As physicians, nurses, therapists and health care providers continue to utilize new smart phones, tablets, and laptops in caring for patients, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has responded with educational videos, worksheets and guidance to help health care providers create a “culture of compliance and awareness” and to protect patients’ Protected Health… Continue Reading
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
On 25 January 2012, the European Commission published a proposed new data protection framework for the E.U. The new framework, unlike the current one, is to provide a consistent and harmonised set of rules for all 27 E.U. member states. One of the main objectives of the new framework is to better ensure that individuals know… Continue Reading
Maryland became the first state to pass legislation that prohibits employers from asking employees and job applicants for their social media passwords.
Facebook recently agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Facebook violated the FTC Act. The FTC-Facebook settlement, which is still subject to final FTC approval, prohibits Facebook from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of its users’ personal information, requires Facebook to obtain users’ affirmative consent before enacting changes that override the users’ privacy preferences, and requires Facebook to prevent anyone from accessing material posted by a user more than 30 days after such user deleted his or her account. Similar to the March 2011 FTC-Google settlement, the Facebook settlement requires that Facebook enact a comprehensive privacy program and not misrepresent its compliance with the US-EU Safe Harbor Principles. As we previously reported, these two requirements are relatively new FTC settlement terms, which were first used in March 2011.
On November 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced details of its HIPAA Privacy and Security Audit Program. The OCR pilot program calls for approximately 150 audits of covered entities, which audits are intended to address privacy and security compliance, and assist OCR in assessing and identifying best practices as well as risks and vulnerabilities for health care entities. Although the pilot program is expected to immediately impact a small number of covered entities, it appears that OCR is increasing its efforts to enforce HIPAA and the HITECH Act.
As mentioned in a prior post on this blog, earlier this year the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued new privacy and data security rules under the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011 (the “Privacy Rules”). The strict consent requirements relating to the collection… Continue Reading
India recently adopted a privacy and data security regulatory regime that fills the previous void of any such regulation with requirements that may force companies with operations in India and companies that outsource certain functions to Indian service providers to change the way they operate in order to comply. Visit our blog to see Proskauer attorney Paresh Trivedi’s article on the new Indian privacy rules.
Where U.S. litigation discovery obligations were argued to be in conflict with foreign civil and criminal privacy statutes, many recent opinions found that discovery should proceed under the Federal Rules over the protest of the foreign data custodians. However, in SEC v. Stanford International Bank Ltd, the court departed from this pattern in finding that discovery should first proceed under the Hague convention in the interest of comity. While it is unclear the extent to which this approach will be followed by other courts in the future, the Stanford opinion illustrates that it is possible for litigants and third parties to successfully navigate cross border discovery conflicts even where privacy interests are at stake.
On April 7, 2011, the SEC announced that it had imposed fines of $20,000 each against the former president of a broker-dealer and a former broker for their actions in transferring customer information to a new firm as the defunct firm wound down. The SEC also fined the brokerage firm’s former chief compliance officer $15,000 for compliance failures and security breaches that took place at the defunct firm, some dating back to 2005. Visit our blog to learn more.
Hot on the trail of the FTC’s recent report on privacy, the GSMA, the London-based industry association representing over 800 cellular network operators worldwide, released its “high-level” Mobile Privacy Principles (the “Principles”) on January 27, 2011.
On January 19, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal government has broad latitude to conduct background checks on contractors who work at government facilities. Assuming, without deciding, that two parts of a standard government employment background investigation implicated a constitutional privacy interest, the Court held that the government is permitted to ask reasonable employment-related questions that further the government’s interests in managing its internal operations, particularly where the results of such investigations are adequately protected from public disclosure.
Yesterday, we blogged about the FTC’s report released last week, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change.” But if the FTC’s recommendations become requirements, how would they change what the typical company is doing today?
As we’ve discussed in prior posts, newly effective regulations promulgated under Massachusetts’ recent data security law, Mass. Gen. Law ch. 93H, have raised the bar for data security compliance, and they have a long reach. The regulations are national and international in scope, as they apply to all companies – wherever located– using personal data… Continue Reading
On December 17, 2009, a class action suit was filed against online movie rental giant, Netflix, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs in Doe v. Netflix are claiming that Netflix has “perpetrated the largest voluntary privacy breach to date.”
There is an inherent tension between an employee’s right to privacy and an employer’s right — and obligation — to maintain a safe, productive, and hostility free environment at the office.
When Flash cookies (also known as a “Local Shared Objects”) were first flagged as a privacy issue back in 2005, a few savvy companies added a disclosure about Flash cookies into their web site privacy policies. Since then, we have not heard the issue raised again. Now this sleeper issue seems to have been awakened by… Continue Reading
With social networking sites proliferating across international boundaries, privacy and data protection concerns are becoming increasingly relevant. With these concerns in mind, the Article 29 Working Party, an independent European advisory body on data protection and privacy, adopted an opinion on online social networking on June 12, 2009. As noted by the Working Party, the… Continue Reading
I recently spoke with Lora Bentley of IT Business Edge regarding privacy, data security, and cloud computing — There’s More Than One Way to Tackle Privacy in the Cloud.
In a year when behavioral advertising was already expected to be at the top of the hot button privacy issues list, on January 13, 2008, the Center for Digital Democracy (“CDT”) and U.S. Public Interest Research Group (“US PIRG”) filed a document with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) urging the FTC to investigate online mobile… Continue Reading
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) (“FERPA”) imposes various requirements on educational institutions regarding the privacy of personally identifiable information contained in education records of students. On December 9, 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) published final rules amending the regulations that implement FERPA. … Continue Reading
On December 19, 2008, in Party City Corp. v. The Superior Court of San Diego County, the California Court of Appeal in the Fourth Appellate District held that zip codes are not "personal identification information" under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, California Civil Code Sec. 1747.08 (the "Act."). The Act prohibits a retailer… Continue Reading
As we prepare to welcome both the 44th President and a revamped Congress to Washington, it is time to consider what privacy under the new administration will look like. Barack Obama polled strongly on the campaign trail as the candidate most likely to advance individual privacy rights, but are the pollsters a good indicator what… Continue Reading
Google Inc. (“Google”) has filed a motion to dismiss a complaint by a Pittsburgh couple, Aaron and Christine Boring (“the Borings”), over Google’s alleged invasion of the Borings’ privacy through Google’s Street View service.