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Happy 2014!

After a brief hiatus for the holidays and our "12 Days of Privacy" series, we are back.

We have had a series of late year -- and new year -- data breaches in the news.   These latest incidents should prompt New Year's resolutions to undertake risk assessments and internal reviews of data security practices in general.

  • The Target data breach continues to occupy headlines and will for some time to come as more details of the massive data theft become known.   The well-known security blog, Krebs on Security, has the latest.
  • Right before New Year's Eve, a popular Boston restaurant and bar group disclosed that it had been hacked -- for a second time.   In 2011, the Massachusetts AG's office fined The Briar Group $110,000 for its failures to secure credit card information and we wrote about it at that time.   The resulting consent order imposed a series of required compliance measures and this latest breach incident puts The Briar Group at risk of violation of the consent order.   We will be watching this one -- as should all businesses that collect payment card information.
  • On New Year's Eve, a website published a database reportedly containing upwards of 4 million Snapchat user names and phone numbers. Today, the popular app announced that it is adding an opt-out to its "Find Friends" functionality -- the functionality that apparently allowed the hacker to obtain the user information.   Does your application access user's address books?  If so, you should be checking out the details of the Snapchat breach and fixing code vulnerabilities.
  • And on New Year's Day, Skype was apparently hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, although Skype says that the exploit did not compromise any user data.




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Cynthia J. Larose

Member / Co-Chair, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice

Cynthia J. Larose is Chair of the firm's Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice, a Certified Information Privacy Professional-US (CIPP-US), and a Certified Information Privacy Professional-Europe (CIPP-E). She works with clients in various industries to develop comprehensive information security programs on the front end, and provides timely counsel when it becomes necessary to respond to a data breach.