By

Edward R. McNicholas

29 June 2018

California Enacts Broad Privacy Laws Modeled on GDPR

On June 28, 2018, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375). According to the bill’s author, it was consciously designed to emulate the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect on May 25, and if and when it goes into effect, it would constitute the broadest privacy law in the United States. It is intended to give consumers more transparency regarding and control over their data and establishes highly detailed requirements for what companies that collect personal data about California residents must disclose.    (more…)

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26 June 2018

California’s GDPR? Sweeping California Privacy Ballot Initiative Could Bring Sea Change to U.S. Privacy Regulation and Enforcement

*UPDATE: The ballot initiative has been replaced by a new California law, AB 375. Please see California Enacts Broad Privacy Protections Modeled on GDPR for more information.

On June 25, 2018, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that a potentially significant privacy initiative is eligible for the Nov. 6 general election ballot. If passed, the ballot initiative — the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — would immediately make sweeping changes to California’s privacy laws. This initiative would likely create a de facto national standard on transparency around third-party sharing as well as consumer rights to restrict data sharing and could affect many business models that depend on data monetization to offer a free good or service. Many see the law as having echoes of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect on May 25. If voters pass the initiative, it would go into effect shortly after the election — providing little time to develop an extensive internal regulatory program, yet providing immediate exposure to penalties for failures to have those extensive compliance processes in operation. (more…)

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26 March 2018

South Dakota Becomes 49th State to Enact a Data Breach Notification Law

On March 21, Governor Daugaard of South Dakota signed SB 62, making South Dakota the 49th state to enact a data breach notification statute (leaving only Alabama without a state data breach law).  South Dakota’s attorney general issued a statement after the law was signed, observing that the connected economy comes with “an increased risk of theft and fraud,” and “we need the tools to combat these breaches and thefts of our personal information.” (more…)

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13 March 2018

Potential Congressional Action on Cross Border Data? A Primer on the CLOUD Act

In recent years, the rise of cloud computing has led to more and more data being stored somewhere other than the jurisdiction in which it was created.  This trend increasingly has led U.S. law enforcement officials to demand access to information held abroad, just as foreign officials increasingly want access to data held inside the United States.  But satisfying these growing desires for cross-border access has proven complicated.  The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process has not kept pace with the Internet-fueled increase in data requests, nor has a workable alternative to that process emerged.  And questions remain as to whether relevant U.S. statutes authorize extraterritorial legal process.  Even if law enforcement officials do have tools that allow them to seek data held elsewhere, the holders of such data may face a conflict between their obligations to respond to one country’s lawful process and the obligations to comply with another country’s privacy protections or blocking statutes. (more…)

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02 March 2018

SEC Issues New Guidance on Cybersecurity Disclosure Requirements

On February 21, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance (the Guidance) to assist public companies in drafting their cybersecuritydisclosures in SEC filings. See 83 FR 8166 (Feb. 26, 2018). In his public statement accompanying the issuance of this guidance, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said he believed that “providing the Commission’s views on these matters will promote clearer and more robust disclosure by companies about cybersecurity risks and incidents, resulting in more complete information being available to investors.”1 In this new guidance, the SEC is likely intending to signal how it may focus future enforcement concerning the cybersecurity disclosure obligations of public companies, and their underlying disclosure controls, procedures and certifications. (more…)

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25 January 2018

Protecting Privilege in the Aftermath of a Data Breach

On Jan. 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision that effectively required a company to turn over materials relating to a privileged forensic data breach investigation because, the court concluded, the company had implicitly waived privilege when it disclosed certain of the forensic firm’s conclusions in response to a discovery request. The Sixth Circuit’s decision emphasizes the need for caution by litigants wishing to raise a defense that relies on privileged investigations and reports, including third-party forensic reports, or otherwise disclosing the conclusions of such investigations and reports. (more…)

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09 January 2018

Internet of Toys Enforcement: VTech Agrees to COPPA Settlement

On January 8, the FTC announced a settlement with VTech (a maker of electronic children’s toys) for violations of COPPA, adding to the regulatory activity mounting in the last few years around the Internet of Toys.  The company agreed to pay $650,000 to settle allegations that its Kid Connect app and its Learning Lodge platform collected personal information from almost 3,000,000 children without providing direct notice and obtaining their parent or guardian’s consent.  (more…)

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02 January 2018

Privacy and Cybersecurity Top 10 for 2018

This past year was marked by ever more significant data breaches, growing cybersecurity regulatory requirements at the state and federal levels and continued challenges in harmonizing international privacy and cybersecurity regulations. We expect each of these trends to continue in 2018.

As we begin this New Year, here is list of the top 10 privacy and cybersecurity issues for 2018: (more…)

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21 November 2017

Jamaica’s New Privacy Protection Bill

On 10 October 2017, Jamaica introduced into its House of Parliament a comprehensive Bill for privacy and data protection, entitled “An Act to Protect the Privacy of Certain Data and for Connected Matters.”  The new law would cover personal data, including data in an “accessible record” such as a health record or an educational record.  If passed, the new law will be named the “Data Protection Act, 2017.”  (more…)

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