Reflecting the movement to toughen data security laws on a state-by-state basis, on July 25, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (the “SHIELD Act” or the “Act”). The Act amends New York State’s current data breach notification law, which covers breaches
On June 27, 2013, the NY Court of Appeals held that the state can use GPS tracking to monitor its employees during working hours without a warrant. Click here to read Proskauer’s Employment Law Counseling & Training Group’s discussion of the recent case.
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 disclosure of individuals SSNs to extend their services. While the Privacy Act of 1974 largely addressed the collection and dissemination of SSNs by and among federal government agencies, state law has governed such uses by private entities. This month Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation A.8992 to strengthen protection of SSNs by limiting the instances where persons and businesses are allowed to require New Yorkers to provide their SSNs or numbers derived from them. (This is in addition to New York’s SSN confidentiality statute, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 399-dd*4, which is similar to laws in many states.)
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 job, the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in the private sector remains unclear.
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.