In January 2019, the French data protection authority, CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des libertés), announced that it had fined Google 57 million euros (approximately £44 million or USD$65 million) for breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) through its use of targeted advertising.

The fine arose out of complaints made against Google to CNIL by privacy activists immediately after the GDPR came into force in May 2018. At the time of writing, it is the largest data protection fine ever issued – but what can we learn from CNIL’s decision? Continue Reading CNIL vs. Google: 10 lessons from the largest data protection fine ever issued

Freshman Delegate Hala Ayala recently introduced House Bill 2793 in this session of the Virginia General Assembly.  If enacted, the legislation will impose new requirements on businesses with regard to the disposal of certain consumer records and manufacturers in the design and maintenance of devices that connect to the internet. Continue Reading Virginia General Assembly to Consider Minimum Security Standards for Care and Disposal Consumer Information and Security of Connected Devices

The California Attorney General is currently on a California tour soliciting public comment on the CCPA.[i] To date, the Attorney General has held public forums in San Francisco (January 8th), San Diego (January 14th) and Riverside (January 24th) and will continue on to Los Angeles (January 25th), Sacramento (February 5th), and Fresno (February 13th). These hearings are being held pursuant to a CCPA requirement that the Attorney General “solicit broad public participation and adopt regulations to further the purposes” of the CCPA. Specifically, the Attorney General is directed to seek public feedback on the following areas: expanding the definition of “personal information,” establishing additional exceptions to compliance, establishing rules and procedures for facilitating consumer opt-out requests, just to name a few. Continue Reading Recent Developments on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

 

As 2019 begins, we are one year away from the highly anticipated California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA or the Act) going into effect.  As companies update their privacy policies to comply with the CCPA, it is essential to determine whose personal information the Act protects.  Two issues businesses should consider when updating their data privacy policies are:  (i) the geographic residence of the individuals whose information is collected; and (ii) whether the Act applies to their employees. Continue Reading Defining “Consumer” Under The California Consumer Privacy Act

On December 20, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a report on cybersecurity practices for broker-dealers. Today’s post is the third in a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices may impact your business. Please click here for the first and second posts on cybersecurity practice impacts.

This post focuses on threats posed by insiders of the firm, which may be created by either deliberate, malicious conduct or by inadvertent mistakes. Both types of data breaches create significant risk to the firm and its customers. In the Report, FINRA notes that, while most higher revenue firms (95-99%) address insider threats as part of the program, only 66% of mid-level revenue firms address such risks. Its assessment comes from their review of firm responses to relevant inquiry areas in the 2017 and 2018 their Risk Control Assessment (RCA). Continue Reading FINRA’s 2018 Report on Cybersecurity Practices – Insider Threats If Your Program Only Focuses on External Threats, You are Only Halfway There

On December 20, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a report on cybersecurity practices for broker-dealers. Today’s post is the second in a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices impact your business. Please click here for the first post on cybersecurity practice impacts.

FINRA names “phishing” attacks as one of the most common cybersecurity threats raised by firms with the self-regulator.[1] The goal of a phishing email is to manipulate the recipient into taking action. FINRA focuses on two types of phishing attacks in the report. The first is “spear phishing,” where the sender researches and targets the recipient(s) with a customized approach designed to get confidential information from the individual(s). The second is “whaling,” wherein the hacker sends targeted emails impersonating senior executives at the firm in order to set action in motion, typically wiring funds to specifically identified accounts.    Continue Reading FINRA’s 2018 Report on Cybersecurity Practices – Preventing “Spear Phishing” and “Whaling” Attacks

On December 20, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a report on cybersecurity practices for broker-dealers. This post is the first of a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices impact your business. The Report follows close on the heels of FINRA’s annual Report on Examination Findings issued Dec. 14, 2018. Now we know why Cybersecurity, a top regulatory and examination priority for FINRA in 2018, was not included in their examination findings report. Not surprising, albeit somewhat unusual, the importance of the topic and FINRA’s insights warranted a separate communication. Continue Reading FINRA Issues 2018 Report on Selected Cybersecurity Practices

As previously discussed, software as a service (SaaS) solutions offer the allure of being able to outsource IT for data storage.  Being able to rely on someone else to protect you sounds great, but is it really?  Losing control over your sensitive data requires serious diligence of the third party vendor.  Caveat emptor: SaaS solutions can expose companies to unknown risks. Tips to avoid those risks are discussed below.

Continue Reading Three More Risks to Consider with SaaS Solutions

Recent developments in privacy law and a rise in class action lawsuits related to data collection offer a cautionary tale about understanding legal and ethical boundaries of monitoring “on-the-clock” employee conduct. With a hodgepodge of federal, state, and local legislation governing employee privacy rights, employers are often left to navigate a complicated legal landscape while balancing the practical need to understand how employees are using company information and equipment.  Employers, for example, have a legitimate interest in protecting company trade secrets, detecting unlawful transmission of unlicensed material, and improving work productivity.  Employees, on the other hand, may have a reasonable expectation of privacy in certain contexts while at work.

This quandary begs the question, where do employers draw the line? Continue Reading Workplace Monitoring: Where Do Employers Draw The Line?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict obligations upon organizations that process the “personal data” of European individuals. Failure to comply with GDPR can result in large fines. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in recent months, issued a number of fines of £500,000 on global businesses with household names, and such fines have generated a lot of publicity. Many onlookers would be shocked by the magnitude of those fines but may not have appreciated that they were imposed under the Data Protection Act 1998, which was in force when the offending breaches occurred. Had the breaches taken place after May 25th of this year, when the GDPR took effect, those fines would more than likely have been significantly higher.

Businesses have therefore invested significant resources and money to make sure that they do not fall foul of the obligations imposed by the GDPR. Yet, within less than a year of the GDPR becoming binding law, those same businesses face further disruption as Brexit looms. Continue Reading Implications of Brexit on GDPR