On 13 February 2017, the Australian Senate passed into law the Privacy Amendment Bill 2016. This law amends the primary privacy and data protection legislation in Australia, Privacy Act 1988, to introduce the long-anticipated mandatory data breach notification scheme. Under this scheme, all agencies and businesses that are regulated by the Privacy Act are required to provide notice to the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals of certain data breaches that are likely to result in “serious harm.”
Please join us for our October 2016 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
Within the last two weeks, two different federal district courts have issued decisions in high-profile data breach cases that highlight an important issue to watch in 2015: whether consumers whose payment card data was taken have standing to pursue claims against retailers. Northern District of Illinois Judge John Darrah and District of Minnesota Judge Paul Magnuson issued decisions regarding motions to dismiss in consumer class actions against P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. and Target Corp. respectively, with substantially different results. The rulings took different approaches in examining whether the plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged injury, showing continuing uncertainty over what consumers must plead in order to pursue a claim after a data breach.
On December 8, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement with TD Bank, under which TD Bank must pay $625,000 and take several steps to strengthen its data security practices. The settlement agreement stems from a data breach that impacted over 90,000 Massachusetts residents and over 260,000 customers nationwide. The AG’s approach to this case and the resulting settlement underscore the importance of providing prompt notification following a data breach as well as maintaining adequate oversight over the security practices of third-party service providers.
In a ruling that was welcome news to health care providers, insurers, and others that maintain medical information of California residents, the California Court of Appeals recently held that the mere possession of medical information by an unauthorized person, without actual viewing of the information, is not sufficient to establish a breach of confidentiality under the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act , Cal. Civ. Code §§ 56 et seq.
On March 27, senior members of the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity practice will present a timely and practical webcast on how businesses can prepare for and address the risks of cybersecurity incidents in this time of high alert. Visit the full blog post to learn more and to register for this free event.
On February 18, Puerto Rican insurer Triple S Salud revealed that it will face a $6.8 million fine for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. According to an 8-K filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration notified Triple S on February 11, 2014 regarding its plans to sanction the insurer for HIPAA violations resulting from a 2013 breach of protected health information. The Health Insurance Administration also plans to impose administrative sanctions on the insurer, including the suspension of new enrollments into one of its plans and the obligation to notify affected individuals of their right to disenroll.
Last week, California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed suit against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (“Kaiser”) in relation to a 2011 data security breach. The AG’s complaint alleges that even though Kaiser provided notice of the breach to affected individuals, it took too long to issue the required notifications.
In Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy and Security Law Report, Hogan Lovells attorneys Des Hogan, Michelle Kisloff, and Chris Wolf have published an article addressing the increased litigation and regulatory risks that companies must address in the evolving privacy and data security landscape. After summarizing recent developments involving class actions and regulatory activities, the article offers guidance on how companies can reduce their financial and reputational exposure.
A February 4, 2013 article published by the specialized healthcare news site “Actusoins” revealed data breaches at several French hospitals and clinics, demonstrating that such incidents can occur even in a highly-regulated jurisdiction. The journalist was researching another article, and entered the name of a physician into Google. The journalist was astonished to find at […]
France’s data protection authority, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), released on November 14, 2012 English-language versions of its compliance guides for businesses. The first guide, “Methodology for Privacy Risk Management”, provides a step-by-step guide for identifying risks and prioritising remedial actions. The second guide, “Measures for the Privacy Risk Treatment“, provides practical guidance on […]
Government contractors soon may be compelled to protect against the compromise of information that is resident on their network and computer systems. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) issued on August 24 a proposed rule on “Basic Safeguarding of Contractor Information Systems”. The proposal would add a new FAR subpart and contract clause requiring small and large contractors, including commercial items contractors, to employ basic security measures to protect information from unauthorized disclosure, loss, or compromise.
This summer, several states have enacted legislation addressing a broad range of privacy issues including data breach notification, health care privacy, employer access to employees’ and applicants’ social networking accounts, the collection of Social Security numbers, and telemarketing. We provide an overview of the recent privacy regulation developments in Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, and Illinois.
Widely-reported efforts to craft compromise cybersecurity legislation failed 52-46 in a key Senate vote on August 2 despite bipartisan engagement and the Obama Administration’s vocal support.
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday announced settlements with two companies over security breaches caused by peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software. The settlements require the companies to establish and maintain comprehensive information security programs and to undergo data security audits by independent auditors every other year for 20 years.
A federal judge dismissed all but one of the claims financial institutions brought against Heartland Payment Systems for the breach of Heartland’s computer systems that affected approximately 130 million consumers, demonstrating that it may be difficult to hold companies legally responsible for breaches of their data. The financial institution plaintiffs balked at Heartland’s settlement offers and instead sought relief from the court, but only the alleged violation of Florida’s consumer-protection statute survived Heartland’s motion to dismiss, an outcome which may deter future plaintiffs affected by data breaches from rejecting settlement offers to litigate their claims.
A new amendment to California’s security breach notification statute establishes specific content requirements for data breach notifications and imposes a new Attorney General notification requirement for breaches affecting more than 500 California residents.
On August 26, 2011 France implemented new EU provisions on data breach notifications for electronic communications providers, as well as new provisions requiring prior consent for cookies. The French measure also gives the government power to order security audits for electronic communications providers.
A House subcommittee held a hearing yesterday on the SAFE Data Act, a draft data security and breach notification bill that, among other things, would require businesses to minimize the amount of personal information they maintain about consumers and notify law enforcement within a very short period of time — within 48 hours of discovering a breach.
Two webinars, one afternoon. On Thursday, February 24, Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management Practice Director Chris Wolf will participate in a BNA webinar (along with Senior Governmental Affairs Advisor Nancy Granese of Hogan Lovells and Jules Polonetsky of the Future of Privacy Forum) on privacy developments in Washington, and an Experian webinar on data security breach notification laws (along with Reed Freeman of Morrison & Foerster and Tony Hadley of Experian). Both pay-to-view programs are open for sign-up now.
In a move that likely will result in a significant increase in civil penalties that can be assessed in the UK for data security breaches, this month the UK Ministry of Justice began consultation on the introduction of a maximum civil monetary penalty for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
French Senators propose a new law that would declare all IP addresses to be personal information, increase the sanctioning powers of the CNIL, introduce new data breach obligations, and make the use of certain cookies subject to opt-in.
It appears that Rocky Mountain Bank v. Google (ND CA), a dispute over the disclosure of a Gmail users’ account, has been settled according to this newspaper report. When an employee of the bank sent a file containing names, addresses, tax ID numbers and loan information on more than 1,000 customers to a Gmail account by mistake, the […]