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Online Privacy

19 September 2017

European Commission prioritizes cybersecurity, GDPR compliance and free flow of data

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission presented its draft work program for the next sixteen months up to the end of 2018.  In addition to boosting jobs, growth and investments, the European Commission’s main priority is to improve and strengthen the Single Digital Market, where individuals as well as businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition and a high level of consumer and personal data protection.  With that objective in mind, the European Commission plans to launch the following initiatives between now and the end of 2018:

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23 August 2017

FTC Uber Settlement Mandates a Comprehensive Privacy Program, Sheds Light on “Reasonable Data Security” Expectations, and Underscores Importance of Insider Threat Prevention

On August 15, the FTC announced that it had reached an agreement with Uber to settle allegations that the company had made deceptive claims about its privacy and data security practices. The FTC’s settlement with Uber has important implications for privacy and data security measures that companies could take, and the representations they and their employees make in these areas. It also shed greater light on what the FTC means by “reasonable data security” measures that companies should implement, and underscores the importance of maintaining a robust insider threat prevention program. (more…)

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17 August 2017

Influential Stakeholders Debate a Cross-Sector Approach in Using Big Data for Improving Human Health

Big Data has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. This was especially the case in Brussels, where the fiercely debated EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in 2016. A major concern for all of us is personal privacy. Less discussed is the use of Big Data for social good.

A traditional sectoral approach to harnessing the potential of Big Data for social good is insufficient. This is the case in terms of organisations from different sectors partnering to develop new technologies. It also means that legislation and policies on Big Data must be forward thinking and facilitate cross-sectoral co-operation. (more…)

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10 August 2017

Greater Protection for Individuals and Larger Fines for Organisations Under a New UK Data Protection Bill

In a statement of intent published on 7 August 2017, the UK Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill (the “Bill”). The Bill will incorporate the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) into UK law.

According to the UK’s Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock, the Bill will “give [the UK] one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.” (more…)

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04 August 2017

Singapore’s Privacy Watchdog Proposes Changes to Personal Data Protection Act

Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has launched a public consultation into a proposed revision to the law that would require reporting of certain data breaches. Singapore currently uses a voluntary approach to data breach notifications, but, according to the PDPC, this has resulted in uneven notification practices. Under the proposals, it will be mandatory for organizations to inform customers of personal data breaches that pose any risk of impact or harm to the affected individual as soon as they are discovered. If an incident involves 500 or more individuals, organizations will need to notify the PDPC as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours after discovery of the breach. The proposals aim to allow individuals to take steps to protect their interests in the event of a data breach, for example, by changing their password. (more…)

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05 July 2017

Illinois Becomes the First State to Pass a Geolocation Privacy Protection Bill

On June 27, 2017, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill seeking to limit the collection, use, retention, or disclosure of precise geolocation data from a mobile device without a person’s prior express and written consent.  This notable bill, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (“GPPA”), is on its way to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk – although it is unclear if it will be signed or vetoed.  If signed, this bill would mark the first state geolocation privacy protection bill in the country—and represent the most stringent requirements related to geolocation data in the nation, potentially creating complex issues for the rapidly proliferating variety of mobile Internet of Things devices.  (more…)

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19 May 2017

SEC Issues “WannaCry” Ransomware Alert to Broker-Dealers and Investment Companies

On May 17, 2017, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Enforcement (OCIE) issued a cybersecurity alert to the securities firms it regulates. OCIE advised broker-dealers and investment companies to take certain actions in connection with the recent WannaCry and Wanna Decryptor ransomware attacks that affected numerous organizations in over one hundred countries.  Specifically, OCIE encouraged firms as follows: (more…)

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27 April 2017

Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission Publishes Advisory Guidelines on the Use of Anonymized Data

The Personal Data Protection Act, 2012 (PDPA), Singapore’s general data protection law, governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. The Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), which enforces the PDPA, recently updated the chapter on data anonymization found in its Advisory Guidelines (Guidelines). The Guidelines are not legally binding but provide guidance on how the PDPC will interpret the PDPA. The revisions encourage organizations to incorporate into the process of anonymizing data an inquiry into the risks that the data may be re-identified and any potential negative effect on the individuals involved rather than focusing purely on the various techniques to anonymize the data.

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12 April 2017

Proposed Strengthening of Singapore Cybersecurity Law

In keeping with Singapore’s recent emphasis on strengthening national cybersecurity protections, on March 9, 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced proposed amendments to the existing Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (CMCA). The proposed amendment, Bill No. 15/2017, would broaden the scope of the CMCA by criminalizing certain conduct not covered by the existing law and enhancing penalties in certain situations.

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