When Social Security Numbers were initially issued in 1936 as part of the New Deal Social Security program, few could foresee that this nine digit number would evolve beyond its limited purpose to become a universal identifier replete with privacy and identity theft implications. More and more, government agencies and private entities have required the… Continue Reading
Earlier this year in United States v. Jones, the United State Supreme Court addressed the privacy implications of Global Positioning Systems (“GPS”), holding that placing a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Though a growing number of employers are using GPS systems to track employee activity on the… Continue Reading
A federal district court dismissed an action against an employer alleging vicarious liability for an employee’s dissemination of a patient’s protected health information (PHI) related to treatment for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Specifically, the court found that the employer, a private New York medical clinic, was not vicariously liable for the actions of the employee because the employee was acting in a personal capacity which was beyond the scope of her employment.
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.
New York now prohibits employers from publicly displaying employee Social Security Numbers (“SSNs”), printing employee SSNs on identification cards, and communicating to the general public employee SSNs or “personal identifying information.”
The New York State Consumer Protection Board has released a guide for New York businesses regarding the handling of personal identifiable information and the avoidance of identity theft. The guide also includes a form for reporting breaches to NY state agencies. The guide is available here.
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).
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).