On July 25, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a pair of bills establishing new requirements for businesses that process certain personal information related to New York residents. The changes include expanding the scope of information covered by New York’s data breach notification law; defining breaches to include incidents involving unauthorized access to covered information, even where the information is not acquired; and requiring consumer reporting agencies who suffer breaches of social security numbers to offer up to 5 years of identity theft services. Businesses maintaining the private information of New York residents also will now be required to proactively develop “reasonable safeguards” within their organization as part of a new “reasonable security requirement.”
On December 4, 2018, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) announced that Oath Inc., which was known until June 2017 as AOL Inc. (AOL), has agreed to pay a $4.95 million civil penalty to settle allegations that AOL’s ad exchange practices violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The $4.95 million penalty is the largest ever assessed by any regulator in a COPPA enforcement matter.
Aetna will pay almost $17.2 million to settle a federal class action lawsuit stemming from a 2017 mailing that disclosed the HIV status of health plan members. Aetna also agreed last week to pay a $1.15 million fine to the state of New York after the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into Aetna’s alleged violations of federal and state privacy laws. Both settlements require compliance monitoring and record keeping obligations.
After a year-long investigation into mobile health apps claiming to be able to measure vital signs or health indicators through smartphone sensors, the New York Attorney General settled claims against three developers alleged to have engaged in “misleading” marketing claims and “irresponsible” privacy practices. Mobile health apps Cardiio and Runtastic claimed that their apps effectively and accurately measured heart rate after vigorous exercise using only a smartphone camera and sensors. The third, Matis, claimed that its app transformed a smartphone into a fetal heart monitor. Concerned that unregulated apps claiming to measure key vital signs and other health indicators may harm consumers if the apps provide inaccurate or misleading results, NY AG Eric Schneiderman brought enforcement actions against the trio of developers.
As Hogan Lovells previously reported, the New York State Department of Financial Services has launched a significant initiative to impose detailed cybersecurity requirements on covered financial institutions. On February 16, NYDFS issued its Final Rules, following the initial proposed rules published in September 2016 and two rounds of feedback via industry complaints and public comment. The Final Rules set forth requirements for a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, and include expectations for reporting on cybersecurity risks and events to senior management and NYDFS.
The New York Department of Financial Services just issued major revisions to the cybersecurity regulations for financial institutions that were due to come into effect on January 1, 2017. To allow covered institutions more time to implement the rules, the effective date will now be March 1, 2017, with a series of staggered implementation dates beyond this. There are several notable substantive changes in the revised rules.
On September 12, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo broke new ground in proposing a state-level regulation that would require banks, insurance companies, and other financial services entities regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services to establish formal cybersecurity programs.