For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in Van Buren v. United States, No. 19-783. A federal circuit split exists on the issue of whether the statute can only be used against hackers and unauthorized users of electronic systems, or also against authorized users who use the information for unauthorized purposes. In the context of data breaches, companies sometimes look to interpretations of the meaning of “authorization” in CFAA cases to analyze whether notification obligations may exist.
Continue Reading SCOTUS Review of CFAA May Impact Analysis in Data Breach Notification Obligations

At the end of March, Washington, D.C. signed the Security Breach Protection Amendment Act of 2019, which adds some significant changes to D.C.’s existing data breach law, first enacted in 2007. The law is projected to take effect by June 13, 2020. Some of the major changes are summarized below.
Continue Reading D.C. Amends Data Breach Notification Law, Adds Security Requirements

During their COVID-19 preparations, companies are dusting off -and deploying- their business continuity plans. Also worth revisiting are incident response plans. Teams working remotely, if faced with a data breach, will still face privilege issues. For this reason simply moving to asynchronous forms of communication (email, chat, etc.) may not suffice, or may increase legal risk and exposure. Teams will thus need to be prepared for coming together virtually. Turning on the camera to converse remotely with video can be an impactful and important way to effectively handle a breach situation. To prepare, here are three key questions companies can consider:
Continue Reading Turn on the Camera Part Two: Are You Prepared to Handle a Breach Remotely and Do You Know Your Legal Security Obligations?

Businesses collecting personal information from New York residents will soon be expected to apply enhanced data security requirements. The New York SHIELD Act, signed into law in July 2019, expanded breach notice requirements in October 2019. Now, On March 21, 2020, the remaining provisions related to data security will also come into effect. As we wrote previously, businesses subject to the law must implement data security programs that include at least the following:
Continue Reading NY SHIELD Act Data Security Requirements Effective This Month

In response to the killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani, the government of Iran and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have declared the country’s intention to strike back at the United States. According to reports, their desire is to respond proportionally, but not start a war, and they are contemplating multiple options, any subset of which they may implement.
Continue Reading Iran’s Imminent Cybersecurity Threat

The FTC recently settled with Infotrax Systems, L.C. a technology company providing software to the direct sales industry. The settlement followed a breach suffered by the company, and involved allegations the company had failed to use reasonable security. According to the FTC, for almost two years, a hacker accessed InfroTrax’s server unnoticed at least seventeen times. The data accessed included social security numbers and payment card information. It also included unencrypted user IDs and passwords. Infotrax learned of the incident from an alert that one of its servers had reached maximum storage capacity.
Continue Reading FTC and Software Company Reach Security Settlement Over Unfair Practices

As we recently reported, New York’s new SHIELD Act contains data security provisions. It also contains a number of key changes to New York’s existing breach notification obligations. These changes will become effective October 23, 2019.
Continue Reading New York SHIELD Act Expands Breach Notice Requirements Starting in October

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 Maryland Adds Requirements to Breach Notice Law