Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report

Recently, Business Roundtable, an association for over 200 CEOs of America’s largest companies, released a detailed framework for a national consumer data privacy law that would provide uniformity in an area currently governed by an amalgam of state statutes and regulations. Business Roundtable is hopeful that it has the ear of the Administration and the Legislature to see progress on this effort in the 2019 Session. The CEOs leading this effort come from a…
Observers of the recent changes in the Massachusetts data breach notification law likely will focus on the addition of the obligation to provide 18 months of credit monitoring following a breach involving Social Security numbers (42 months, if the breached entity is a consumer reporting agency). This certainly is a significant change, making Massachusetts only the fourth state to have enacted a similar mandate (See also, California, Connecticut, and Delaware). However, other changes are perhaps…
According to SC Magazine, an escalating number of victims of data breaches in 2017 have led Attorney General Josh Stein and state Rep. Jason Saine to propose updates to the state’s existing data breach notification law – “Act to Strengthen Identity Theft Protections.” The Act would make a number of changes to the existing law, including: Expand the definition of “security breach” to include “ransomware” attacks. Ransomware attacks generally result in the…
Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic (No. 17-1705), addressing the issue of whether the Hobbs Act requires the district court to accept the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) legal interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In 1991, Congress passed the TCPA to restrict telephone solicitations and use of automated telephone equipment, charging the FCC with interpretation and rulemaking authority over the Act.…
Privacy and cybersecurity risks continue to emerge for organizations large and small. While by no means exhaustive, we briefly discuss some key issues that organizations may need to focus on in 2019 and beyond. Business Email Compromise (BEC)/Email Account Compromise (EAC) – BEC and EAC attacks are widespread and show no sign of slowing in the coming year. An FBI Report from July 2018 stated that BEC attacks have resulted in a 136% increase in identified…
Through its actions and publications, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shown an increased focus on cybersecurity and the public disclosure of cybersecurity risks and incidents. In early 2018, the SEC issued a statement and an interpretative guide to assist companies with understanding and carrying out the agency’s disclosure obligations concerning cybersecurity risks and incidents. In the accompanying statement, the SEC explained “the scope and severity of risks that cyber threats present have increased…
Over the past thirty days, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has reached three HIPAA breach resolutions, signaling to organizations that are covered entities and business associates under HIPAA, the importance of instituting basic best practices for data breach prevention and response. On November 26th, the OCR announced a settlement with Allergy Associations of Hartford, P.C. (Allergy Associations), a health practice specializing in allergies, due to alleged HIPAA violations resulting from a doctor’s disclosure of…
A new bill in the Senate proposes to hold large tech companies, specifically “online service providers”, responsible for the protection of personal information in the same way banks, lawyers and hospitals are held responsible. The Data Care Act of 2018, which was introduced on December 12, 2018, is designed to protect users information online and penalize companies that do not properly safeguard such data. Personal data under the bill includes: Social Security number, Driver’s…
October 2018 marks the 15th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In honor of this occasion, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have jointly launched an updated HIPAA Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool to help covered entities and business associates comply with the HIPAA Security Rule. But remember, the HIPAA Security Rule does not require a “one-size-fits-all” approach to security.…
On September 23, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB-1121 amending certain provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) which was enacted in June of this year. As we reported previously, CCPA will apply to any entity that does business in the State of California and satisfies one or more of the following: (i) annual gross revenue in excess of $25 million, (ii) alone or in combination, annually buys, receives…