 into law which becomes effective October 1, 2021. State legislatures across the nation are prioritizing privacy and security matters, and Connecticut is no exception. This week, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced the passage of An Act Concerning Data Privacy Breaches, a measure that will … Continue Reading

Is New York Next? A Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Bill Reintroduced

On May 13th, New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, Chair of NY’s Consumer Protection Committee, reintroduced the New York Privacy Act (“NYPA”), a comprehensive consumer privacy law similar in kind to the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), and Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (“CDPA”).  The NYPA had been introduced in a previous … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Issues Cybersecurity Executive Order Following Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack

On May 12, 2021, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order on “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity” (EO). The EO was in the works prior to the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, reportedly a ransomware incident that snarled the flow of gas on the east coast for days. Ransomware attacks are nothing new, but they are increasing in … Continue Reading

NYC Council Passes Data Privacy Bill That Would Impose Rigorous Requirements On Owners of “Smart Access” Buildings

As we noted in our last post, there has been a flurry of data privacy and security activity in New York, with the State appearing poised to join California as a leader in this space.  Most recently, on April 29, 2021, the New York City Council passed the Tenant Data Privacy Act (“TDPA”), which would … Continue Reading

NYC Creates BIPA-Like Requirements for Retail, Hospitality Businesses Concerning Biometric Information Collected From Customers

Effective July 9, 2021, certain retail and hospitality businesses that collect and use “biometric identifier information” from customers will need to post conspicuous notices near all customer entrances to their facilities.  These businesses will also be barred from selling, leasing, trading, sharing or otherwise profiting from the biometric identifier information they collect from customers.  Customers … Continue Reading

CPRA Series: The CPRA and Risk Assessments

The California Privacy Protection Act (CPRA) amended the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and has an operative date of January 1, 2023. The CPRA introduces new compliance obligations including a requirement that businesses conduct risk assessments. While many U.S. companies currently conduct risk assessments for compliance with state “reasonable safeguards” statutes (e.g., Florida, Texas, Illinois, … Continue Reading

DOH Employee Error Causes Breach of COVID-19 and Other Health Data Affecting Nearly 165,000 Individuals

In a recent post, we highlighted the need for a privacy and cybersecurity training program, one not solely focused on spotting phishing attempts (although that is quite important as well). A primary reason, quite simply, is that employees continue to be a leading cause of data breaches. This fact was reaffirmed for the Wyoming Department … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Cybersecurity Best Practices for ERISA Covered Retirement Plans

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued much anticipated cybersecurity guidance for employee retirement plans. This comes more than four and a half years after the ERISA Advisory Council, a 15-member body appointed by the Secretary of Labor to provide guidance on employee benefit plans, shared with the federal Department of … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccination: Setting Up An On-site Program

The Biden administration reportedly has called for all people at least 18 to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19, 2021, two weeks earlier than its prior goal of May 1, and less than a week away. Most states have already done so. Without the barriers created by state-by-state priority rules, the rate … Continue Reading

Utah is the 2nd State to Create a Safe Harbor for Companies Facing Data Breach Litigation

In mid-March, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law the Cybersecurity Affirmative Defense Act (HB80) (“the Act”), an amendment to Utah’s data breach notification law, creating several affirmative defenses for persons (defined below) facing a cause of action arising out of a breach of system security, and establishing the requirements for asserting such a defense. … Continue Reading

Travel 2.0: Vaccine Passports and Visas—What’s Next on the Horizon

One of the industries perhaps hardest hit by the coronavirus, the travel industry, received welcomed news late last week in the form of CDC guidance stating that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume domestic travel and do not need to get tested for COVID-19 before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. According to … Continue Reading

California State Healthcare Worker Accesses COVID-19 Data on More Than 2,000 Patients and Employees

As we noted in late January 2020, the spread of infectious disease raises particular concerns for healthcare workers who want to do their jobs and care for their patients, while also protect themselves and their families. Perhaps the desire to protect one’s self and family is what motivated a California state healthcare worker to access … Continue Reading

Virginia Becomes 2nd State to Enact a Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Law

On Tuesday, March 2nd, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA), officially joining California as the second state with a comprehensive consumer privacy law, intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for state residents.  We provide an in-depth analysis of the CDPA here, along with legislative activity in … Continue Reading

Comprehensive State Privacy Laws On the Move, How Should Organizations Evaluate Them?

Virginia may be the first state to follow California’s lead on consumer privacy legislation, but it certainly will not be the last. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) observed, “State-Level momentum for comprehensive privacy bills is at an all-time high.” The IAPP maintains a map of state consumer privacy legislative activity, with in-depth analysis comparing key provisions. … Continue Reading

CPRA Series: Redux on Data Security Requirements and Private Right of Action

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), passed in November, 2020, added to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) an express obligation for covered businesses to adopt reasonable security safeguards to protect personal information. The CPRA also clarified the CCPA’s private right of action for consumers whose personal information is breached due to a failure to implement … Continue Reading
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