Data Privacy Monitor

Data Privacy Monitor

Commentary on Data Privacy & Information Security Subjects

Category Archives: Data Breaches

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‘Going Postal’ Over Data Breach Response: Union Files Failure-to-Bargain Charge With NLRB Against USPS

Posted in Data Breaches, Employment
As recent high-profile cyberattacks have demonstrated, employers have a duty to protect their employees’ electronically stored personal information from being accessed by hackers, and to promptly remedy any breach in security concerning such information. Depending upon the outcome of a recently filed charge before the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”), unionized employers … Continue Reading

California Attorney General Releases 2014 Data Breach Report and Recommendations, Finding More of the Same.

Posted in Breach Notification, Credit Card, Data Breaches, Identity Theft, Retail
Editor’s Note: The author thanks Jaysen Borja for his contributions to this post. On October 28, 2014, Attorney General Kamala Harris released the second annual California Data Breach Report.  The report detailed the nature and scope of data breach notifications that her office received in 2013.  Her office has been analyzing notifications of data breaches … Continue Reading

How to Respond to SEC Inquiries Concerning Data Breach and Data Security Policies

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Breaches, Enforcement
Every company, whether public or private, has exposure to potential data breach or theft of confidential information. When this occurs, various state and federal regulatory organizations have jurisdiction over ensuring that there is prompt, corrective, and remedial action taken by the company whose systems have been compromised. Much of the focus of articles and commentary … Continue Reading

Company Claims “HIPAA Has No Teeth”, Will Start Notifying Affected Individuals of Security Breaches and Vulnerabilities that Have Not Been Disclosed by Organizations

Posted in Data Breaches, HIPAA/HITECH
A company named SLC Security, LLC (“SLC”), recently announced that it will begin notifying individuals if it believes it has identified a security breach or vulnerability of a company and it has not received a satisfactory response from the company to which it reported the issue. On SLC’s blog, it claims it is providing “awareness … Continue Reading

Will Using “Apple Pay” Keep the Data Breach Away?

Posted in Data Breaches, Mobile Privacy
Recently Apple unveiled its latest iPhones and other new products. While the big screens on the new iPhones are making the splashy headlines, perhaps the most interesting reveal, from a data privacy perspective, is not a shiny gadget, but the new mobile payment service dubbed “Apple Pay”. Although mobile payment services aren’t new – Google … Continue Reading

California’s Latest Amendments to Its Data Security Breach Notification Law – Much Ado about Nothing?

Posted in Data Breaches, Privacy
Editor’s Note: The authors would like to thank Jaysen Borja for his contributions to this post. On September 30, 2014, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed Assembly Bill 1710 into law, amending California’s existing personal information privacy laws.  A.B. 1710 makes several changes to existing laws including: (1) the requirement that businesses that “maintain” personal information … Continue Reading

Credit Unions Continue to Demand New Data Security Standards for Retailers and Right to Recover Losses After a Breach

Posted in Credit Card, Data Breaches
On September 3, 2014, following the news of a possible breach at Home Depot (which was confirmed on September 8), the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) called on Congress to enact new legislation to hold retailers more responsible for data security breaches. “These continued data breaches will have a chilling effect on our … Continue Reading

What Companies Can Do to Protect Themselves in the Face of Yet Another Massive Data Breach

Posted in Data Breaches, Hacking, Online Privacy
Last week it was reported that a small group of Russian computer hackers illegally obtained an unprecedented quantity of internet credentials, including 1.2 billion username and password combinations, and over 500 million unique email addresses. The compromised companies have not yet been identified, but it is believed that the information came from over 420,000 websites. … Continue Reading

New York Attorney General Report Shows the Number of Data Breaches is on the Rise and Recommends Steps to Take for Protecting Against Them

Posted in Data Breaches
On July 15, 2014, the New York Attorney General issued a report examining the growing number and costs of data breaches in the state of New York.  The report titled, “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Security in New York State,” analyzes eight years’ worth of security breach data collected by the Attorney General and … Continue Reading

Florida Gives Breach Notification Statute More Teeth

Posted in Breach Notification, Data Breach Notification Laws, Data Breaches, Identity Theft, Information Security
On June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (“FIPA”), which will repeal Florida’s current breach notification statute at Fla. Stat. § 817.5681 and replace it with a new statute at Fla. Stat. § 501.171 effective July 1, 2014.  On the same day, Governor Scott also signed SB … Continue Reading

HHS Attorney: Major HIPAA Fines and Enforcement Coming

Posted in Data Breaches, Enforcement, HIPAA/HITECH, Information Security, Medical Privacy, Privacy
As regularly blogged about on the Data Privacy Monitor, the past 12 months have seen record-breaking HIPAA enforcement activity by HHS OCR.  But according to recent remarks by a high-ranking HHS attorney, if you thought these past 12 months were significant, just wait for the next 12 months. According to Law360, Jerome B. Meites, Chief … Continue Reading

Clapper Again Stymies Data Breach Class Action

Posted in Data Breaches, Online Privacy, Privacy Class Actions
Editor’s Note: This blog post is a joint submission with BakerHostetler’s Class Action Lawsuit Defense blog. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA again has been relied on by a federal district court to hold that the “mere loss of data” in a data breach case does not constitute an injury sufficient to … Continue Reading

HHS OCR Settles Post-Data Breach Investigation for Record $4.8M

Posted in Data Breaches, Enforcement, HIPAA/HITECH, Medical Privacy, Privacy
On May 7, 2014, HHS OCR announced a pair of resolution agreements with New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) totaling $4.8 million dollars—the highest settlement amount to date.  These resolution agreements make it clear that organizations must be able to propose steps to analyze security risks for ePHI as specified by HIPAA … Continue Reading

Iowa Breach Notification Law Now Requires AG Notification, Applies to Paper Records

Posted in Breach Notification, Data Breach Notification Laws, Data Breaches, Identity Theft, Information Security
Iowa recently joined an increasing number of states that require notification of state regulatory authorities following a breach, as well as a handful of states in which paper records can trigger notification obligations.  On April 3, 2014, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed S.F. 2259 into law, amending Iowa’s Personal Information Security Breach Protection statute (Iowa … Continue Reading

Kentucky Enacts Data Breach Notification Statute

Posted in Breach Notification, Data Breach Notification Laws, Data Breaches, Education, Information Security, Privacy
On April 10, 2014, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed H.B. 232 into law, making Kentucky the 47th state to enact data breach notification legislation.  Prior to H.B. 232, Kentucky was one of only four states—including Alabama, New Mexico, and South Dakota—that had not adopted data breach notification legislation.  H.B. 232 also includes a separate section … Continue Reading

With OpenSSL Compromised by Heartbleed, an Opportunity for Companies to Diversify Cyber Security Efforts

Posted in Data Breaches, Hacking
The recent discovery of the “Heartbleed” online bug has sent shockwaves through the internet, causing companies and individuals alike to question very basic assumptions about cyber security. The bug has allegedly existed for the past two years and was only recently inadvertently discovered by the software developer Codenomicon. Heartbleed renders useless Open Secure Socket Layer (SSL) … Continue Reading

OCR Settles Potential HIPAA Violations with County Government for $215,000

Posted in Breach Notification, Data Breaches, Enforcement, HIPAA/HITECH, Medical Privacy
Co-Authored by Charles K. Shih. To start 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its first resolution agreement of the year and its first settlement with a county government – signaling that even local and county governments, regardless of size, must safeguard the privacy and security of patient … Continue Reading

Proposed $6.8M Fine Related to Puerto Rico Breach Incident

Posted in Data Breaches, HIPAA/HITECH, International Privacy Law
Triple-S Salud, Inc. (“Triple-S”), a Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (“PRHIA”) contractor, filed a Form 8-K indicating that the PRHIA intended to impose a civil monetary penalty of $6,768,000 and other administrative sanctions stemming from a breach incident affecting 13,336 Dual Eligible Medicare beneficiaries.  The breach incident occurred in September 2013 when Triple-S mailed to … Continue Reading

Some Things Better Left Unshared: Social Media and Medical Identity Theft

Posted in Data Breaches, HIPAA/HITECH, Identity Theft, Medical Privacy, Social Media
The Washington Post recently published an article reminding individuals not to tweet or otherwise share information concerning their medical conditions on social media, warning that disclosing such information publicly “is akin to posting your address along with the dates you’ll be away on vacation.”  Quoting Jennifer Trussell, who investigates medical identity theft on behalf of … Continue Reading

Once Again, Clapper Defeats Data Breach Class Action

Posted in Data Breaches, Identity Theft, Litigation, Online Privacy, Privacy
Article III standing has once again proved to be an insurmountable hurdle for data breach class action plaintiffs whose personal information hasn’t been misused.  In Galaria v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., an Ohio federal court relied on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty Intern. USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138 (2013), and held … Continue Reading

Financial Institutions Privacy and Security – 2013 Year in Review

Posted in Data Breaches, Financial Privacy
Throughout 2013, financial institutions continued to face serious threats from cybercriminals targeting the personal information of banking customers and their financial assets through the use of malicious software and denial of service attacks (DDoS).  In fact, according to the Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report, which is available here, thirty-seven percent of breaches this year … Continue Reading

Information Governance – 2013 in Review

Posted in Data Breaches, Online Data Tracking, Online Privacy, Privacy, Privacy Litigation
By: Judith A. Selby and James A. Sherer 2013 was the year that the term “Information Governance” or “IG” began to be widely used outside of technical circles. Despite that fact, the concept of IG is not well understood. Gartner, a premier information advisory company, defines IG as the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework … Continue Reading

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Dark and Dusty Data and the Risk Your Organization Already Owns

Posted in Data Breaches, Privacy
This blog post is a joint submission with BakerHostetler’s Discovery Advocate blog. Authored by: James Sherer During the final panel of Thomson Reuters’ 17th Annual eDiscovery & Information Governance in Practice Forum, Thomas Barnett, Ignatius Grande, and Sandra Rampersaud led a lively discussion on Managing Big Data, Dark Data, and Risk.  And while the exchange … Continue Reading

California Court Finds Advertising Injury Coverage is Triggered by Medical Information Data Breach

Posted in Data Breaches
Editor’s Note: This post is a joint submission with BakerHostetler’s Class Action Lawsuit Defense blog. On October 7, 2013, a federal district court in California held that the Advertising Injury coverage in a comprehensive general liability policy issued by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company (Hartford) covered two class action lawsuits arising out of the disclosure of … Continue Reading