Kamala Harris

By Hannah Lepow

Yesterday California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released guidance on how smartphone and tablet users can manage GPS and other location tracking functions on their mobile devices.

The brief information sheet, designed for consumers, details how Android and iOS users can control different types of location information on their devices, including

By Ethan Forrest

For the first time, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced a privacy breach settlement that requires the defendant company to create a “chief privacy officer” position to oversee compliance with privacy laws.

The company in question is Houzz Inc., a popular online platform for home design and décor.  Attorney General Harris

By Randall Friedland

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris yesterday released the second annual California Data Breach Report.   The report provided statistics and analysis related to data breaches that were reported to the Attorney General’s office in 2013.  The report also outlined suggested best practices and provided recommendations on ways to improve data security.


The report documented a clear upward trend in both the number of data breaches and those affected by such breaches.  For instance, in 2013, there were 167 data breaches reported in California, which is an increase of over 28 percent from the 131 data breaches reported in 2012.  Additionally, the records containing personal information of over 18.5 million California residents were compromised in 2013—a 600 percent increase from the previous year.  Even if the two largest data breaches involving retailers were excluded from this calculation, California still experienced a 35 percent increase in the number of records affected by data breaches. 
Continue Reading California Attorney General’s Second Annual Data Breach Report Finds Dramatic Increase in Number of Data Breaches

On Monday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris for the first time released a data breach report; the report details 131 data breaches reported to the CA AG’s office, which collectively exposed the personal information of 2.5 million Californians.  56% of the breaches involved Social Security numbers, a category of information disclosure which creates a heightened risk of identity theft.

“Data breaches are a serious threat to individuals’ privacy, finances and even personal security,” Attorney General Harris said. “Companies and government agencies must do more to protect people by protecting data.”

The report contains recommendations to companies, law enforcement agencies, and the legislature about how data security could be improved, including:Continue Reading CA AG Releases Data Breach Report

Yesterday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris continued her efforts to promote privacy best practices in the mobile app ecosystem by issuing a number of recommendations in her report, “Privacy on the Go.”  The report encourages app developers, platform providers, ad networks, OS developers, and even mobile carriers to incorporate privacy by design into their products and services and provides detailed suggestions on how to do so.  Importantly, the report notes that its recommendations in many cases go beyond what’s currently required by law; they are, for the most part, best practices. 

As the report explains, “[t]he basic approach . . . is to minimize surprises to users from unexpected privacy practices.”  A practice is “unexpected” when it’s not “related to an app’s basic functionality” or when it involves “sensitive information.”  Minimizing surprises means limiting the collection and retention of data that is unrelated to the app’s core functionality; giving users “enhanced notice” (i.e., notice beyond what is provided in the developer’s general privacy policy) of unexpected practices; and giving users control over those practices.  (These concepts, if not the precise terminology, will be familiar to those who have read the FTC’s March 2012 report, which recommended that companies provide consumers with robust notice and meaningful choices for practices that were “inconsistent with the context” of a particular transaction or with the company’s relationship with the consumer.)

The report goes onto make a number of specific recommendations that build on these basic propositions.  After the jump, we discuss a few that struck us as particularly noteworthy.Continue Reading Key Takeaways from the California AG’s Mobile Apps Report

Politico is reporting that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release a report containing privacy recommendations for key players in the mobile app ecosystem (including developers, advertisers, and others).  The report could be released as early as this week. 

As we have noted elsewhere, Harris has made mobile privacy a key priority for her