Last week, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office published a monetary penalty notice, which fined a private healthcare company, HCA International, £200,000 for its failure to keep sensitive data secure.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Relations Office has released a statement announcing Chairman Pai’s intention to stay a data security rule adopted by the Commission late last year in its Broadband Privacy Order. Absent a stay, the rule is set to go into effect on March 2.
On 4 February 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China issued a draft of the Network Products and Services Security Review Measures for public comment: the Draft Measures remain open for comments until 4 March 2017. The Draft Measures are follow-on legislation to China’s Cyber Security Law adopted on 7 November 2016, which will take effect from 1 June 2017.
Please join us for our February 2017 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
In the past month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a draft update to its flagship cybersecurity framework as well as new standalone guidance on how organizations can plan to recover from cybersecurity events. The publication of these documents demonstrates NIST’s ongoing focus on providing substantive guidance to the private and public sectors alike on cybersecurity risk management. In this post we summarize the highlights of each of these new NIST publications.
Please join us for our December 2016 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
The Internet of Things continues to draw broad interest from policymakers and regulators around the globe. Following on the heels of a major distributed denial-of-service attack in October 2016 that leveraged potentially millions of compromised IoT devices, members of Congress have sent letters to US federal agencies regarding the risks posed by insecure IoT devices and held a hearing about what if anything should be the US federal response to such IoT-driven cyberattacks. Against that backdrop, in November 2016 two US federal agencies have issued guidance on securing IoT.
Please join us for our November 2016 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
Close followers of the cases FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and In the Matter of LabMD know that the litigation has prompted increased Congressional oversight of the Federal Trade Commission’s data security enforcement practices. Prior to Wyndham and LabMD, Congressional debates on the FTC’s data security practices centered on whether the Commission should have additional tools to address these issues, including traditional rulemaking authority to create new data security rules, civil penalty authority to fine violators, or authority over the activities of non-profit entities. To the extent Congress questioned the FTC’s enforcement decisions in this pre- Wyndham and LabMD era, those inquires typically focused on the length of time of FTC settlement agreements, while relatively little attention was paid to how the Commission provided notice of its data security standards or how the Commission chose its enforcement targets. Wyndham and LabMD fundamentally shifted this debate.
Cybersecurity risk continues to evolve at an astonishingly rapid rate, prompting companies to review and adjust their plans to deal with the fast-moving threats posed by an increasingly connected world. At the same time, cybersecurity law and regulation around the world are coming of age. In this complex and uncertain environment, it is not surprising that lawyers are increasingly being asked to guide on governance, counsel on compliance and risk allocation, and lead in the event of a cyber incident.
Drawing on our work with clients across the globe, Hogan Lovells’ cross-practice team of cybersecurity lawyers has launched Ready, Set, Respond, a new set of online cybersecurity resources.
The Federal Trade Commission recently presented an analysis of how its approach to data security over the past two decades compares with the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity issued in 2014 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and strongly endorsed by the White House. The FTC first explains how this question has a faulty premise, as the Framework is not designed to be a compliance checklist. Instead, in this new blog post, the FTC outlines how the FTC’s enforcement actions comport with the Framework’s five Core functions—Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover—and emphasizes how both the Framework and the FTC’s approach highlight risk assessment and management, along with implementation of reasonable security measures, as the touchstones of any data security compliance program.
In a case that could have far-reaching implications for how companies are held liable for data security lapses, the FTC issued an order and opinion unanimously overturning its Chief Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) November 2015 dismissal of charges that LabMD’s allegedly lax data security measures were unfair practices under Section 5 of the FTC Act (see our coverage of […]
On 6th July, the UK Government published two independent reviews concerning data security and data sharing in the health and care system in England. At the same time the UK Government launched a public consultation on proposals resulting from these reviews. The public consultation will be of interest to organisations that regularly interact with the public health sector in the UK and in particular to those organisations that rely on access to health data from the NHS for research purposes.
On November 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge dismissed an FTC administrative complaint based on LabMD’s alleged failure to provide “reasonable and appropriate” security for personal information maintained on its computers. The ALJ concluded that the complaint counsel failed to prove that LabMD’s alleged practices constituted an unfair trade practice. Specifically, according to the ALJ’s initial decision, complaint counsel failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the first prong of the three-part unfairness test – that the alleged unreasonable conduct caused or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers as required by Section 5(n) of the FTC Act. The case is notable for being the first data security case tried before an ALJ and only one of two instances where a company has fought the FTC’s decision to move forward with an enforcement action based on allegations that a company has engaged in unfair practices because of inadequate data security practices. Companies have otherwise voluntarily entered into consent decrees without admitting liability. In the other instance where a company did not capitulate to an FTC enforcement action, Wyndham moved to dismiss the FTC’s lawsuit against it in federal district court based on lack of jurisdiction. Wyndham lost in the district court and on an interlocutory appeal the federal court of appeals upheld that ruling, but remanded the case to district court for a trial on the merits which will assess whether Wyndham’s alleged unreasonable data security practices meet the unfairness factors in section 5(n) of the FTC Act. Accordingly, as the ALJ did here, the court in Wyndham will consider whether the practices and the data breaches there caused or were likely to cause substantial consumer injury under the first prong of an unfairness inquiry
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is known to prefer an “engaging” rather than an enforcement approach with organisations. However, when looking at the “action we’ve taken” page on the ICO website the ICO’s enforcement activity seems to be increasing by the day. While the ICO has stated that it wants to focus its enforcement efforts going forward on unsolicited marketing, such as nuisance messages and calls, breaches of security requirements have to date attracted the majority of the ICO’s enforcement attention. Therefore, organisations operating in the UK would be well-served to focus on understanding and adhering to the ICO’s expectations for data security compliance.
For more than a year now, we have been hearing that the spate of highly-publicized data breaches could lead to federal data security and data breach legislation. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade took action that brings us closer to seeing that prediction become a reality. In this post, we take a closer look at the bipartisan legislation approved by the subcommittee—the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 — and discuss five key provisions that are likely to be at issue as the legislation moves forward.
Tonight, the President’s State of the Union address covered, as he put it, “the tasks that lie ahead.” Among the policy initiatives that he proposed, he “urge[d]…Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.” What he was referring to is a set of cybersecurity and info sharing initiatives and privacy and data security proposals that the White House started rolling out last week. The President also alluded to a report to be released next month that will address the Administration’s actions to curtail domestic surveillance programs. We provide here excerpts of the President’s address that discuss cybersecurity, data security, and privacy.
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.
Last week, the Administrative Law Judge handling the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against LabMD issued a pair of rulings that will require the Bureau of Consumer Protection to testify about the information security standards on which the FTC intends to rely at trial in order to prove that LabMD’s data security practices were inadequate. The ALJ’s rulings open up inquiry into issues at the center of the debate surrounding the FTC’s authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: what are the data security standards that the FTC expects companies to meet, and has the FTC given the private sector adequate advance notice of these standards?
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has settled with two mobile application developers, Fandango and Credit Karma, over charges that they misrepresented the security of their mobile applications. According to the FTC, the developers failed to provide reasonable and appropriate security when their mobile applications transmitted consumers’ sensitive information. The particular issues noted by the FTC in its complaints against the developers differ to some degree, but the complaints share a common thread: the developers disabled the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which authenticates and encrypts communications across networks. In our post, we provide a high-level description of how SSL works, summarize the FTC’s complaints against Fandango and Credit Karma, and identify some important takeaways from these settlements.
Earlier this month, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) released Version 3.0 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which includes several enhanced security requirements that will affect how businesses protect payment card data in their systems. The updated standard calls upon businesses to take a more active role in security compliance. It also addresses several common vulnerabilities in the cardholder data environment, including weak passwords, fallible authentication methods, unpatched malware protection, and inadequate threat monitoring practices. The end result is a standard that gives businesses a clearer, yet more stringent, set of baseline requirements for protecting cardholder data. Compliance with Version 3.0 is required as of January 1, 2015, although some of the new requirements will not go into effect until July 1, 2015. Until then, they are recommended as best practices.
Last month, the FTC announced its settlement with technology company TRENDNet over charges that the company’s lax security practices led to the public exposure of private video feeds. TRENDNet manufactures a range of networking hardware, including Internet-accessible surveillance cameras. According to the FTC complaint, some of the feeds from these cameras were disclosed online without authorization. Under the terms of the settlement, TRENDNet is enjoined from misrepresenting the security and privacy features of its Internet-accessible products and their associated apps, and the company must establish a comprehensive security program subject to biennial third-party assessments. The FTC describes this settlement as the conclusion of the agency’s first enforcement action “against a marketer of an everyday product with interconnectivity to the Internet” – also known as the “Internet of Things.” Our post addresses what insights the settlement provides regarding the FTC’s current approach to enforcing security standards and indicates that the FTC may be broadening its characterization of sensitive data.
With cybersecurity now ranked as the top concern for general counsel and corporate board members, and with the regulatory and legislative landscape so active (e.g., the House’s passage of CISPA and the President’s Executive Order), Hogan Lovells is proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural Cybersecurity Law Institute, to be held at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, on May 22–23, 2013.
The February 21 edition of The Corporate Counsel.Net blog presents an audio interview with Hogan Lovells partner Harriet Pearson in which the following topics are addressed: Why cybersecurity is a hot topic for lawyers now, and not just IT staff. The signficance of recent interactions on this topic between Senator Rockefeller and the CEOs of the […]