Utah recently amended its breach notice law to provide certain defenses to companies who suffer a data breach.  It is now the second state, after Ohio, to include such provisions. Specifically, entities that create and reasonably comply with a written cybersecurity program may have an affirmative defense to litigation resulting after a data breach. For the safe harbor to apply, the written cybersecurity program must:
Continue Reading Utah Creates Data Breach Safe Harbor

Artificial intelligence continues to remain a focus in 2021, as we predicted at the start of the year. From the FTC, to the EU, to others, regulators of all kinds are paying attention to companies’ use of these tools. In the latest, five US federal agencies are seeking input on how financial institutions are using AI tools. Comments from stakeholders are due by June 1, 2021.
Continue Reading Federal Financial Agencies Seek Comments on Use of Artificial Intelligence

As the first quarter of 2021 comes to a close, cyberattacks are only gaining momentum. As we reported last month, these attacks have become big business for threat actors, and companies are working hard to be prepared. Taking stock of potential risks – and risk management techniques – can be a useful exercise in this environment. For this, tools from change management can help. Change management, particular sustainable change management, teaches us not to jump head-first into action, but first to take stock of what actions will be most helpful.
Continue Reading Understanding Risk in An Increasingly Risky World

Utah’s governor recently signed into law SB 227, creating the Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA). The law, which is anticipated to go into effect in May, is aimed at protecting genetic data collected from direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies. Generally, the law creates requirements for (i) notice; (ii) consent for certain data uses; (iii) data security obligations; and (iv) access, deletion, and destruction rights.
Continue Reading States Continue to Step in to Safeguard Genetic Information

On March 15, 2021, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved additional regulations to the CCPA. These regulations were originally proposed at the end of 2020 (which we covered here).  The changes are effective immediately. The modifications largely focus on (1) changes impacting those companies that “sell” information, and (2) the verification process for rights requests made by authorized agents.
Continue Reading Changes to CCPA Regulations are Approved and in Effect

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has spawned hundreds of class action lawsuits and a raft of unresolved issues.  A core issue from a litigation perspective—as well as for companies bracing for potential lawsuits—is one of “standing,” and in particular, what BIPA claims can be brought by plaintiffs in what venues.

Continue Reading Beware BIPA Bifurcation: Plaintiffs’ New Gambit to Split BIPA Claims Between State and Federal Courts 

Virginia is now the second state, after California, to pass a comprehensive privacy law. The Consumer Data Protection Act (“CDPA”) will come into effect January 1, 2023 (the same time as the modification to California’s Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), namely the California Privacy Rights Act). Although this new Virginia law has been compared by many to California’s current CCPA and the EU’s GDPR, there are some differences. Businesses will find most of the differences a relief, although the law does introduce a few new concepts.
Continue Reading Virginia is for…Privacy: Comprehensive Law Passed, Effective January 2023

Cyberattacks have become big business from the standpoint of attackers.  Threat actors range well beyond cults of old, and now including sophisticated state actors, large businesses organized for the very purpose of cyber breach and theft, and complex threat networks that aggregate information formerly treated as innocuous.  This is a real risk for companies as we look forward to the remainder of 2021. At the same time, ransomware is changing the state of cyber insurance, with regulators across the globe entering the field to govern the conduct of attacked businesses in this climate. Regulations cover terms of ransom payments and subsequent obligations to persons whose information goes out the pipes.  For more on these risks, you can listen to the recent Nota Bene podcast episode (on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher) with Sheppard Mullin partners Kari Rollins and Michael Cohen.
Continue Reading Managing the World of Cybersecurity in a New Era

Many states require insurance providers that do business in their states to complete annual certifications of compliance.  As examples, the deadline in New Hampshire is coming up on March 1.  The deadline in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, and South Carolina was February 15.  (The deadline under new laws in Michigan and Virginia will be February 15 as well, starting in 2022 and 2023, respectively.)  The deadline in New York is April 15. 
Continue Reading Insurance Cybersecurity Certifications: A State Roundup