Photo of Liisa Thomas

Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the Chicago and London offices, is Leader of the firm's Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.

New York City recently enacted a biometric ordinance that is set to come into effect July 9, 2021. With this ordinance, NYC joins other cities (like Portland) in regulating the use of biometric information. The ordinance may impact retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues in the city that use security cameras with facial-recognition technology or otherwise collect biometric identifiers from their customers.
Continue Reading New York City Biometric Ordinance Effective July 9, Are You Ready?

Starting this fall, companies transferring personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) will likely begin to see a flurry of contract renegotiations. On June 4, 2021, the European Commission adopted long awaited new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for transfers out of the EEA. SCCs have been one of the more popular ways for Companies to transfer personal data from the EEA to third countries whose privacy laws have not been deemed “adequate” (like the US). The prior SCCs pre-date GDPR (see our discussion here), and have been updated to (1) more directly address GDPR and (2) because of comments in Schrems II last July, which called into question their use (the court noted that even under SCCs, certain “supplementary measures” might be needed for cross-border transfers).
Continue Reading Understanding When to Use Two New Sets of Standard Contractual Clauses Issued by the EU

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Van Buren addressed the meaning of the term “exceeds authorized access” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Court held, in a criminal case that alleged that the person used information for an improper purpose, that the law’s definition of this term does not include situations when people have improper motives for obtaining computerized information they are otherwise authorized to access.
Continue Reading The Impact of the Narrowed Scope of CFAA Liability in the Privacy and Security Realm

The Department of Labor recently issued cybersecurity guidance to retirement plans. The department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued guidance in three areas: (1) hiring and working with vendors and service providers; (2) implementing an internal cybersecurity program for the plan; and (3) online security for plan participants and end-users.
Continue Reading Cybersecurity Guidance Issued to Retirement Plan Sponsors

The Supreme Court recently dealt a potential blow to the FTC’s enforcement tool chest.  In particular, the decision impacts its ability to seek monetary relief under a theory it has used in a wide variety of cases, included privacy and security ones, that monetary relief constitutes a “permanent injunction” on consumers’ behalf. In AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court held that while the FTC should be able to obtain injunctive relief to stop unfair practices, that power does not extend to seeking monetary relief for injured consumers.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Decision Impacts How FTC May Pursue Privacy Cases

NYDFS Issues Supply Chain Management Guidance

The New York State Department of Financial Services recently issued recommendations to financial institutions in the aftermath of the SolarWinds cyberattack. In that attack, hackers inserted malware into SolarWinds software which was then distributed to SolarWinds’ customers (many of which were financial institutions). After discovery, SolarWinds released a series of hot fixes to address vulnerabilities in their software associated with the attack. Although NYDFS found that most companies responded quickly to patch the vulnerabilities, it did identify additional steps to reduce supply chain risk:
Continue Reading NYDFS Issues Supply Chain Management Guidance

Google recently announced that beginning next year it will require Android mobile apps to provide privacy disclosures. These disclosures will live in a new “safety section” in Google Play. The requirements include disclosing:

  • What information the app collects and how information is used;
  • How the app protects information and if it uses encryption;
  • If information is shared and if users have a choice about sharing;
  • If users can request data deletion; and
  • If the disclosures made in the safety section have been verified by an independent third party.


Continue Reading Time to Update Your Privacy Disclosure Creation Checklists? Google Will Add to Mobile Privacy Disclosure Requirements

The Portuguese data protection authority issued a recent resolution ordering the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics (or INE) to stop sending personal census information to any countries outside of the EU that do not provide “adequate” levels of data protection. Among those countries are the United States.
Continue Reading Portugal Puts Halt on Data Transfers Between INE and Cloudflare

The Dutch Data Protection Authority recently imposed a €475,000 fine ($558,000) against the hotel website Booking.com for waiting longer than 72 hours to report a data breach. According to the Dutch DPA press release, Booking.com learned of the breach on January 13, 2019 and reported it to the DPA on February 7, 2019. The DPA did not make it clear in that release whether Booking.com had, in fact, determined on January 13, 2019 that a security breach impacting personal information of Dutch citizens had occurred or whether January 13, 2019 was date that Booking.com was first alerted to suspicious activity.

Continue Reading Booking.com Fined By Dutch DPA For Breach Notice Delay