Category Archives: Privacy

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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 … 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 … 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 … 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. … Continue Reading

FTC and Car Dealership Software Company Reach Security Settlement

The FTC recently settled with LightYear Dealer Technologies, maker of DealerBuilt software, over allegations that the company failed to provide adequate protection for the personal data it houses. The companies’ clients include many car dealers across the country, and allows those dealerships to house consumer information that is collected during the car purchase process. This … Continue Reading

Nevada’s Amended Privacy Law: Groundbreaking or More of the Same?

Nevada recently amended its existing online privacy law to give Nevada residents the ability – in certain circumstances – to opt out of the sale of their data to third parties. The amendment goes into effect October 1, 2019, and modifies Nevada’s current requirement that website operators have privacy policies. As amended, companies who must … Continue Reading

CARU Takes Action Against Two Mobile Apps

Two mobile apps directed at children were recently subject to action by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit. The first, “My Talking Tom,” is a virtual pet game for children operated by Outfit7 Limited. One issue was the display of Outfit7’s privacy policy. Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, privacy policies must be understandable, and … Continue Reading

Maine Passes Broadband Privacy Bill

Maine entered the privacy fray last week when Governor Janet T. Mills signed legislation targeting internet service providers by prohibiting the sale of information about customers’ internet use. The new restriction covers, in part, customer web browsing history, application usage history, and geolocation information. An internet service provider may only use, disclose, sell or permit … Continue Reading

Feds Want New IoT Guidance to Address Security Vulnerabilities

“Internet of Things” devices are listening.  And now the federal government is taking notice. As we reported in our Government Contracts and Investigations blog, to date, federal cybersecurity regulations for government contractors focus on implementing safeguards to protect sensitive government data. A gap has emerged where the federal government purchases IoT devices. Those devices collect and send data … Continue Reading

Utah Requires Law Enforcement Search Warrants

Effective this week, law enforcement in Utah will need a search warrant to obtain for certain electronic records. The new state legislation looks to expand privacy protections for content that consumers store online. Generally, the third-party doctrine limits the protection this type of information receives under Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The … Continue Reading

EDPB Seeks Comment On Online Services Guidance

The European Data Protection Board is seeking comment about proposed guidelines that impact websites that provide online services. This might include services a user pays for, or where the fee is indirect (the services being funded through advertising dollars, for example). The EDPB guidance points out that these services typically fall under the provision of … Continue Reading

UK ICO Fines Parenting Club £400,000 Over Breach Involving PII of Mothers and Babies

The ICO first began its examination of Bounty UK Ltd. (a support club for parents) when the ICO was investigating the data brokerage industry generally, of which it viewed Bounty as taking part (given that it shared member information with third parties like Acxiom and Equifax). Here, in reaching its conclusion that the company had … Continue Reading

Washington State’s Comprehensive Privacy Law Bill Continues to Navigate Through State Legislature

The Washington Privacy Act (SB 5376) is making its way through that state’s House after gaining nearly unanimous approval in the state Senate just weeks after being introduced. This bill promises to overhaul how Washington protects the personal information of its residents. The proposed Act closely mirrors the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) … Continue Reading

FTC Looks Back at 2018

As we enter into the second quarter of the year, the FTC has released its annual report on privacy and data security, and the steps it took in those areas over the course of 2018. The report includes summaries of its actions against companies for alleged violations of the FTC Act,  CAN-SPAM, and COPPA, among … Continue Reading

UK ICO Settles with Marketer Over Unsolicited Email Messages

Grove Pension Solutions Ltd is a UK-based company that helps people get “pension releases,” i.e. getting money out of their pensions. The company uses a vendor to conduct lead generation. That vendor would identify individuals who had given consent to get messages on a variety of third party websites (including for example, soapboxsurvey.co.uk). None of … Continue Reading

France Continues to Focus on Use of Biometrics

The French CNIL (the country’s data protection authority) has released rules for how companies can use the biometric information of their employees. Fingerprint scanning is a popular method for “clocking in” around the globe, and like the biometric laws in the US (in particular in Illinois, which we have written about here), it has fallen … Continue Reading

European Data Protection Board’s Priorities for 2019/2020

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has released its priorities for 2019/2020 in its two-year “Work Program.” The EDPB is charged with issuing guidelines and opinions about GDPR, advising the European Commission about privacy-related issues, to help with the “consistent application” of GDPR, and to promote cooperation among the EU Member States’ supervisory authorities. Among … Continue Reading

UK’s ICO Brings Texting Enforcement Action, Fines Vote Leave 40,000 Pounds

Prior to the “Brexit” vote in 2016, the pro-Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, sent almost 200,000 unsolicited texts in violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), according to a recent settlement it reached with the ICO. Under those regulations, as the ICO outlines in its PECR guidance, consumers must either have opted into receiving … Continue Reading

E-Cig Company Settles Online Behavioral Advertising Inquiry

A Dutch e-cigarette company recently settled a self-regulatory inquiry over its online behavioral advertising practices. The Accountability Program (a US self-regulatory group that oversees online and interactive behavioral advertising) found that the company, Fontem, did not provide sufficient methods for individuals to opt out of online behavioral advertising (OBA). The Accountability Program enforces the Digital … Continue Reading

Happy First Day of Spring! Ohio Insurance Law Effective Today

Ohio recently followed South Carolina as the second state to adopt cybersecurity legislation modeled after the NAIC’s Insurance Data Security Model Law. The Ohio law, Senate Bill 273, applies to insurers authorized to do business in Ohio and goes into effect today, March 20, 2019 (the first day of Spring). Companies have, under the law, … Continue Reading

New York Department of Financial Services Releases Letter Regarding Third Party Data Sources

In a recent letter, the New York Department of Financial Services provided guidance for insurers who use third party data to help with their underwriting decisions. The letter was drafted in response to reports that insurers are getting information about potential insureds from many “unconventional” data sources, including those that contain predictive models and algorithms. … Continue Reading

Talk About Ironic: Brexit Group Fined Under EU-Related Privacy Regulations

In an ironic twist, the British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently fined a Brexit advocacy group for violating regulations issued under an EU directive.  The fines, totaling £120,000,  were levied against Leave.EU and a related insurance company, Eldon Insurance, for sending marketing emails to each other’s subscribers without sufficient consent.  Leave.EU had sent marketing emails … Continue Reading
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