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According to the FTC, “Despite its failure to implement basic security measures, Equifax’s privacy policy at the time stated that it limited access to consumers’ personal information and implemented “reasonable physical, technical and procedural safeguards” to protect consumer data.” 
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According to our CCPA Countdown Clock, we are 161 days and counting to the effective date of the California Consumer Privacy Act.   The Mintz Privacy team is deeply involved in working with clients on developing compliance programs and digging into customer data for inventory and mapping exercises.   If you’re not already doing that, our handy tip sheet outlines the very top level issues and may help to provide a broad overview.
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There are reports that HHS plans to issue a proposed rule next month, which would again amend 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) and modify how the medical records of patients with substance abuse disorders are currently shared between providers. Part 2 amendments, especially amendments to align Part 2 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), would be welcome news to the many stakeholders in the industry who have repeatedly voiced their concerns regarding the regulatory hurdles that surround the disclosure of drug and alcohol treatment records.
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While the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) is certainly one of the most important pieces of privacy legislation affecting many businesses today, we want to remind our readers of another California initiative that may affect their operations, which we are calling the “Disclose Your Bots” law.
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Get ready:  October 1, 2019 is the new date for many U.S. businesses to begin providing consumers the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information.  While January 1, 2020 was the date upon which many businesses were prepared to provide notice of consumers’ right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information to comply with California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Nevada moved the goalpost last week and signed Nevada Senate Bill 220 (SB-220) into law, which requires many businesses to provide a similar opt-out, and becomes effective on October 1, 2019.
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Health Privacy
The adoption of connected medical devices and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has both enhanced the quality of patient care and increased the vulnerability of health care organizations. Sophisticated cyberattacks on hospitals and health systems threaten patient safety and impose substantial financial costs.
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The California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect on January 1, 2020, but amendments are expected. In an article recently published by Bloomberg Law, Mintz attorneys Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales and Matthew Novian discuss the April 9 hearing on SB-561, a bill that would expand the private right of action and remove compliance opportunities for businesses, and explain why the bill should be closely watched.
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Office Depot and its tech support provider, Support.com, proved to be anything but “supportive” after allegedly providing false malware scan results and conning customers into paying for repairs and technical services that, in many cases, they did not need.
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Significant changes to the Massachusetts data breach notification law take effect on April 11, 2019.   You can view the amendment here.   If you haven’t looked at your written information security plan, or WISP, in a while, now’s the time to dust it off.  If you still haven’t gotten around to implementing one as required by 201 CMR 17 back in 2010, now’s the time to get going. 
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On June 28, 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and then further amended it on September 23, 2018. CCPA breaks new state law privacy ground, and this post addresses some of the confusion surrounding the exemptions for health information.
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We’ve now presented two webinars (links will be posted ICYMI) on the scope of the California Consumer Privacy Act, and have been talking with scores of clients about preparation and planning.   One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the CCPA really applies to employee personal data processe by employers for business purposes.   
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Many employers maintain policies limiting their employees’ expectation of privacy in the workplace, including policies that eliminate any expectation of privacy when using company-issued electronic devices. While employers may think that having such a policy would protect them from invasion of privacy claims under the Fourth Amendment or state law, a recent federal court decision may cause employers to think otherwise. This post examines this decision and provides best practices for avoiding issues with employees’ privacy interests.
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Despite the overall political uncertainty about Brexit, worries about a sudden stop to personal data transfers from the UK to the US are misplaced, deal or no deal.  There is, in fact, a plan, and it’s a reasonable, practical plan.
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The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has handed down its largest civil penalty ever for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). Musical.ly, now known as TikTok after a 2018 merger, agreed to a fine of $5.7 million for its violations. The settlement was significant not only because of its record amount, but also because it includes a specific agreement on how the website will operate going forward.
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Last week, California State Senator Jackson and state Attorney General Becerra introduced a new bill, Senate Bill 561.  If passed, it will greatly expand the consumers’ right to bring private lawsuits for violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”).  SB 561 will: (1) provide for a private right of action for all CCPA violations—not just those stemming from a data breach; (2) eliminate the 30-day safe-harbor provision that currently allows companies to cure the violation and thereby avoid a private right of action; and (3) prevent companies from seeking specific opinions from the Attorney General and instead allow the AG’s office to provide “general guidance” via publications.
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This month, Mintz’s TCPA Digest reviews the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adoption of a proposal to extend the Truth in Caller ID rules to calls originating outside the United States, and to expand the scope of covered communications services.  The Digest also covers the FCC’s first-ever report on illegal robocalls, the push for call authentication and call blocking technology, and the renewed push in Congress to pass the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act.
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We presented our first in a series of webinars digging into the California Consumer Privacy Act.   If you registered, you should have received a link to the recording and the materials.   If you missed it, we’ll help you out.  To access the webinar recording, please click here.   The materials can be downloaded here.  

Our next installment is coming up on March 27th and will address similarities and differences between the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the CCPA.
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On the heels of the passing one of the nation’s leading pieces of privacy legislation, the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act (“CCPA”), Governor Newsom, used his first “State of the State” address, to highlight his position on data protection and privacy, by saying that technology companies “make billions of dollars collecting, curating and monetizing our personal data have a duty to protect it” and that “Consumers have a right to know and control how their data is being used.”   
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There will be one less new privacy regulation to worry about in 2019. In June of last year, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it would review its rules implementing the CAN-SPAM Act, regulating unsolicited commercial email.   Yesterday, the FTC announced that it had received 92 comments during the review process, and concluded that no changes to its CAN-SPAM Rules were needed at this time. 

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Leaving its fingerprints all over the privacy debate, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down a ruling that will significantly impact litigation under the state’s unique Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA” or “Act”), creating a potential boon for plaintiffs. In its January 25 opinion in Stacy Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., the court unanimously sided with the plaintiff, ruling that actual harm is not a requirement to establish standing under BIPA.
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