California recently updated both its data security and breach notice laws to include genetic data. With the passage of AB 825, the data security law now includes in the definition of “personal information” genetic data. The information needs to be “reasonably protected.” While many other states have similar “reasonable protection” requirements in their data security laws, California is one of a handful to specifically list genetic information.

Continue Reading California Broadens Security and Breach Laws, Includes Genetic Data

In the wake of increased ransomware attacks over the course of the last several months, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has updated a guidance it released last year on potential sanction risks if facilitating ransomware payments. As indicated in the original guidance, OFAC has designated several threat actors as “malicious cyber attackers,” including the developers of Cryptolocker, SamSam, WannaCry, and Dridex. OFAC has indicated that it will impose sanctions on those who financially (or otherwise support) these actors, including by making ransomware payments to them. Sanctions can range from non-public (for example No Action Letters or Cautionary Letters) to public actions (including for example payment of civil monetary penalties).

Continue Reading Do You Have a Risk-Based Sanctions Compliance Program?: In the Event of a Ransomware Attack, OFAC Wants to Know

The FTC recently settled with a surveillance app operator over allegations that the company facilitated the secret harvesting of personal information. According to the FTC, the main users of Support King, LLC’s “SpyFone” app were bad actors who used the tool to remotely monitor users’ physical and digital activities. The FTC dismissed the company’s argument that the users were employers and parents as a “pretext.” It felt neither group would want to use the product, which to install required minimizing the device’s security settings and potentially voiding the device warranty.

Continue Reading FTC Surveillance App Settlement Signals Concern Over Deceptive Tracking

The New York Department of Financial Service recently clarified security incident notification requirements and the use of multi-factor authentication. On its FAQ page, the NYDFS added two new questions and answers for financial services companies subject to 23 NYCRR Part 500.

Continue Reading NYDFS FAQ Provides Clarity on Breach Notification and Security Requirements

The California AG recently reminded companies in the healthcare industry of potential data breach notification obligations beyond HIPAA. As ransomware attacks continue to rise, particularly in healthcare, companies should keep in mind the patchwork of state and federal health data privacy laws that may apply.

Continue Reading Breach of PHI? California AG Reminds Companies of Potential State Notification Obligations

The SEC recently announced a settlement with Pearson plc where the company has agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it misled investors about a 2018 cyber incident. According to the order, Pearson made misleading statements and omissions about a 2018 data breach involving the theft of student data and administrator credentials in its July 2019 semi-annual report.

Continue Reading SEC Fine Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity Disclosures

In addition to recently passing a cybersecurity safe harbor law, Connecticut also updated its data breach notification law. Connecticut joins Texas in passing changes to breach notification requirements this year. There are three key changes included in this amendment.

Continue Reading Connecticut Expands Data Breach Notification Law, Changes Effective October 1, 2021

Connecticut recently enacted cybersecurity legislation that provides a safe harbor for businesses that implement a written cybersecurity program. Under the legislation, set to go in effect on October 1, 2021, punitive damages will not be assessed on a business that has suffered a data breach, in the event that there are causes of action alleging a failure to implement reasonable cybersecurity controls, which failure resulted in the breach.

Continue Reading Connecticut Enacts New Cybersecurity Safe Harbor

The Georgia Supreme Court recently concluded that Georgia’s equivalent of the CFAA should be viewed narrowly, similar to the US Supreme Court’s recent, similar decision in Van Buren. In Kinslow v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court held that even if there is unauthorized use of a computer or computer network, there must be enough evidence to prove that the defendant used the computer network knowingly without authority and with the intention of obstructing or interfering with the use of data.

Continue Reading New Decision Narrows Scope of Georgia Computer Trespass Statute

Texas’s data breach notification law was recently amended to require the state’s Attorney General to post notice of data breaches on a public website within 30 days of receiving notice of the data breach. It also requires companies to provide the AG with more information when notifying the AG of a breach.

Continue Reading Texas Breach Notification Law Amended, Changes Effective September 1, 2021

MoviePass, a movie subscription service, has agreed to a proposed settlement with the FTC over alleged deception and lack of security allegations. The now-defunct company not only allegedly marketed its service as a “one movie per day” service – yet took steps to actively deny subscribers such access – it also failed, according to the FTC, to secure subscriber’s personal data. The company also was alleged to have violated the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confident Act, which impacts the offering of “negative option” (subscription) services.
Continue Reading FTC Settles Security Claims With Both MoviePass and Its Owners