Privacy Law Blog

Tag Archives: breach notification

The Clock Has Started: What ISPs Need to Do and When to Comply with the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules

On December 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) published its Report and Order entitled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (the “Order”) as a final rule in the Federal Register, adopting rules applicable to Internet service providers (“ISPs”) intended to protect the privacy of broadband consumers. Despite the publication … Continue Reading

Responding to the Anthem Cyber Attack

Authors: Roger Cohen, Paul Hamburger, Kristen Mathews, Ellen Moskowitz, Richard Zall Anthem Inc. (Anthem), the nation’s second-largest health insurer, revealed late on Wednesday, February 4 that it was the victim of a significant cyber attack. According to Anthem, the attack exposed personal information of approximately 80 million individuals, including those insured by related Anthem companies.… Continue Reading

California Amends Data Breach Notification Law

On September 27, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment to California’s breach notification law (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.82).  Effective January 1, 2014, under the amended law, the definition of “Personal Information” will be expanded to include “a user name or email address, in combination with a password or security question … Continue Reading

HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule: Significant Changes to Existing Regulations

Recently announced changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rule represent one of the most significant developments in health care privacy law in the past 10 years. Known as the final omnibus rule, the changes were announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on January 17, … Continue Reading

HHS Announces New Patient Privacy and Security Protections

On January 17, 2013, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the final omnibus rule that among other things (1) increases patient privacy protections; (2) provides individuals with new rights to receive a copy of their electronic medical record in an electronic form;  and (3) provides individuals with the right to … Continue Reading

Vermont Amends Security Breach Notification Law

On May 8th, Vermont became the most recent state to amend its security breach notification law. Among the many changes, companies that are affected by a data breach are now required to notify the Attorney General of Vermont within 45 days after the discovery or notification of the breach. … Continue Reading

Veto, Veto, Pass! New Governor Means New Breach Notification Law in California

On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, California became the third state this year to amend its existing security breach notification law when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 24 ("SB 24"). SB 24's specific changes, while far from sweeping, include the addition of content requirements for notice letters to individuals and a requirement to send a sample letter to the state's attorney general if more than 500 people are affected by a breach. SB 24 won't add much to most nationwide breach response plans, but will up the ante for those doing business primarily (or exclusively) in California. … Continue Reading

Glacially Expedient? Vermont Attorney General Settles with HealthNet for Failure to Timely Notify State Residents of Data Breach

On January 18, 2011, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell announced a settlement with HealthNet, Inc. and Health Net of the Northeast, Inc. over allegations that the company violated the state's data breach notification law when the company waited over six months to notify state residents of the loss of a portable hard drive that contained their unencrypted personal information. The Attorney General's settlement is an important reminder that the unpleasantness of a security breach is only compounded by a poor response. If you have not already done so, the time for establishing a comprehensive breach response plan is now! … Continue Reading

Proskauer Litigation Team Helps Secure Dismissal of Speculative Identity Exposure Claims Against BNY Mellon

Where the only harm alleged is mere "speculation as to a possible risk of injury," a claim cannot survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, according to a District of Connecticut decision issued on August 31, 2009. McLoughlin v. People's United Bank, Inc., and Bank of New York Mellon, Inc., No. 3:08-cv-00944-VLB (D. Conn. Aug. 31, 2009), thus follows a long and growing line of cases which simply hold that where there is no actual harm, there can be no case. … Continue Reading

Show-Me State Finally Shows Its Residents a Data Breach Notification Law, Other States (TX, NC, ME) Make Changes

Missouri: HB 62 includes many provisions that are similar to other state laws requiring notice to individuals when the security of their personal information has been compromised. For example, HB 62 includes a "material risk of harm" trigger. In other words, a business is not required to notify Missouri residents if, after an appropriate investigation or consultation with relevant law enforcement authorities, the business determines that identity theft is not likely to result from the breach. In addition, a business is not required to notify state residents if the personal information compromised was encrypted. Like some other state laws, HB 62 also requires notice to the Missouri Attorney General and national consumer reporting agencies if more than 1,000 Missouri residents are notified, and allows the Attorney General to seek actual damages or civil penalties from persons that fail to comply with the law. … Continue Reading

Decrypting HHS Guidance on Breach Notification and Security under the HITECH Act: NIST, FIPS, and More

Two months after Congress mandated notification for the breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI), the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) defined what it means to be "unsecured." As required by Section 13402 of the HITECH Act, H.R. 1, 111th Cong. (1st Sess. 2009) (which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), the Secretary issued guidance and a request for comments on the technologies and methodologies rendering information unusable, unreadable or indecipherable. 74 Fed. Reg. 19006 (Apr. 27, 2009) (to be codified at 45 C.F.R. pts. 160, 164). … Continue Reading

Seven Days Is All She Wrote . . .

As our readers know, many of the 44 state data breach notification laws allow for (and may even require) a brief delay in notifying affected individuals of the breach if that notification would interfere with or impede a law enforcement investigation. Last week, the governor of Maine amended that state's data breach notification law. The amendment clarifies that notification may be delayed for no longer than 7 business days after a law enforcement agency determines that the notification will not compromise a criminal investigation. … Continue Reading

Third Time’s a Charm for “Data Accountability and Trust”? Federal Breach Notification Bill Introduced in the House. Again. This Time With Data Security Provisions.

On April 30, 2009, Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill) introduced H.R. 2221, the Data Accountability and Trust Act. The bill is nearly identical to H.R. 958, introduced by Rep. Rush in the 110th Congress, and is similar to the Data Accountability and Trust Act, introduced by Rep. Stearns (R-FL) in the 109th Congress. Of course, the newest "Data Accountability and Trust Act" is only the most recent of dozens of bills proposed over the last several years that would implement uniform federal breach notification requirements and preempt the 44 state laws requiring notification. Rep. Rush's latest bill also includes data security provisions and would preempt the growing number of state laws imposing such requirements. … Continue Reading

2008 Study: Cost of Data Breaches Continues to Rise

A new benchmark study released by the Ponemon Institute indicates that the costs associated with data breaches in the U.S. continue to rise. The Fourth Annual U.S. Cost of Data Breach Study ("Study") found that the average cost of a data breach has risen to $202 per customer record lost or stolen, up from $138 per customer record lost of stolen in 2005, the first year that the study was conducted. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, since 2005, more than 250 million customer records containing confidential personal information have been lost or stolen. … Continue Reading

Northern Disclosure: Alaska Enacts 44th State Breach Notification Law

Alaska passed a breach notification law in June, making it state number 44 to do so. As most are aware by now, Alaska's new law, Alaska Stat. § 45.48.010 et seq., includes breach notification requirements, restrictions on use of Social Security numbers, and allows consumers to place a security [deep] freeze on their credit reports. Notification of a breach is not required if, after an appropriate investigation and written notification to Alaska's attorney general, the covered entity determines that there is not a reasonable likelihood that harm to consumers has resulted or will result from the breach. By popular demand, following is our updated list of security breach notification laws. … Continue Reading

Iowa Enacts 43rd State Breach Notification Law

On May 9, 2008, Iowa Governor Chester Culver signed legislation (SF 2308) requiring any person who owns or licenses computerized data that includes a consumer's personal information to give notice of a breach of security. The law does not require notification if, after an appropriate investigation or after consultation with the relevant federal, state, or local agencies responsible for law enforcement, the person determined that no reasonable likelihood of financial harm to the consumers whose personal information has been acquired has resulted or will result from the breach. Following is an updated list of the 43 state security breach notification laws (plus District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). … Continue Reading

More Breach Notification Laws — 42 States and Counting

Virginia, West Virginia, and South Carolina are the latest states to pass data breach notification laws, bringing to 42 the total number of states with such laws on the books (including the one state with a law that applies only to public entities, Oklahoma). Listed below are the 41 states with laws that apply to private entities (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). … Continue Reading

Updated Breach Notification Laws

Following is an updated list of citations to state data breach notification laws. We also note that as of January 1, 2008, California’s data breach notification law, Civil Code § 1798.82, will include “medical information” and “health insurance information” in the definition of personal information. Also, any business “maintained for the purpose of managing medical … Continue Reading

Governor Schwarzenegger Says No to California A.B. 779

On Saturday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 779, legislation that would have amended California's landmark data security breach legislation. The bill would have been the first to follow law enacted by Minnesota earlier this year and effective August 1, 2007, that amended Minnesota's security breach notification law by, among other things, prohibiting businesses from retaining certain payment card data after authorization of a transaction. … Continue Reading
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