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The Privacy and Security Law Blog The Privacy and Security Law Blog

Daily analysis of data security and privacy issues.

Post Frequency: 6.1/day

Last Entry: November 17, 2014 at 10:47:05

Recent Entries: 319

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Advisory Alert: California?s ?Online Eraser? Law for Minors to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

Posted on November 17, 2014
On Jan. 1, 2015, California?s ?Online Eraser? law will take effect, requiring websites and other online service operators to delete on demand any content posted by minors. The law also prohibits such operators from sharing minors? personal information with third parties for the purpose of marketing particular products or services to them...

Advisory Alert: Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected

Posted on November 12, 2014
In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) hasissued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule still apply when sharing protected health information (PHI), even in emergency situations...

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Releases Cybersecurity Assessment Results: Boards of Directors and Senior Management Need to Engage

Posted on November 05, 2014
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released general observations yesterday from a cybersecurity assessment of over 500 community financial institutions. The cybersecurity assessment evaluated the institutions? preparedness to mitigate cyber risks...

FCC Reaffirms Fax Ads Sent With Recipients? Prior Permission Require Opt-Out Notice

Posted on October 31, 2014
But Grants Retroactive Waivers to Petitioners Who Sent Permission-Based Faxes Without Opt-Out Notices The Federal Communications Commission has issued an Order sustaining its rule that even ads faxed with the permission of the recipient must include a notice with instructions for how to opt out of future faxes...

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California Attorney General Releases Breach Report with Key Findings and Recommendations for Retailers, Financial Institutions and Health Care Sectors

Posted on October 29, 2014
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has released a ?California Data Breach Report,? which presents a series of findings and recommendations based on a review of breaches reported to the Attorney General?s office in 2012 and 2013. It should come as no surprise that breaches are on the rise, but the Attorney General?s analysis of the reported breaches outlines the root causes of these breaches on an industry basis and recommends best practices to address the sources of those breaches...

Advisory Alert: CMS Reopens the Medicare Payment Adjustment Hardship Exception Application Submission Period for Certain Providers and Hospitals

Posted on October 29, 2014
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recentlyannouncedthe reopening of the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) due to availability delays...

Improving Data Breach Security, from the Customer?s Wallet on Up: In Wake of Massive Breaches, It May be Time to Consider Enhancing Customer Security with Chip-Embedded Payment Cards

Posted on October 29, 2014
In early September, Home Depot announced that it had suffered a severe security incident, which resulted in a massive data breach that exposed the payment card information of Home Depot customers across the United States and Canada. The home improvement retailer later confirmed that the breach was the result of malware designed by hackers to evade the company?s security measures, and which subsequently compromised the integrity of its sales register systems...

?Th-th-th-that?s All, Folks!? Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action against Cartoon Network, Finds Anonymous User IDs Don?t Qualify as Personal Information under VPPA

Posted on October 29, 2014
On October 8, Georgia Federal District Judge Thomas Thrash, Jr., dismissed a putative class action against The Cartoon Network, Inc., where the plaintiff alleged that the animation company violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (?VPPA?) by sharing its mobile app users? data with third parties without consent...

Chip-and-PIN is Coming?To the US Government

Posted on October 20, 2014
Last Friday, in the wake of numerous data breaches, President Obama signed a new Executive Order that will change how federal agencies use payment cards and allow access to certain government portals. Those changes include the adoption of chip-and-PIN (also known as EMV) payment terminals and cards, and the implementation of multi-factor authentication on digital applications where consumers can access personal information...

Second Circuit Adopts FCC?s Narrow Construction of ?Implied? Express Consent for Autodialed Calls to Cell Phones

Posted on October 20, 2014
This updates our report last summer on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) letter brief filed at the invitation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Nigro v. Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, which observed the FCC taking a noticeably less generous view of its then-recent declaratory rulings on whether consumer provision of a cell number is deemed consent to autodial it under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)...

Advisory: California Extends Its Medical Data Breach Notification Requirement From 5 to 15 Days

Posted on October 13, 2014
On Sept. 18, 2014, California?s governor approvedAssembly Bill 1755, extending California?s stringent breach notification deadline for medical information breaches from five business days to 15 business days for clinics, health facilities, home health agencies, and hospices...

Eleventh Circuit Reverses Refusal to Honor FCC?s TCPA Debt Collection Declaratory Ruling, Fosters Uniformity on TCPA?s Autodialing Exception

Posted on October 02, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has brought a bit of legal balance back to automated debt collection calls, and reminded lower courts that when it comes to claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), they must honor the validity of FCC rulings...

Google Street View Plaintiffs on the Hunt for ?a Needle in a Haystack? to Demonstrate Standing, but District Court Grants Plaintiffs Greater Role in Examination of Google?s Data

Posted on October 01, 2014
Back in April, Google filed a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Street View case, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit?s decision holding that unencrypted Wi-Fi signals are protected from interception by the federal Wiretap Act...

Advisory: Starting Oct. 6, Patients Can Access Test Reports Directly From Clinical Laboratories

Posted on October 01, 2014
On Oct. 6, 2014, afinal ruleissued jointly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will require all HIPAA-covered labs (i.e., labs that conduct certain electronic transactions, such as electronic submission of claims) to provide individuals with direct access to completed test reports and other protected health information (PHI) maintained about the individual...

Collecting Children?s Information is No Tiny Matter: Yelp, TinyCo Enter Expensive Settlements to Resolve Alleged App-Based COPPA Violations

Posted on September 24, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced it entered settlements with Yelp, Inc., and TinyCo, Inc., stemming from charges that both companies collected personal information from children under 13 years of age in violation of the Children?s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule...

Ninth Circuit Confirms Consultants and Other Middlemen May Be Vicariously Liable Under the TCPA

Posted on September 24, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Company holding that the defendant marketing consultant could be liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for unsolicited text messages that it arranged for a separate third-party to send on behalf of a client, the U...

Advisory: CMS Issues Final Rule Providing Flexibility for Providers Unable to Fully Implement 2014 Technology to Demonstrate Meaningful Use in 2014

Posted on September 23, 2014
In response to providers being unable to fully implement 2014 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) due to limited availability, CMS adoptedchanges proposed earlier this yearthrough afinal ruleallowing additional options for the 2014 reporting period and amending the meaningful use stage timeline...

Advisory: Looming HIPAA Deadline

Posted on September 19, 2014
Business associate agreements that have not already been updated as required by the HIPAA Omnibus Rule should be updated by September 22, 2014. Read more here.... Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Public Comment on AgeCheq, Inc.?s Proposed Parental Consent Method under COPPA

Posted on August 26, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that it seeks public comment on a new verifiable parental consent method application proposed by AgeCheq, Inc., to enable apps, websites and advertisers to obtain parental consent to collect children?s personal information...

In Flight Catalog: Senator Rockefeller Opens Inquiry Into Consumer Data Practices by Airlines

Posted on August 25, 2014
Last week, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) sent a letter to the top ten revenue generating passenger airlines in the United States, opening an inquiry into their practices related to charging additional fees for optional services and the collection of consumer data...

When Does Texting Become Autodialing?

Posted on August 21, 2014
Seventh Circuit Provided Opportunity to Consider Just What ?Capacity? Equipment Must have to Fall Within TCPA Restrictions The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit could entertain arguments on what ?capacity? equipment must have to be considered an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)...

Consumer Privacy Legislation? All Sides Weigh In But Remain Far Apart in the Big Debate Over Big Data

Posted on August 15, 2014
Recent comments filed by various stakeholders in response to the U.S. Commerce Department?s National Telecommunications and Information Administration?s (NTIA) Request for Public Comment (RFC) on ?Big Data and Consumer Privacy in the Internet Economy,? evidence a wide rift between consumer groups and most business interests regarding the need for additional consumer privacy law in the era of Big Data...

FTC Undertakes Period Rule Review of Telemarketing Sales Rule

Posted on August 11, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published in the Federal Register a Request for Comments on all aspects of its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) as part of a routine review of the effectiveness, costs and benefits of its rules. Though the Request for Comments targets several TSR issues in particular (discussed below), it views the review as assessing generally whether the Rule is serving a ?useful purpose,? and whether it can be improved to reflect changes in the marketplace since it was previously amended in 2003, 2008 and 2010...

COPPA?s ?Safe Harbor? Grows with FTC?s Approval of iKeepSafe?s Self-Regulating Framework

Posted on August 08, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it approved iKeepSafe?s Safe Harbor Program application, allowing the company?s self-regulating framework to serve as a safe harbor under the Children?s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the COPPA Rule...

Pass or Fail? Sens. Markey and Hatch Introduce ?Protecting Student Privacy Act? Seeking to Amend FERPA, Increase Protection of Student PII Shared with Private Companies

Posted on August 05, 2014
On July 30, 2014, Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., made good on his earlier promise to beef up the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to provide heightened protections for student educational records shared with private companies...

FTC Examines Pre-Download Consumer Disclosures of Mobile Shopping Applications; Makes Recommendations Applicable to All Consumer Data

Posted on August 05, 2014
Continuing its examination of consumer protection issues in the mobile payments sphere, on August 1, 2014, the FTC released a staff report examining the pre-download disclosures of mobile shopping applications to evaluate the information provided to consumers about: (1) their rights and protections in the event of a payment dispute; and (2) how their personal data will be collected, used, shared, and secured...

DWT Advisory: Rhode Island Hospital?s Breach of Health Information Leads to Settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General

Posted on August 05, 2014
On July 23, 2014, the Massachusetts attorney generalannounceda settlement with Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (WIH) over the loss of unencrypted backup tapes. WIH agreed to pay $150,000 and undertake numerous compliance measures, including hiring an independent auditor, to resolve allegations that it failed to protect the personal information (PI) and protected health information (PHI) of more than 12,000 Massachusetts patients under HIPAA and Massachusetts? data security law...

FACTA Class Actions

Posted on July 30, 2014
In the July 2014 issues of The Review of Banking & Financial Services, DWT payments team members Burt Braverman and Micah Ratner wrote about the truncation requirement of FACTA, whichhas spawned a wave of class action litigation with potentially ruinous damages for ?willful? violations...

U.S. District Court Dismisses Privacy Class Actions against Viacom, Google

Posted on July 25, 2014
Google and Viacom?s Nick.com, Nickjr.com, and Neopets.com off the hook ? for now On July 2, 2014, New Jersey Federal District Judge Stanley R. Chesler dismissed six consolidated MDL class actions challenging Viacom?s and Google?s practice of installing cookies on personal computers that were used by children to access three Nickelodeon websites...

FTC Updates COPPA FAQs Again ? Revisions to Part H Gives App Developers and Parents Welcomed Clarification on Parental Consent

Posted on July 23, 2014
Continuing our Blog?s updates on the Federal Trade Commission?s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the updated Children?s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, we highlight that the FTC revised three portions of ?Part H? this week, which concern how entities seeking to comply with COPPA may obtain verifiable parental consent...

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