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Tech CEOs to Congress: Please Pass Federal Privacy Law

September 10, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

51 tech company CEOs today signed and sent an open letter to Congress asking for help to hold off and supersede the rising number of state privacy laws growing like weeds.   The letter was sent on behalf of the Business Roundtable, a group that has sent its own “Framework for Consumer Privacy Legislation” to Congress as a “jumpstart.”
Viewpoint General

California Legislature Working Through Data Privacy Amendments

September 6, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

In California's Senate session on September 5, AB 1130 was passed, which amends the state’s data breach notification law. The amendment would include passports, biometric data, and taxpayer and military identification numbers to the definition of “personal information” requiring notice under the breach notification law if breached.
Viewpoint General
Spurred by the rapid evolution of technology, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) decided unanimously to begin a review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule. The review could upend compliance plans for many businesses with a digital footprint.
Viewpoint

And the CCPA Amendment Countdown Begins ….

August 13, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

The California Legislature has returned from its summer recess and got right to work on the pending amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).   The Legislature has 30 days from today to send any amendments to the Governor’s desk for signature. 
Viewpoint

August Cybersecurity Update: Congress Finishes Up NDAA and Continues Work on Cybersecurity Bills

August 12, 2019 | Blog | By Christian Tamotsu Fjeld, Alexander Hecht, Erin K. Morton

As August recess gets underway for the House and the Senate, ML Strategies has prepared a summary of the status of this summer’s key cybersecurity issues. ML Strategies will continue to track these and other cybersecurity priorities before Congress and the Administration through August and beyond.
Viewpoint

But Wait, There’s Less – Equifax Settlement Update

August 2, 2019 | Blog | By Christopher Buontempo, Cynthia Larose

We know we told you yesterday about the Equifax settlement and how you could make a claim in connection with the breach. Well, consumers whose personal information was compromised in Equifax’s massive 2017 data breach are in for another surprise: they may not receive the entire $125 payout option initially offered following Equifax’s settlement agreement with the FTC.
Viewpoint

FTC and Equifax Reach Historic Settlement

July 30, 2019 | Blog | By Christopher Buontempo, Cynthia Larose

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.” 
Viewpoint

California Consumer Privacy Act in a Nutshell

July 23, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

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.
Viewpoint

Another Chance for HIPAA and Part 2 Harmony?

July 22, 2019 | Blog | By Dianne Bourque, Matt Mora

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.
Viewpoint General

Are You Talking To A Bot? New CA Law Makes Disclosure the Best Option

July 1, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose, Brian Lam

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.
Viewpoint General

Nevada Moves the Goalpost with New Privacy Law

June 7, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose, Christopher Buontempo

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.
Health Privacy

Health Care & Cybersecurity: A Powerful Combination

May 14, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

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.
Viewpoint General

INSIGHT: California’s Privacy Act—Watch for an Expanding Private Right of Action

May 3, 2019 | Blog | By Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales, Matthew Novian

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.
Viewpoint General

The Phantom Menace: Office Depot Settles with FTC Over Fake Virus Scans

April 12, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose, Elana Safner

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.
Viewpoint General

Massachusetts Data Breach Changes – Coming April 11!

April 10, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

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. 
Viewpoint General
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.
Viewpoint General

CCPA Amendment May Answer Employee Question

March 28, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose

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.   
Viewpoint General

Employers Beware: Judge Greenlights Employee’s Privacy Lawsuit Over Dropbox Access

March 28, 2019 | Blog | By Katharine Beattie, Cynthia Larose, Jennifer Budoff

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.
Viewpoint General

Brexit and UK-US data transfers: What’s the plan?

March 26, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Foster

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.
Viewpoint General

Musical.ly’s COPPA Failure Falls Flat at the FTC; Will Pay Note-Worthy Fine

March 6, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose, Elana Safner

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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