Tag Archives: breach notification

Video Interview: Discussing the FCC’s Recent Data Security Action with LXBN TV

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

FCC Issues First Data Security Fine

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

Data Breach Notification Deadline Extended 10 Days for Certain Healthcare Providers in California

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

Prepare For Increased HIPAA Fines

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

Florida Legislature Seeks to Overhaul Existing Data Security Law

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

Best Practices For Gramm-Leach-Bliley Compliance

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

Top 14 for 2014

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

OCR Issues Protocol For HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Audit Program

As we previously discussed, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) continues to push forward with the HIPAA audits required by the HITECH Act.  To this end, the OCR recently posted the protocol which is used to conduct the HIPAA audits on its website.  The HITECH Act requires HHS to provide for periodic audits to ensure covered … Continue Reading

Don’t Mess With Texas–Amended Law Imposes Breach Notification Obligations In All 50 States

In a novel approach to data breach notification requirements, Texas has amended its breach notification law (Business & Commerce Code, Section 521.053) to require notification to residents of not only Texas, but to residents of each of the 50 states.  The amendment becomes effective September 1, 2012, and applies to “all persons who conduct business … Continue Reading

The White House’s Cybersecuirty Legislative Proposal

Today the White House issued a Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal. The proposed legislation focuses on protecting the American people, the nation’s critical infrastructure, and the federal government’s computers and networks.  While legislation of this nature would simplify the breach reporting process for businesses, and overall streamline cybersecurity laws, a number of legislative attempts to do this have previously failed.  … Continue Reading

California and Massachusetts Legislatures Push Data Breach and Security Bills

In distinct efforts to strengthen data security requirements, the California and Massachusetts legislatures recently passed bills affecting data breach notification requirements and data security notification, respectively.   On April 14, 2011, the California senate approved S.B. 24, requiring California businesses and agencies to notify the state attorney general if more than 500 California residents are notified … Continue Reading

HHS Settlement Follows Enforcement Fine

In a uniquely timed second showing of enforcement authority, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on February 24, 2011 a one million dollar settlement with a Massachusetts hospital that allegedly breached patient data.  This settlement announcement comes only days after HHS announced a 4.3 million dollar HIPAA Privacy Rule fine.  The Massachusetts … Continue Reading

U.S. Bank Hit with Class Action Suit Alleging Data Breach Cover-Up

Paintball Punks filed a class action suit against U.S. Bank  in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The case was subsequently removed on December 6, 2010, to the Minneapolis District Court. In the complaint, Paintball Punks alleges that between August and December 2009 it received 9 orders totaling approximately $11,000, which were fraudulently billed to U.S. Bank-issued cards. The amount was subsequently … Continue Reading

No Claim For Data Breach Damages Absent Financial Loss or Tangible Injury

In another favorable decision for companies, the Maine Supreme Court ruled on September 21, 2010 that consumers affected by a data breach could not claim damages from the company unless they suffered uncompensated financial losses or some other tangible injury.  The Maine Supreme Court addressed the following: In the absence of physical harm or economic loss … Continue Reading

Dealing with Data Breaches: Health Net Suit Highlights Need for Effective Security Incident Procedures and Training

As we have discussed before, data breach notification is one of the most rapidly emerging areas of law. Good security incident procedures as well as effective training can help avoid the risk of data breach. (Sample data breach training).  A case in point: Connecticut’s Attorney General has filed a civil action against Health Net of the Northeast … Continue Reading

Data Security, Destruction and Encryption Leads the Way for States in 2010

Less than one month into 2010 the trend to address data security, destruction, and encryption has continued among state lawmakers. Specifically, Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and New York all have introduced, reintroduced, or amended legislation of this kind.  The Florida and Michigan laws would amend personal data destruction rules for companies. The New York law … Continue Reading

New Hampshire Enacts Strict Data Breach Notification Law Affecting Health Care Providers and Business Associates

New Hampshire’s new breach notification law builds on the breach notification requirements under the HITECH Act by requiring health care providers and business associates to notify individuals of disclosures of their protected health information that are prohibited by New Hampshire law, even if such disclosures are permitted under HIPAA or other federal law. This new … Continue Reading

Health Net’s Data Breach Highlights Need for Privacy Officer with Clear Job Description

Health Net Inc., one of the nation’s largest publicly traded managed health care companies, recently notified authorities and informed affected persons, with a statement on its website, that the unencrypted personal information of 1.5 million current and former members, stored on a portable disk drive, is missing from the company’s Connecticut office. The company is now … Continue Reading

Another Data Breach of Patient Records

The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore police are investigating a security breach at Mercy Medical Center that left certain patient records open to possible identity theft. According to the article, affected former patients were sent a letter informing them that their personal patient records may have been accessed by a former employee in order to apply for … Continue Reading

Do You Know How to Take Out the Trash?

Joining the growing number of states which have enacted laws regulating the destruction of records to prevent possible identity theft, the Rhode Island Legislature passed H. 5092 on October 29, 2009. The bill requires businesses and government agencies to completely destroy records containing personal information, or render the personal information unusable, before disposing of records whether … Continue Reading
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