Tag Archives: disclosure

Disclosure of State Employees’ Birthdates Not Protected Per Washington Supreme Court

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled recently that state employees’ birthdates associated with their names are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to a freedom of information records request. In so holding, the Court strictly construed the applicable statute that did not expressly exempt birthdates from disclosure. Wash. Pub. Emps. Assn. v. State Ctr for Childhood … Continue Reading

Vermont Court Finds Patient Can Sue Hospital and an Employee for Breach of Confidentiality

In a landmark ruling, the Vermont Supreme Court recently held that a patient had standing to sue both the hospital at which she was a patient and the employee who attended to her, for negligent disclosure of her personal health information to a third-party. Neither the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) nor Vermont … Continue Reading

Liability for Providing Too Little Information?

Most employers are well aware that potential liability lurks if unauthorized information is disclosed to third parties. Obvious examples would include unauthorized employee or applicant health or financial information or personal information such as social security numbers and the like. In an interesting twist, the Minnesota Supreme Court considered whether liability could be created when … Continue Reading

Lawful Access and Improper Use of Computer Data Does Not Violate the CFAA

The Fourth Circuit recently held that the Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act’s (“CFAA”) prohibitions against unauthorized access or access in excess of authorization were not violated by an employee when the employee used his valid access to employer’s computer network to download confidential business information that he later used while working for a competitor. Prior … Continue Reading

Alleged HIPAA Violation Supports State Common Law Negligence Claim

A Missouri federal district court has ruled, in I.S. v. Washington University, that a HIPAA-covered entity’s disclosure of protected information can form the basis for a state-law negligence claim.  The Court reached this holding despite the well-accepted principle there is no private cause of action under HIPAA.  The plaintiff, I.S., was undergoing medical treatment for … 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

Peer-To-Peer (P2P) File Sharing Data Breaches Lead to FTC Action

Nearly 100 organizations have been notified by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) that personal information, including sensitive employee and customer data, shared from the organizations’ computer networks is available on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks. This, the FTC warned, could be used to commit identity theft or fraud. The notices went to both private and public entities, including … Continue Reading

Is Shredding Enough?

Continuing our thoughts on how disclosures of private or confidential information may adversely impact the institution and the persons affected by such disclosure, we now focus on something near and dear to lawyers’ hearts: paper shredding. Many businesses regularly shred documents they no longer need to protect them from disclosure. While this may secure the information contained … Continue Reading
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