Brazil’s New Privacy Law One Year Away

Global corporations will soon have another privacy law acronym to address. In one year (August 2020), Brazil will join the fray with its own general privacy law, the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessaoais (General Data Privacy Law or LGPD). The law was passed in 2018, and is set to go into effect a year from now. While the law was designed to be similar to the EU’s GDPR, it is not identical. Individuals will receive very similar access and deletion rights. Like GDPR, the law also contemplates data impact assessments, and provisions in contracts between controllers and processors of personal data. Also like GDPR, the law has extraterritorial impact, applying to those who process or collect information in Brazil, even if the entity is itself outside of the country. There are, though, differences between LGPD and GDPR. For example the amount of time to respond to individuals’ rights requests will be shorter. The definition of personal information under LGPD is also broader.  The law will be enforced by Brazil’s new National Data Protection Authority, and carries penalties that are similar to GDPR. Before the law goes into effect, it is expected that the data protection authority will issue regulations. Continue Reading

Processor or Controller? It Really Depends

The European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor recently issued a joint opinion on the processing of personal data and the role of the European Commission within the eHealth Digital Health Service Infrastructure. As background, the eHealth Network is a network of eHealth authorities designated by the EU member states. Its main purpose is ensure the continuity of cross-border healthcare of patients as they move throughout the EU. To realize this goal, the Commission created the eHDSI, the system which enables the exchange of electronic patient data amongst member states. To clarify its role as the eHDSI creator and operator, the Commission sought the joint opinion of the EDPS and EDPS as to whether it was acting as a processor. Continue Reading

Singapore Appoints Its First Ever Accountability Agent Under the CBPR System

On July 23, 2019, APEC issued a press release announcing Singapore’s appointment of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) as its accountability agent. Singapore joined the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system in March 2018 and is the third economy after the United States and Japan to operationalize the system. Continue Reading

Utility Provider Settles Call Recording Lawsuit for $3.7 Million

Tiger Natural Gas, Inc. recently settled a class action privacy suit alleging that it illegally recorded sales calls with over 27,000 potential customers. Although Tiger hired a third party to handle its telemarketing, Tiger will pay $3.7 million on the claims as the advertiser with ultimate liability for non-compliance. According to the plaintiffs, neither company told the consumers the calls were recorded, as is required under California’s call recording law. Continue Reading

French Regulator Says “Oui” to GDPR Fines for Under-Protected and Over-Retained Data

CNIL, the French data privacy regulator, issued a 400,000 euro ($448,358) fine against a company for GDPR violations stemming from sensitive information collected on its website. Investigating a complaint, CNIL discovered that the online real estate company Sergic allowed customer information to be freely accessed online and kept that information longer than needed. By editing the text of a certain URL, a Sergic user could retrieve sensitive files that another home rental candidate had uploaded into the website. This security defect led the trove of nearly 300,000 tax and identity documents to be accessible to anyone who thought to change the text of that URL. CNIL said that this website design flaw affected the confidentiality of data in violation of Article 32(1)(ii) of GDPR. Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Comments on COPPA Rule

The Federal Trade Commission is requesting comments and input on the effectiveness of the 2013 amendments it made to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. Although the FTC typically reviews its rules every ten years, it is doing so early because of rapid changes in and children’s expanded use of technology. Part of the input it is seeking is whether the COPPA Rule should be updated again. Among the specific input the FTC has requested, it wants to know if companies and other interested parties believe that the Rule should be amended to include websites and online services that are not directed at children but have large numbers of child users. Continue Reading

Privacy Developments in China, Singapore and Hong Kong

International companies should keep in mind recent developments coming out of Asia on the privacy front. Chinese authorities are reported to be confiscating smartphones at the border to install surveillance apps. Companies will want to think carefully about the assets they bring into the country. They will also want to keep in mind the Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s ability to conduct remote penetration tests, perform in-person network security inspections (which may involve local police), and prosecute organizations if state-prohibited or unlawful data is discovered during inspections. The state maintains a right to copy data, including proprietary information like IP and trade secrets, discovered during inspections without disclosure. These responsibilities come under the “Regulations on Internet Security Supervision and Inspection by Public Security Organs,” which expanded China’s 2017 privacy law. Continue Reading

Bombas Settles with NYAG Over Credit Card Data Breach

Modern sock maker, Bombas, recently settled with New York over a credit card breach, agreeing to pay $65,000 in penalties.  According to the NYAG, malicious code was injected into Bombas’ Magento ecommerce platform in 2014.  The company addressed the issue over the course of 2014 and early 2015, and according to the NYAG, determined that bad actors had accessed customer information (names, addresses and credit card numbers) of almost 40,000 people. While the company notified the payment card companies at the time, it concluded that it did not need to notify impacted individuals because the payment card companies “did not require a formal PFI or otherwise pursue the matter beyond basic questions.” Continue Reading

Maryland Adds Requirements to Breach Notice Law

Maryland has amended its breach notification law to require businesses that maintain data, not just those that own or license the data, to conduct “a reasonable and prompt investigation” into whether personal information has been or will be misused. This requirement will go into effect in October 2019. Starting then, vendors who maintain information will also have a duty to investigate, not just data owners. This is unlike other states with “duty to investigate” requirements, like Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Wyoming, among others. In those states (and others), only the data owner is statutorily required to investigate. To the extent that vendors have been obligated to investigate, that obligation falls under other provisions of breach notice laws, namely requirements for the vendor to “cooperate” with the data owner. Or, in some cases, companies may have contractually required their vendors to conduct investigations in the event of a breach or potential breach. Continue Reading

Texas Breach Law Will Change in 2020, To Require Attorney General Notification

New requirements to the Texas data breach statute, including a requirement to notify the Texas attorney general of a breach, are set to go into effect January 1, 2020. The legislation, signed by Texas Governor, Greg Abbot, on June 14, 2019, requires that the Texas attorney general be notified of a breach within 60 days. The AG notification is required only if 250 or more Texas residents are affected. The notification to the attorney general must include a description of the breach, number of residents affected, measures taken in response to the breach, measures planned to be taken after notification and whether law enforcement has been engaged with the investigation.  The legislation also adds a 60 day timing requirement for notice, from the current “as quickly as possible” standard. Continue Reading

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