Archives: Data Breaches

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California Adopts Expansive Consumer Privacy Law

On June 28, 2018, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), which is aimed at strengthening consumer privacy rights and data security protections.  The CCPA takes effect on January 1, 2020 and is considered the most stringent privacy law in the country. The CCPA applies to for-profit entities that conduct business in … Continue Reading

Colorado, Louisiana, and Vermont Add to Recent Trend of Changes to State Data Breach Notification Laws

This spring has seen significant legislative activity with regards to state data breach notification laws, ranging from new laws in Alabama and South Dakota to amendments to existing laws in Oregon, Arizona, and elsewhere.  Continuing this trend, three states recently passed legislation to amend their existing data breach notification laws.  Legislation recently passed in Colorado … Continue Reading

Senators Klobuchar and Kennedy Introduce Privacy Legislation

On April 24, 2018, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act of 2018.  The bill aims to protect consumers’ online data by increasing the transparency of data collection and tracking practices, and requiring companies to notify consumers of a privacy violation within 72 hours. “Our … Continue Reading

South Dakota Breach Notification Law Breaks New Ground

[This article was originally published in Law360] Last week, South Dakota became the 49th U.S. state to enact a data breach notification law with the passage of S.B. 62, which sets forth requirements for notifying state residents, the state attorney general, and major consumer reporting agencies in the event of a breach. The law, which … Continue Reading

English High Court Finds Supermarket Liable for Data Breach by Employee in First Successful Privacy Class Action

By Joseph Jones and Ruth Scoles Mitchell On December 1, 2017, the High Court of England and Wales found the fourth-largest supermarket chain in the UK, Wm Morrisons (“Morrisons”), vicariously liable for a data breach caused by the intentional criminal actions of one of its employees, namely the leaking of payroll information online. The breach … Continue Reading

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Warns Against Warrant-Proof Encryption

In a speech delivered at the United States Naval Academy on October 10, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein waded into the public debate between data privacy and law enforcement interests.  As part of a discussion moderated by former Covington cybersecurity attorney Jeff Kosseff, Rosenstein’s remarks discussed cyber issues facing law enforcement with a particular focus … Continue Reading

Preparation and Practice: Keys to Responding to a Cyber Security Incident

In the immediate aftermath of discovering a cybersecurity incident, companies often face many questions and few answers amidst a frenzy of activity.  What happened?  What should we do now?  What legal risks does the company face, and how should it protect against them?  In this fast-paced environment, it can be difficult to coordinate the activity … Continue Reading

Delaware Amends Data Breach Notification Law to Require Credit Monitoring, Attorney General Notification

Delaware Gov. John Carney has signed into law a bill that will impose more stringent obligations for notifying affected Delaware residents in the event of a data breach, in addition to establishing requirements for Delaware businesses to maintain “reasonable” data security practices.  In addition to expanding the types of information that would require notification of … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit: Data Breach Plaintiffs Plausibly Allege ‘Substantial Risk’ of
ID Theft Sufficient to Support Standing

Customers’ allegations that they face a substantial risk of identity theft as a result of a 2014 data breach are sufficiently plausible to allow their suit against health insurer CareFirst to proceed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in an August 1 decision. CareFirst discovered in April 2015 — and announced … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Releases Guidance for Vulnerability Disclosure Programs

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released a voluntary framework for organizations to use in the development of a formal program to receive reports of network, software, and system vulnerabilities, and to disclose vulnerabilities identified in other organizations’ environments.  This framework provides private entities a series of steps to establish a formal program … Continue Reading

Working Effectively with Forensic Firms

Among the many issues that can give rise to the initial uncertainty of responding to a significant cybersecurity incident is a failure by incident response team members to understand the perspectives and priorities of other stakeholders. But this complicating factor can readily be mitigated through cross-functional education and relationship building before an incident occurs. In … Continue Reading

New Mexico Becomes 48th State with Data Breach Notification Law; Tennessee Restores Exemption for Encrypted Data

Last week, New Mexico and Tennessee both passed legislation updating each state’s requirements for notifying residents following a data breach.  New Mexico’s new law, H.B. 15, makes it the 48th U.S. state to enact a state data breach notification law, leaving Alabama and South Dakota as the only states that have not enacted similar laws.  … Continue Reading

NY Data Breaches Reached Record Levels in 2016

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced this week that there were a record number of data breach notices in New York in 2016, with nearly 1,300 reported data breaches exposing the personal records of 1.6 million New Yorkers.  These numbers represented a 60 percent year-over-year increase in the number of data breaches reported, … Continue Reading

Updated OMB Breach Response Policy Includes Required Breach-Related Provisions for Federal Agency Contracts

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued an updated breach response policy for federal agencies, replacing a policy last updated in 2007.  The policy, set forth in memorandum M-17-12, provides minimum standards for federal agencies in preparing for and responding to breaches of personally identifiable information (PII).   In addition to setting forth requirements … Continue Reading

Data Breach Allegations Sufficient for Standing After Spokeo, Court Says

On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled that the named plaintiff for a putative class of CareCentrix employees whose personal information was compromised had alleged enough harm for standing under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.  The case is Hapka v. CareCentrix, Inc. In early 2016, a phishing attack compromised defendant CareCentrix’s systems, … Continue Reading

Ashley Madison Settles Data Security and Deception Charges

The FTC announced today that it has reached a settlement with the operators of AshleyMadison.com (Ashley Madison) for alleged data security deficiencies and deceptive trade practices.  According to the FTC, Ashley Madison, a dating website for married individuals, was hacked in July 2015, leading to the release of 36 million users’ account and profile information.  … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Guidance for Responding to Data Breaches

On Tuesday, the FTC issued new guidance for businesses on responding to data breaches, along with an accompanying blog post and video.  The data breach response guidance follows the issuance of the FTC’s “Start with Security” data security guidance last year and builds upon recent FTC education and outreach initiatives on data security and cybersecurity … Continue Reading

Inherited Infrastructure, Outdated Software, And Other Failings That Led To TalkTalk’s Record Fine

On October 5, 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined telecoms company TalkTalk a record £400,000 for failing to put in place appropriate data security measures and allowing a cyber-attacker to access TalkTalk customer data “with ease.”  The ICO highlighted several  technical and organizational deficiencies as justification for issuing its largest fine to-date.  Many … Continue Reading

UK Telco Loses Appeal; Should Have Reported Data Breach Within 24 Hours Of Customer Complaint, Not Fuller Investigation

By Phil Bradley-Schmieg and Gemma Nash On August 30, 2016, a major UK telecoms company (TalkTalk) lost its appeal against a fine imposed on it for failing to report a personal data breach to the UK national data protection authority (the Information Commissioner) within 24 hours of its receipt of a customer’s complaint. Commission Regulation … Continue Reading

New York State Proposes Cybersecurity Regulation for Financial Services Institutions

On September 13, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a proposed regulation that would require financial service institutions to develop and implement cybersecurity programs to prevent and mitigate cyber-attacks.  The proposed regulation will be subject to a 45-day comment period once it is published in the New York State Register. The regulation will become … Continue Reading

FTC Announces it will Provide Guidance on Ransomware

The FTC has become the most recent regulator to take a closer look at ransomware and its impact on consumers. During the FTC’s September 7, 2016, Fall Technology Series on Ransomware, Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced that the FTC will soon release guidance to businesses on how to protect against ransomware. Ransomware is a malicious software … Continue Reading

Significant HIPAA Fine Follows Business Associate’s Stolen iPhone

A new post over on Covington’s eHealth blog discusses a recent enforcement action taken by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) against Catholic Health Care Services, a business associate under HIPAA, arising out of a stolen iPhone.  This recent enforcement action should put business associates … Continue Reading

Cyber Insurer Seeks to Void Data Breach Coverage Because of Purported Misstatements in Policy Application

Cyber insurers commonly require insureds to complete detailed applications, often including extensive technical disclosure and risk self-assessments. The complaint recently filed by the insurer in Columbia Casualty Co. v. Cottage Health System illustrates the pitfalls in these requirements. Cottage Health, an operator of a hospital network, suffered a data breach in 2013 resulting in thousands … Continue Reading

P.F. Chang’s Ruling Highlights Potential Pitfalls of Cyber Insurance

Data breaches suffered by retailers and other businesses that handle payment cards can result in substantial assessments by card brands such as MasterCard and Visa. Retailers typically do not process payment card transactions directly with the banks that issue their customers’ cards. Instead, they contract with an intermediary—called an acquiring or servicing bank—to process their … Continue Reading
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