By

Colleen Theresa Brown

15 May 2017

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Cybersecurity at Federal Agencies

On Thursday, May 11, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure.  The order is expected to prompt a broad examination of cybersecurity vulnerabilities at federal agencies and re-orient federal cybersecurity efforts toward modernization and shared services.  The order also reaffirms the previous administration’s approach to cybersecurity protections for critical infrastructure – with increased emphasis on the power grid – and seeks to promote the growth and sustainment of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce in the public and private sectors.  (more…)

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17 April 2017

EU Lawmakers Say That Privacy Shield Deficiencies Must Be Fixed Urgently

On 6th April, 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution stating that there are deficiencies in the EU-US data transfer accord Privacy Shield which must be “urgently resolved” in order to give citizens and companies legal certainty. MEPs called on the EU Commission to conduct an assessment and to ensure that the Privacy Shield complies sufficiently with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and new EU data protection rules. (more…)

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10 April 2017

New Mexico Enacts Breach Notification and Data Security/Secure Disposal Law, While Tennessee Clarifies Encryption Exception

New Mexico has become the 48th state to enact a data breach notification law, which also includes data security requirements. The Data Breach Notification Act, signed by Governor Martinez on April 6, 2017, requires notification within 45 days of discovery of a security breach, or “unauthorized acquisition” of computerized personal information, subject to the needs of law enforcement. A security breach is also limited to unencrypted data or encrypted data when the decryption key is compromised. Personal data protected by the law includes Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, government-issued identification numbers, account, credit card or debit card number paired with the security code or other pin, and biometric data.

(more…)

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17 March 2017

NAIC creates new Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has created a new task force to monitor technology, data collection and Cybersecurity developments in the insurance industry.  The Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force (IT Task Force) was formed on March 9, 2017 and reports directly to the NAIC’s Executive Committee.  The  IT Task Force will appoint and oversee the work of the following NAIC groups:  the Big Data Working Group, the Cybersecurity Working Group and the Speed-to-Market Working Group.  According to the NAIC’s March 9, 2017 press release, the IT Task Force’s purpose is to help insurance regulators stay informed about technology-related developments, products and services in the insurance industry, including start-up companies, and to ensure they meet consumer expectations and ensure consumer protections.  The press release notes that annual investment in insurance technology (InsurTech) has increased to more than $2.5 Billion and continues to grow.

(more…)

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14 March 2017

Google’s Overseas Warrants: A Game of Tug-of-War Over Access to Data

On February 3, 2017, Eastern District of Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter ordered Google to comply with FBI search warrants to produce emails stored on foreign servers as part of a domestic criminal investigation.  In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google (E.D. Pa. Feb. 3, 2017).  This ruling comes on the heels of the Second Circuit’s decision in Microsoft Corp. v. United States, 829 F.3d 197 (2d Cir. 2016) (denied rehearing on January 24, 2017), which reached an opposite decision and held that Microsoft could not be forced to turn over user data stored on a server located in Ireland.  (For more background, see Second Circuit Microsoft Ruling: A Plea for Congressional Action (August 8, 2016)).

(more…)

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08 March 2017

Australia’s Long Anticipated Breach Notification Law Passes

*The authors are not licensed to practice law in Australia, and this information is intended for educational purposes only.

Australia has passed data breach notification legislation requiring certain companies with annual revenue over AU $3 million  ($2.3 million) to notify the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals in the event of a qualifying data breach.

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (“the Bill”), which the Australian Senate passed on February 13th, amends the Privacy Act of 1988 (Privacy Act) to require that qualifying companies provide notification if there is “unauthorized access to, unauthorized disclosure of, or loss of, personal information by an entity,” and “the access, disclosure or loss is likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates.” According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, examples of personal information include names, signatures, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, medical records and “commentary or opinion” about individuals.

(more…)

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28 February 2017

NYDFS issues final cybersecurity regulations, setting new industry standard for cybersecurity controls

On February 16, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYDFS”) issued its final regulations setting forth minimum requirements for NYDFS-regulated entities to address cybersecurity risk (“Final Regulations”).  The NYDFS issued the Final Regulations after considering feedback and criticism received during two comment periods  — one following the NYDFS’s initial publication of the proposed regulation (on September 13, 2016) and a second comment period after the NY DFS published a revised version of the regulation (on December 28, 2016.)

The Final Regulations will be effective as of March 1, 2017, with a transitional period of 180 days from that date for Covered Entities to comply with the Final Regulations, except for certain enumerated provisions for which longer compliance periods are specified.  The annual certification of compliance (covering the prior calendar year) will be required beginning on February 15, 2018.

(more…)

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24 February 2017

New NACD Cyber-Risk Handbook a Reminder of Critical Board Oversight Duties

*This article first appeared in Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law & Accountability Report on February 23, 2017

On Jan. 12, 2017, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released its new “NACD Director’s Handbook on Cyber-Risk Oversight.” The NACD has suggested that directors can use this Cyber-Risk Oversight Handbook as a resource to “[l]earn foundational principles for board-level cyber-risk oversight” and gain insight into issues including how to:

  • “allocate cyber-risk oversight responsibilities at the board level”;
  • address “legal implications and considerations related to cybersecurity”;
  • “set expectations with management about the organization’s cybersecurity processes”;
  • “improve the dialogue between directors and management on cyber issues”; and,
  • “improve and enhance boardroom practices.”

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15 February 2017

Chronicles from the Standing Wars: Third Circuit Rules Disclosures of Personal Data in Violation of FCRA De Facto Injury

The Third Circuit recently overturned a district court’s ruling on In re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation and gave new life to a putative class action over a data breach.  No. 15-2309 (Jan. 20, 2017).  The Third Circuit panel held that allegations of unauthorized disclosure of personal information in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) constituted a de facto injury sufficient to establish Article III standing.  Plaintiffs did not allege identity theft, any other misuse of the compromised data, or even any mitigation costs.

(more…)

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31 January 2017

2016 Year in Review and 2017 Preview: Top Ten for Data Protection and Privacy

2016 was a year of seismic changes in the global data protection and privacy landscape.  Here, we look back at the top ten events and issues that shaped 2016, and are poised to shape the year ahead as well.

Year In Review

1. GDPR Adoption

On April 14, the European Parliament voted to adopt the long-awaited EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), formally completing adoption of the GDPR. The GDPR was published in the Official Journal of the EU on May 25, 2016, giving companies and Member States until the May 25, 2018 effective date to implement the Regulation fully. In the wake of its adoption, businesses should have planning under way for implementation of the significantly expanded Regulation by evaluating whether they are subject to the expanded jurisdiction, and if so, completing an internal gap analysis of current data protection practices as compared with the new requirements and rights under the Regulation. Some of the key aspects to consider include data breach response planning under the new 72-hour notice requirement, reviewing existing data protection notices and consents for the more robust obligations, identifying current profiling activities and existing data protection and retention policies and procedures, ensuring privacy impact assessments are carried out where required, and evaluating whether there is an obligation to appoint a data protection officer.  Despite the time until the effective date, the extensive preparation necessary to comply presents a challenge as companies around the world refocus resources to develop compliance plans.

2. Political Cyber Warfare

There is a new front in geopolitical battles.  (more…)

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