Although not a new practice, the application of geofencing continues to increase in sophistication and expand into personal space on an unprecedented scale, jumping beyond commercial retail advertising schemes and diving into the depths of employment, health care, law enforcement, and politics. As the growth of these applications prompt privacy and security concerns, including government surveillance concerns, regulations lag and may be further delayed considering lawmakers’ very use of geofencing to win a governing seat.

Geofencing is the practice of using wireless internet, cellular data, global positioning system (GPS) or radio-frequency identification (RFID), or a combination of such technologies, to create a virtual boundary around a particular geographic area. When a smart-phone, tablet, or other targeted device crosses over the geofence perimeter, it triggers a response from the geofence software. So-called “active” geofencing technology powers things like home applications or “apps” that automatically adjust ambient temperature and lighting when a person enters their house. “Passive” geofencing technology is used to both (1) push advertising and other information to consumers through social media apps and other channels and (2) monitor or pull information about a consumer’s habits. Continue Reading Mending (Geo)fencing Concerns

The European Union’s (EU) ambitious and far-reaching regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), became effective on 25 May 2018. On the one-year anniversary, we reflect on some of the principal developments following the implementation of the GDPR

European privacy values: a cultural shift

Critics have derided the GDPR for placing an onerous and expensive compliance burden on businesses, causing confusion and creating ‘data privacy fatigue’ amongst consumers and businesses alike.

Conversely, the furore has generated significant publicity around the GDPR, contributing to a cultural shift towards greater consumer empowerment and control over personal information. Public awareness of the GDPR is high – in May 2018, GDPR was searched more often on Google than either Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian. Individuals have a better understanding of their rights in respect of their personal data – which presents more of a risk to data controllers.

Equally, GDPR has completely changed the risk profile of data protection for most businesses. Under the previous, weakly enforced regime, most businesses treated data protection as a low risk issue. Under the new regime, data protection has become a high-risk issue. Continue Reading The General Data Protection Regulation’s First Birthday

On May 21, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)—an organization comprised of 67 securities regulators within the United States (all fifty states as well as districts and territories), Canada, and Mexico—released a model cybersecurity rule package governing state-registered investment advisors’ cybersecurity and privacy practices.  The model rule package, which would need to be adopted by an individual state so as to become law in that jurisdiction, provides a structure for how state-registered investment advisers must design their information security policies and procedures. Continue Reading North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Releases Model Cybersecurity Rule

European Commission Comments on GDPR’s One-Year Anniversary

On the one-year anniversary of the GDPR, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality has released a joint statement on the momentous law: “The main aim of the rules has been to empower people and help them to gain more control over their personal data. This is already happening as people are starting to use their new rights and more than two-third of Europeans have heard of the regulation.”  The entire statement can be found here.

FTC Extends Comment Deadline on Proposed Changes to Safeguards Rule

The FTC has extended the deadline to submit comments on proposed changes to the Safeguards Rule by 60 days until August 2nd.  In March, the FTC announced it was seeking comment on proposed changes to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s Safeguards Rule as well as the Privacy Rule. These regulations require financial institutions to inform customers about its information-sharing practices. More information can be found here.

FBI Reports That Cybercrime Cost $2.7B in 2018

The FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, states that IC3 received 351,936 complaints in 2018 which is about 900 every day. The statement released with the report said, “[t]he most frequently reported complaints were for non-payment/non-delivery scams, extortion, and personal data breaches. The most financially costly complaints involved business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud, and investment scams, which can include Ponzi and pyramid schemes.” More information can be found here. Continue Reading ICYMI: A quick look at recent Privacy and Cybersecurity headlines

On April 12, an Oregon federal jury in Wakefield v. Visalus, Case No. 3:15-cv-01857-SI, handed down what may turn out to be the largest Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action verdict ever awarded.

Health supplement marketer ViSalus, a lifestyle products company, was charged with making more than 1.8 million autodialed calls in violation of the TCPA. The court certified a class of 800,000 members. Although the jury did not assess a monetary award, the court will award statutory penalties pursuant to the TCPA, which prescribes up to $500 per violation and $1500 per willful violation. The total penalty could reach almost $1 billion, and if the court finds willfulness, this award could conceivably be tripled. Continue Reading Privacy Class Action Win Underscores Need for TCPA Reform

Last week, the IAPP hosted its annual Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C.  This year’s summit was the IAPP’s largest event, with more than 4,000 attendees from around the world.  From day 1, it was clear that the summit was heavily focused on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), with many of the conferences covering the CCPA’s nuances, and tech vendors, legal professionals, and consultants offering compliance solutions for this new law. Continue Reading Recap: 2019 IAPP Global Privacy Summit Highlights the CCPA and Growing Demand for Federal Privacy Law

On April 16, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert highlighting Regulation S-P compliance deficiencies and issues it found in recent examinations of broker-dealers and investment advisers.  Regulation S-P is the primary SEC rule detailing the safeguards these firms must take to protect customer privacy.  The Risk Alert provides an important reminder for firms to assess their supervisory and compliance programs related to Regulation S-P and make any necessary changes to strengthen those systems.  Indeed, in light of the substantial fines that can accompany a finding that Regulation S-P has been violated, firms must pay careful attention to the OCIE’s guidance regarding potential pitfalls. Continue Reading SEC OCIE Highlights Potential Deficiencies in Firm Privacy Policies

Proposed Bill Makes Dramatic Changes To North Carolina Security Breach Notification Law

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Businesses would have to “[i]implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices, appropriate to the nature of the personal information and the size, complexity, and capabilities of the business.”;
  • Businesses would be required to offer at least two years of free credit monitoring; and
  • Replacing the current “without unreasonable delay” standard for breach notification to “as soon as practicable, but not later than thirty (30) days after discovery of the breach or reason to believe a breach has ”

A copy of the bill can be found here.

24 Tech Companies Support CCPA amendment

According to the DuckDuckGo Blog, 24 different tech companies have written a letter in support of the CCPA amendment. The blog states, “CCPA is set to take effect in 2020 and is without a doubt a major advancement in individual privacy rights for Americans. As an Internet privacy company that empowers users to take control of personal information, we support the law. And we want to see it become even better.” A copy of the letter can be found here. Continue Reading ICYMI: A quick look at recent Privacy and Cybersecurity headlines

Make no mistake about it, the Department of Homeland Security’s newest agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is serious about cyber. Not even one year old, CISA has taken on the responsibility of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Taking a collaborative approach, the agency states the following as its mission:

CISA partners with industry and government to understand and manage risk to our Nation’s critical infrastructure

On April 3, 2019, in furtherance of agency efforts, CISA’s Chief Counsel, Daniel Sutherland and Steven Kaufman, Principal Deputy General Chief Counsel, spoke about how CISA can help your organization and its clients protect against and respond to cyber incidents. This in-depth look into the agency, presented by McGuireWoods and the Mecklenburg County Bar, highlighted how CISA’s approach will benefit both federal and non-federal organizations. Continue Reading A Different Type of Federal Agency: How DHS’s Newest Cybersecurity Agency Can Help Your Business  

Please join McGuireWoods and the Mecklenburg County Bar, on April 3, 2019 from 10 – 11 a.m. EST,  for an exclusive look into the newly formed Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Hear from CISA’s Chief Counsel, Daniel Sutherland, about the agency’s mission, its statutory authorities, and how CISA can help your organization and its clients protect against and respond to cyber incidents.

Operating within the Department of Homeland Security, CISA is responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. As America’s electrical grid, water supply, internet, transportation, financial systems, healthcare networks and other infrastructure become increasingly interdependent and connected, CISA’s mission requires coordination and collaboration among a broad spectrum of government and private sector organizations.

Speakers:
• Daniel Sutherland, Chief Counsel, CISA
• Steven Kaufman, Principal Deputy General Chief Counsel, CISA

We hope you can find time to join this informative event.

Online Registration >>

–  Andrew Konia, Partner, and Chair of the Data Privacy and Security team