Fintech and Blockchain 2021

Please join us for a program focused on the latest 2021 FinTech and blockchain developments. Sidley lawyers in the banking, white collar, and FinTech groups will discuss the key regulatory and enforcement issues related to enhanced focus by the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, FinCEN, CFPB, OCC, and Federal Reserve on FinTech, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies from both the criminal and civil enforcement perspectives.

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Regulatory Update: NAIC Summer 2021 National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its Summer 2021 National Meeting (Summer Meeting) August 14-17, 2021. As a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the NAIC met in a hybrid format with attendees participating both in person and virtually. This post summarizes the highlights from this meeting in addition to interim meetings that were held during July in lieu of taking place during the Summer Meeting. Highlights include, among others, adoption of revised risk-based capital bond factors for life insurers, amendments to SSAP No. 71, and an amendment to the purposes and procedures manual to add instructions for review of funds.

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Sidley Privacy and Cybersecurity Roundtable

Please join Sidley’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Group for a two-part discussion with UK government officials with a focus on data transfer and innovation.

UK Data Protection and Data Transfers – New Directions

In this Chatham House discussion, our panelists will cover:

  • Data Transfers to the U.S. and Developments on “Adequacy”
  • G7 and OECD Data Protection Initiatives
  • UK Regulation of Data and Promotion of Innovation

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New European Union Dual-Use Regulation Enters Into Force

As from September 9, 2021, Regulation (EU) 2021/821 (EU Dual-Use Regulation Recast) replaces the existing Council Regulation (EC) 428/2009 setting up the European Union (EU) regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, and transit of “dual-use” items (EU Dual-Use Regulation). Dual-use items are sensitive goods, services, software, and technology that can be used for both civil and military purposes.

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UK Government Publishes UK Approach to International Transfers, Including Data Adequacy

On August 26, 2021, the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published its mission statement setting out the UK approach to adequacy assessments and international data transfers, alongside a Manual Template and Manual Guidance for undertaking adequacy assessments and an infographic map illustrating ten priority countries forming part of that process. This release forms part of a broader package of measures announced by DCMS to “seize the opportunities of data to boost growth, trade and improve its public services” following the UK’s exit from the EU, which included an announcement that John Edwards (the current New Zealand Privacy Commissioner) is the Government’s preferred nominee to be the next UK Information Commissioner.

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SEC Continues Focus on Cybersecurity Disclosure Failures, Announces Settled Charges Against Pearson plc

Through its announcement of settled charges against Pearson plc (Pearson) on August 16, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission signaled its continued, high level scrutiny of companies’ public statements related to data security incidents.1 Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Pearson agreed to a cease and desist order (Order) and to pay a $1 million penalty.2 The SEC’s Pearson Order follows its June 2021 announcement that it had settled charges against First American Title Insurance Company (First American) for cybersecurity disclosure control failures.3 Together, the Pearson and First American actions underscore the SEC’s increasingly vigorous enforcement efforts on disclosure control violations related to cybersecurity issues, in particular vulnerabilities that expose sensitive customer information and data breaches.

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UK ICO Opens Consultation on Data Transfer Agreements and Guidance

On 11 August 2021, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched a public consultation on its draft international data transfer agreement and guidance (Consultation). The Consultation comes two months after the European Commission’s adoption of new EU Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCCs) and the European Data Protection Board’s publication of the final Schrems II guidance. The EU SCCs do not automatically apply in the UK since its exit from the EU. Moreover, the ICO has not yet formally acknowledged the EU SCCs, i.e., as a valid data transfer mechanism under the UK GDPR.

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