Posts tagged Compliance.
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The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office (“OAG”) has released a Report on the status of Connecticut’s Data Privacy Act (“CTDPA”), which took effect on July 1, 2023. The Report covers complaints, inquiries, and early enforcement activities under the CTDPA.

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Recent developments in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone to facilitate cross-border data transfers are expected to provide greater flexibility in exporting data from China, which has been stymied by the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”)’s strict cross-border data transfer regulations proposed in December 2023. In recent years, the legal framework and practical enforcement for cross-border data transfers in China have undergone significant developments, especially with respect to the CAC’s cross-border data transfer security reviews and standard contractual clauses. The lack of clarity around the CAC’s strict rules for security assessment reviews appears to have caused significant delays in the approval process for cross-border data transfers and concern among international companies who regularly transfer data outside of China. However, it appears that the Shanghai government is likely to permit international companies to transfer data offshore by leveraging its sprawling free trade zones. Shanghai, for example, has recently unveiled new measures aimed at accelerating cross-border data transfers.

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In November 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) wrote to organizations operating 53 of the UK’s biggest websites regarding their compliance with data protection laws when using cookies.  On January 31, 2024, the ICO released a statement on such action noting that it received “an overwhelmingly positive response” with 38 of those organizations having changed their cookie banners in order to come into compliance. Others have either committed to ensuring compliance within a month, or are exploring other solutions such as contextual advertising.

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On January 12, 2024, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) announced a consent order with virtual currency company Genesis Global Trading, Inc. (“Genesis”) for “significant” failings in Genesis’ Anti-Money Laundering and cybersecurity compliance frameworks. According to the NYDFS, Genesis’ failure to comply with the NYDFS’ virtual currency and cybersecurity regulations left the company vulnerable to cybersecurity risks and related unlawful activity. 

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On December 12, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it is producing an online resource relating to employment practices and data protection. The ICO also announced that it would be releasing draft guidance on the different topic areas to be included in the resource in stages, and adding to it over time. The ICO provided draft guidance on “Keeping employment records” and “Recruitment and selection” for consultation. The former draft guidance aims to provide direction on compliance with data protection law when keeping records ...

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On December 8, 2023, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the EU’s Regulation laying down harmonized rules on Artificial Intelligence (the “AI Act”).

The AI Act will introduce a risk-based legal framework for AI. Specifically, the AI Act will state that: (1) certain AI systems are prohibited as they present unacceptable risks (e.g., AI used for social scoring based on social behavior or personal characteristics, untargeted scraping of facial images from the Internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases, etc.); (2) AI systems presenting a high-risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals will be subject to stringent rules, which may include data governance/management and transparency obligations, the requirement to conduct a conformity assessment procedure and the obligation to carry out a fundamental rights assessment; (3) limited-risk AI systems will be subject to light obligations (mainly transparency requirements); and (4) AI systems that are not considered prohibited, high-risk or limited-risk systems will not be under the scope of the AI Act.

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On November 21, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) issued a statement explaining that it has recently written to companies operating some of the UK’s most visited websites regarding their compliance with data protection laws when using cookies. The ICO noted that certain websites are not providing users with fair choices as to whether or not they are tracked for personalized marketing purposes, and referred to its guidance on making it simple for users to “Reject All” advertising cookies. 

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On November 1, 2023, New York Governor Hochul announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) amended its Cybersecurity Regulation applicable to covered financial institutions. Our previous blog post covered key proposed changes to the Cyber Regulation.

The NYDFS, which regulates financial institutions including insurance companies, mortgage brokers and banks, adopted the original Cybersecurity Regulation in 2017. The new amendments strengthen the initial framework and require NYDFS-regulated entities to adhere to a number of ...

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On September 28, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released the “Provisions on Regulating and Facilitating Cross-Border Data Flows” for public comment (the “Proposal”). The deadline for public comment on the Proposal was October 15, 2023.

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On August 8, 2023, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved 205 CMR 257: Sports Wagering Data Privacy, a set of regulations designed to create new rights and obligations with respect to sports betting operators’ use of patrons’ Confidential Information or Personally Identifiable Information. The regulations took effect on September 1, 2023.

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On September 14, 2023, the California legislature passed S.B. 362 (“Act”), a bill that would impose new requirements on data brokers and grant residents new rights designed to facilitate control over their personal data. S.B. 362 is now awaiting signature by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The Act aims to close a loophole in the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) that allows consumers to request that data brokers delete personal information obtained directly from the consumer, but does not require data brokers to delete personal information obtained from other sources. 

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On September 18, 2023, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted NetChoice’s request for preliminary injunction in NetChoice v. Bonta, finding that NetChoice is likely to succeed on its claim that the California Age-Appropriate Design Code (“CA AADC”) violates the First Amendment. Specifically, the Court found that, as a speech restriction, the CA AADC would likely fail both strict scrutiny and a lesser standard of scrutiny. The preliminary injunction blocks the CA AADC from going into effect until the case is ...

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On August 31, 2023, NetChoice, a national trade association of large online businesses, filed supplemental briefing in its challenge to the California Age-Appropriate Design Code (“CA AADC”). The success or failure of NetChoice’s lawsuit will determine whether companies need to be CA AADC-compliant on July 1, 2024 when the law is anticipated to take effect.

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On September 6, 2023, the European Commission designated six companies as gatekeepers under Article 3 of the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”). The new gatekeepers are Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft. Jointly, these companies provide 22 core platform services, including social networks, internet browsers, operating systems and mobile app stores.

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On August 9, 2023, India’s upper house (i.e., Rajya Sabha) passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (“DPDPB”), two days after India’s lower house (i.e., Lok Sabha) passed the legislation. The DPDPB now heads to India President Droupadi Murmu for signature.

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On June 19, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) recommended that organizations start using privacy enhancing technologies (“PETs”) to share personal information safely, securely and anonymously. The ICO also has issued new guidance on PETs which is aimed at those using large data sets in finance, healthcare, money laundering and cybercrime. The guidance contains information on how PETs can be used to help organizations with data protection compliance and technical detail on the different types of PETs currently available.

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On June 28, 2023, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) published an updated proposed Second Amendment (“Amendment”) to its Cybersecurity Regulation, 23 NYCRR Part 500. On November 9, 2022, NYDFS published a first draft of the proposed Amendment and received comments from stakeholders over a 60-day period. The updated proposed Amendment will be subject to an additional 45-day comment period.

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On June 6, 2023, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued their final Interagency Guidance on Third-Party Relationships (“Guidance”). The Guidance provides principles that banking organizations should consider when developing and implementing risk management practices for all stages in the life cycle of third-party relationships.

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On May 17, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted the final version of its Guidelines on facial recognition technologies in the area of law enforcement (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines address lawmakers at the EU and EU Member State level, and law enforcement authorities and their officers implementing and using facial recognition technology. 

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On May 4, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to promote responsible American innovation in artificial intelligence (“AI”). The Administration also met with the CEOs of Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft and OpenAI as part of the Administration’s broader, ongoing effort to engage with advocates, companies, researchers, civil right organizations, not-for-profit organizations, communities, international partners, and others on critical AI issues. These efforts build upon the steps the Administration has taken so far, including the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) and the  AI Risk Management Framework released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”). The Administration is also actively working to address national security concerns raised by AI, especially in critical areas like cybersecurity, biosecurity and safety. 

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On May 5, 2023, New York Attorney General Letitia James released proposed legislation that seeks to regulate all facets of the cryptocurrency industry. Entitled the “Crypto Regulation, Protection, Transparency, and Oversight (CRPTO) Act,” if enacted the bill would substantially expand New York’s oversight of crypto enterprises conducting business in the Empire State, including as to matters involving privacy and cybersecurity.

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On April 21, 2023, the Tennessee legislature voted to enact the Tennessee Information Privacy Act (H.B. 1181)(“TIPA”). TIPA includes a requirement for controllers and processors to create, maintain and comply with a written privacy program that reasonably conforms to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) privacy framework. Under TIPA, the scale and scope of a controller or processor’s privacy program is appropriate if it is based on specific factors enumerated in the law. These include (1) the size and complexity of the controller or processor’s business; (2) the nature and scope of the activities of the controller or processor; (3) the sensitivity of the personal information processed; (4) the cost and availability of tools to improve privacy protections and data governance; and (5) compliance with a comparable state or federal law.

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The Brazilian law firm BMA Advogados reports that the Brazilian National Data Protection Authority (“ANPD”) adopted a landmark and long-awaited regulation for the enforcement of the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (“LGPD”).

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On March 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released an update to its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs guidance (“ECCP Guidance”). The ECCP Guidance serves as a guidance document for prosecutors when evaluating a corporate compliance program. Among other updates, the ECCP Guidance now includes new guidance for assessing how companies govern employees’ use of personal devices, communication platforms and messaging applications.

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On March 16, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission announced it issued orders to eight social media and video streaming platforms seeking Special Reports on how the platforms review and monitor commercial advertising to detect, prevent and reduce deceptive advertisements, including those related to fraudulent healthcare products, financial scams and the sale of fake goods. The FTC sent the orders pursuant to its resolution directing the FTC to use all available compulsory process to inquire into this topic, and using the FTC’s Section 6(b) authority, which authorizes the FTC to conduct studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose.

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This is an excerpt from Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) President Bojana Bellamy’s recently published piece in the IAPP “Privacy Perspectives” blog, and are the views of the author.

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On March 7, 2023, the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) published its Annual Report for 2022 (the “Report”). The Report contains details on several areas of the DPC’s work, including complaints from data subjects received by the DPC, personal data breach notifications received by the DPC and statutory inquiries conducted by the DPC.

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On January 26, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released the Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework (“AI RMF 1.0”), which provides a set of guidelines for organizations that design, develop, deploy or use AI to manage its many risks and promote trustworthy and responsible use and development of AI systems.

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On January 10, 2023, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth  responded to a call for public comments from the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) regarding their Recommendations 1/2022 on the Application for Approval and on the elements and principles to be found in Controller Binding Corporate Rules (Art. 47 GDPR) (“Recommendations 1/2022”). The Recommendations 1/2022 are intended to bring existing Controller Binding Corporate Rules (“BCR-C”) in line with the GDPR and the Schrems II ruling.

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On January 10, 2023, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and Cisco’s Privacy Center of Excellence published a joint report on “Business Benefits of Investing in Data Privacy Management Programs” (the “Report”). The Report provides insights into how several leading global companies realize value from privacy management programs and demonstrates that organizations are experiencing a wide range of risk and compliance benefits as well as other tangible benefits from investing time, money, effort and other resources into building their privacy programs.

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On December 29, 2022, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) announced that it imposed an €8,000,000 fine on Apple for violations of the French rules on targeted advertising and the use of cookies and similar tracking technologies.

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On December 20, 2022, a former employee in Illinois brought a class action suit against Five Guys Enterprises, LLC (“Five Guys”), a burger chain, alleging that Five Guys violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). 

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On December 6, 2022, the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) announced that it will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss the status of the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) rulemaking process and other topics. Anticipated topics for discussion include:

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On November 15, 2022, the Italian Supreme Court held that an Italian court or competent data protection authority has jurisdiction to issue a global delisting order. A delisting order requires a search engine to remove certain search results about individuals if the data subject’s privacy interests prevail over the general right to expression and information, and the economic interest of the search engine. The case was brought by an Italian individual, who requested a worldwide delisting order, concerning all versions of the search engine, due to potential damage to the applicant's professional interests outside of the European Union.

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On November 9, 2022, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) released its second, proposed amendments to the Part 500 Cybersecurity Rule. The proposed amendments revise several aspects of the draft Cybersecurity Rule amendments released on July 29, 2022. These changes reflect several comments made in response to the draft Cybersecurity Rule to further clarify, strengthen and clarify various requirements, as highlighted below.

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Kochhar & Co. reports that, on November 18, 2022, the Government of India (“Government”) released the long-awaited fourth draft of India’s proposed privacy law, now renamed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill.

Terms and Application

The draft law uses terminology similar to past versions: the data controller is called the “data fiduciary,” the data subject is called the “data principal,” and personal information is referred to as “personal data.” There is no separate category of sensitive personal data.   

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On November 15, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission announced a six-month extension for companies to comply with certain updated requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s Safeguards Rule, a set of data security provisions covered  financial institutions must implement to protect their customers’ personal information. The new deadline is June 9, 2023.

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On October 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”) announced that Google had entered into an agreement to resolve a dispute over the loss of data responsive to a search warrant issued in 2016.

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SHIFT Counsellors at Law reports from Indonesia that The People’s Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia has ratified Indonesia’s draft law on personal data protection. The draft law came into effect on October 17, 2022. The law, which is partly modeled on the EU General Data Protection Regulation, is Indonesia’s first “umbrella regulation” on personal data protection. The law will provide certain protections to Indonesian citizens’ data, and provide more legal certainty to parties processing such data.

Read SHIFT Counsellors’ article on the ...

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On November 3, 2022, the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) released new modified proposed California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) regulations, which make updates to the draft CPRA regulations released on October 17, 2022. The CPPA also released an updated list of documents and other information relied upon for this most recent rulemaking.

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On October 20, 2022, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth published a white paper entitled Protecting Children’s Data Privacy, Policy Paper I, International Issues and Compliance Challenges. The paper identifies and explores the key issues and challenges that organizations and data protection authorities face in the context of globally divergent legal standards and policy approaches relating to children’s data.

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On October 12, 2022, a federal jury found BNSF Railway, operator of one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in the first ever BIPA case to go to trial. In Richard Rogers v. BNSF Railway Company (Case No. 19-C-3083, N.D. Ill.), truck drivers’ fingerprints were scanned for identity verification purposes when visiting BNSF rail yards to pick up and drop off loads. The jury found that BNSF recklessly or intentionally violated the law 45,600 times when it collected such fingerprint scans without written, informed permission or notice.

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On October 4, 2022, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth published a white paper outlining 10 key recommendations for regulating artificial intelligence (“AI”) in Brazil (the "White Paper"). CIPL prepared the White Paper to assist the special committee of legal experts established by Federal Senate of Brazil (the “Senate Committee”) as it works towards an AI framework in Brazil.

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On September 9, 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its publication of final Cybersecurity Best Practices for the Safety of Modern Vehicles (the “2022 Best Practices”). The 2022 Best Practices reflect the agency’s final, non-binding vehicle cybersecurity guidance following its release of draft guidance in January 2021. The 2022 Best Practices also is an update to NHTSA’s first cybersecurity best practices document, which was issued in 2016

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In July 2022, Maria Ostashenko from ALRUD Law Firm reports that the Russian Parliament passed, and the President of the Russian Federation signed into law, major reforms in data protection and information governance. The reforms include:

  • Significant changes to Federal Law No. 152-FZ on Personal Data, including the scope of its application, new rules for cross-border transfer of personal data, data breach notifications, and additional protections for data subjects;
  • New amendments to the Unified Biometric System regulations;
  • Establishment of a countersanction-information ...
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On May 16, 2022, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued combined guidance (“IT Workers Advisory”) on efforts by North Korean nationals to secure freelance engagements as remote information technology (“IT”) workers by posing as non-North Korea nationals. The IT Workers Advisory provides employers with detailed information on how North Korean IT workers operate; highlights red flag indicators for companies hiring freelance developers and for freelance and payment platforms to identify these workers; and provides general mitigation measures for companies to better protect against inadvertently engaging these workers or facilitating the operations of the North Korean government (“DPRK”) in violation of U.S. sanctions.

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On October 27, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission announced significant amendments to the agency’s Safeguards Rule (the “Final Rule”). Promulgated in 2002 pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Safeguards Rule obligates covered financial institutions to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive information security program that complies with the Rule’s requirements.

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On May 25, 2021, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that it had reached a settlement with Peachstate Health Management, LLC (“Peachstate”) for violations of the HIPAA Security Rule. As part of this settlement, Peachstate (dba AEON Clinical Laboratories) agreed to pay OCR $25,000 and to implement a robust corrective action plan.

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On May 20, 2021, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“Belgian DPA”), as the lead authority (in collaboration with two co-reviewing authorities), announced that it had approved the EU Data Protection Code of Conduct for Cloud Service Providers (the “EU Cloud CoC”). The EU Cloud CoC is the first transnational EU code of conduct since the entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

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On April 23, 2021, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted its response to the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) consultation on draft guidelines on virtual voice assistants (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines were adopted on March 12, 2021 for public consultation.

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On March 18, 2021, Lisa Sotto, Chair of Hunton’s global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, and Mike Swift, MLaw Chief Global Digital Risk Correspondent, led a webinar on Everything You Need to Know About the California Privacy Rights Act. The webinar, which was part of LexisNexis’ Emerging Issues Webinar Series, provides an immersive look at the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) and other recent privacy laws.

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On March 30, 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth will host a webinar examining Virginia’s new Consumer Data Protection Act.

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On March 22, 2021, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth published its paper on delivering a risk-based approach to regulating artificial intelligence (the “Paper”), with the intention of informing current EU discussions on the development of rules to regulate AI.

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On March 12, 2021, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published its Guidelines 01/2021 on Virtual Voice Assistants for consultation (the “Guidelines”). Virtual voice assistants (“VVAs”) understand and execute voice commands or coordinate with other IT systems. These tools are available on most smartphones and other devices and collect significant amounts of personal data, such as through user commands. In addition, VVAs require a terminal device equipped with a microphone and transfer data to remote service. These activities raise compliance issues under both the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the e-Privacy Directive.

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On March 1, 2021, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted a response to the new Brazilian data protection authority’s (Agência Nacional de Proteção de Dados, the “ANPD’s”) public consultation (in Portuguese) on the impact of the Brazilian data protection law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados, the “LGPD”) on small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”), which will inform the ANPD’s upcoming special rules for SMEs.

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On February 10, 2021, the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) published two opinions on the European Commission’s proposals for a Digital Services Act (“DSA”) and a Digital Markets Act (“DMA”). The proposed DSA and DMA are part of a set of measures announced in the 2020 European Strategy for Data and have two main goals: (1) creating a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected, and (2) establishing a level playing field to foster innovation, growth and competitiveness in the European Single Market and globally.

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On January 28, 2021, international Data Privacy Day, the newly formed Brazilian data protection authority (Agência Nacional de Proteção de Dados, the “ANPD”) published its regulatory strategy for 2021-2023 and work plan for 2021-2022 (in Portuguese).

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On January 19, 2021, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its analysis of the application of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (the “UK GDPR”) to transfers from UK-based firms or branches that are registered, required to be registered or otherwise regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

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On January 26, 2021, BBB National Programs announced that it has been endorsed as an Accountability Agent for the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) and Privacy Recognition for Processors (“PRP”) systems. This makes BBB National Programs the seventh CBPR and PRP Accountability Agent worldwide and the first ever U.S. non-profit to be approved by APEC.

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The increasing development and use of AI technology is raising several compliance questions, particularly in the context of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The European Commission has already begun working on future AI legislation. Join us on October 14, 2020, for a webinar on Artificial Intelligence: Key Considerations for GDPR Compliance Today and Tomorrow.

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On June 9, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced a proposed $225 million fine, the largest in the history of the FCC, against several individuals for telemarketing violations.

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On April 3, 2020, the Brazilian Senate approved Bill of Law (“PL 1179/2020”), which includes a number of emergency measures intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, one provision delays the effective date of the Brazilian Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais, “LGPD”) until January 2021. Fines and sanctions for companies that fail to comply with the LGPD are now scheduled to become effective August 2021.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) recently announced the publication of a report entitled “Cybersecurity and Resiliency Observations.” The report summarizes the observations gleaned from OCIE’s cybersecurity examinations of broker-dealers, investment advisers, clearing agencies, national securities exchanges and other SEC registrants.

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On January 16, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that settlements with five companies of separate allegations that they had falsely claimed certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework had been finalized.

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On January 6, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it granted final approval to a settlement with InfoTrax Systems, L.C. and its former CEO, Mark Rawlins, related to allegations that InfoTrax failed to implement reasonable, low-cost and readily available security safeguards to protect the personal information the company maintained on behalf of its business clients.

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On December 6, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced its Final Order and Opinion in the matter of Cambridge Analytica, LLC, finding that Cambridge Analytica violated the FTC Act’s Section 5 prohibition against “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” when harvesting personal information through its “GSRApp” Facebook application.

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On December 3, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had reached settlements in four separate Privacy Shield cases. Specifically, the FTC alleged that Click Labs, Inc., Incentive Services, Inc., Global Data Vault, LLC, and TDARX, Inc. each falsely claimed to participate in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. The FTC also alleged that Click Labs and Incentive Services falsely claimed to participate in the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and that Global Data and TDARX continued to claim participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield after their Privacy Shield certifications lapsed. The complaints further alleged that Global Data and TDARX failed to comply with the Privacy Shield framework, including by failing to (1) verify annually that statements about their Privacy Shield practices were accurate, and (2) affirm that they would continue to apply Privacy Shield protections to personal information collected while participating in the program.

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On November 19, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Medable, Inc. (“Medable”) agreed to settle allegations that the company had misrepresented its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield program. The FTC alleged that, from December 2017 to October 2018, Medable falsely claimed in its online privacy policy that it was a certified participant in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and adhered to the framework’s principles. According to the complaint, although Medable did initiate an application with the Department of Commerce in December 2017, the company never completed the steps necessary to participate in the framework.

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On June 14, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has taken action against a number of companies that allegedly misrepresented their compliance with the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks (collectively, the “Privacy Shield”) and other international privacy agreements.

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On June 6, 2019, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) announced that it levied a fine of €400,000 on SERGIC, a French real estate service provider, for failure to (1) implement appropriate security measures and (2) define data retention periods for the personal data of unsuccessful rental candidates.

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On May 28, 2019, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released draft Data Security Administrative Measures (the “Measures”) for public comment. The Measures, which, when finalized, will be legally binding, supplement the Cybersecurity Law of China (the “Cybersecurity Law”) that took force on June 1, 2017, with detailed and practical requirements for network operators who collect, store, transmit, process and use data within Chinese territory. The Measures likely will significantly impact network operators’ compliance programs in China.

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On May 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that it had entered into a resolution agreement and $3 million settlement with Touchstone Medical Imaging (“Touchstone”). The settlement is the first OCR HIPAA enforcement action in 2019, following an all-time record year of HIPAA enforcement in 2018.

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On May 6, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Meet24, FastMeet and Meet4U—three dating apps owned by Ukrainian-based company Wildec LLC—were removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store following an FTC letter alleging that the apps potentially violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”). According to the letter and contrary to what was claimed in their privacy policies, the apps, which collect dates of birth, email addresses, photographs and real-time location date, failed to block users who indicated they were under the age of 13.

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On April 11, 2019, the People’s Republic of China’s Network Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, the Beijing Network Industry Association and the Third Research Institution of the Ministry of Public Security jointly released a “Guide to Protection of Security of Internet Personal Information (the “Guide”). The Guide presents itself as a reference, rather than a legally-enforceable regulation, but how it will interact with cybersecurity-related law, regulations and standards in practice remains to be seen.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced the publication of “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients” (the “Cybersecurity Practices”). The Cybersecurity Practices were developed by the Healthcare & Public Health Sector Coordinating Councils Public Private Partnership, a group comprised of over 150 cybersecurity and healthcare experts from government and private industry.

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On December 20, 2018, the Department of Commerce updated its frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) on the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks (collectively, the “Privacy Shield”) to clarify the effect of the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU on March 29, 2019. The FAQs provide information on the steps Privacy Shield participants must take to receive personal data from the UK in reliance on the Privacy Shield after Brexit.

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On November 9, 2018, Serbia’s National Assembly enacted a new data protection law. The Personal Data Protection Law, which becomes effective on August 21, 2019, is modeled after the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

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On November 6, 2018, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) published its own guidelines on data protection impact assessments (the “Guidelines”) and a list of processing operations that require a data protection impact assessment (“DPIA”). Read the guidelines.

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On October 17, 2018, the French data protection authority (the “CNIL”) published a press release detailing the rules applicable to devices that compile aggregated and anonymous statistics from personal data—for example, mobile phone identifiers (i.e., media access control or “MAC” address) —for purposes such as measuring advertising audience in a given space and analyzing flow in shopping malls and other public areas. Read the press release (in French).

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On October 29, 2018, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “OPC”) released final guidance (“Final Guidance”) regarding how businesses may satisfy the reporting and record-keeping obligations under Canada’s new data breach reporting law. The law, effective November 1, 2018, requires organizations subject to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) to (1) report to the OPC breaches of security safeguards involving personal information “that pose a real risk of significant harm” to individuals; (2) notify affected individuals of the breach; and (3) keep records of every breach of security safeguards, regardless of whether or not there is a real risk of significant harm.

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Recently, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) published a statistical review of personal data breaches during the first four months of the EU General Data Protection Regulation’s (“GDPR”) entry into application. View the review (in French). 

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At its October monthly meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) adopted new reliability standards addressing cybersecurity risks associated with the global supply chain for Bulk Electric System (“BES”) Cyber Systems. The new standards expand the scope of the mandatory and enforceable cybersecurity standards applicable to the electric utility sector. They will require electric utilities and transmission grid operators to develop and implement plans that include security controls for supply chain management for industrial control systems, hardware, software and services. 

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On October 23, 2018, the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (the “Conference”) released a Declaration on Ethics and Protection in Artificial Intelligence (“the Declaration”). In it, the Conference endorsed several guiding principles as “core values” to protect human rights as the development of artificial intelligence (“AI”) continues apace. Key principles include:

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On October 19, 2018, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued a joint statement regarding the second annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, taking place in Brussels beginning October 18. The statement highlights the following:
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Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) entered into a resolution agreement and record settlement of $16 million with Anthem, Inc. (“Anthem”) following Anthem’s 2015 data breach. That breach, affecting approximately 79 million individuals, was the largest breach of protected health information (“PHI”) in history.

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On October 11, 2018, the French data protection authority (the “CNIL”) announced that it adopted two referentials (i.e., guidelines) on the certification of the data protection officer (“DPO”). View the announcement (in French). As a practical matter, both referentials are intended to apply to DPOs located in France or who speak French. The referentials include:

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On October 5, 2018, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP hosted a workshop on how to implement, demonstrate and incentivize accountability under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), in collaboration with AXA in Paris, France. In addition to the workshop, on October 4, 2018, CIPL hosted a Roundtable on the Role of the Data Protection Office (“DPO”) under the GDPR at Mastercard and a pre-workshop dinner at the Chanel School of Fashion, sponsored by Nymity.

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On September 26, 2018, the SEC announced a settlement with Voya Financial Advisers, Inc. (“Voya”), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer, for violating Regulation S-ID, also known as the “Identity Theft Red Flags Rule,” as well as Regulation S-P, the “Safeguards Rule.” Together, Regulations S-ID and S-P are designed to require covered entities to help protect customers from the risk of identity theft and to safeguard confidential customer information. The settlement represents the first SEC enforcement action brought under Regulation S-ID.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology recently announced that it is seeking public comment on Draft NISTIR 8228, Considerations for Managing Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks (the “Draft Report”). The document is to be the first in a planned series of publications that will examine specific aspects of the IoT topic.

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Recently, the French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”) published its initial assessment of the compatibility of blockchain technology with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and proposed concrete solutions for organizations wishing to use blockchain technology when implementing data processing activities.

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On September 27, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement agreement with four companies - IDmission, LLC, (“IDmission”) mResource LLC (doing business as Loop Works, LLC) (“mResource”), SmartStart Employment Screening, Inc. (“SmartStart”), and VenPath, Inc. (“VenPath”) - over allegations that each company had falsely claimed to have valid certifications under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. The FTC alleged that SmartStart, VenPath and mResource continued to post statements on their websites about their participation in the Privacy Shield after allowing their certifications to lapse. IDmission had applied for a Privacy Shield certification but never completed the necessary steps to be certified.

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On September 25, 2018, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) published the first results of its factual assessment of the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in France and in Europe. When making this assessment, the CNIL first recalled the current status of the French legal framework, and provided key figures on the implementation of the GDPR from the perspective of privacy experts, private individuals and EU supervisory authorities. The CNIL then announced that it will adopt new GDPR tools in the near future. Read the full factual assessment (in French).

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As reported in BNA Privacy Law Watch, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “OPC”) is seeking public comment on recently released guidance (the “Guidance”) intended to assist organizations with understanding their obligations under the federal breach notification mandate, which will take effect in Canada on November 1, 2018. 

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On September 4, 2018, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) announced a collaborative project to develop a voluntary privacy framework to help organizations manage privacy risk. The announcement states that the effort is motivated by innovative new technologies, such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, as well as the increasing complexity of network environments and detail of user data, which make protecting individuals’ privacy more difficult. “We’ve had great success with broad adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and we see this as providing complementary guidance for managing privacy risk,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan.

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On August 31, 2018, the California State Legislature passed SB-1121, a bill that delays enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) and makes other modest amendments to the law. The bill now goes to the Governor for signing. The provisions of the CCPA will become operative on January 1, 2020. As we have previously reported, the CCPA introduces key privacy requirements for businesses. The Act was passed quickly by California lawmakers in an effort to remove a ballot initiative of the same name from the November 6, 2018, statewide ballot. The CCPA’s hasty passage resulted in a number of drafting errors and inconsistencies in the law, which SB-1121 seeks to remedy. The amendments to the CCPA are primarily technical, with few substantive changes.

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Recently, the Department of Commerce updated its frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) on the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks (collectively, the “Privacy Shield”) to provide additional clarification on a wide range of topics, including transfers of personal information to third parties, the application of the Privacy Shield Principles to data processors, and the relation of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (“CLOUD Act”) to the Privacy Shield. Certain key insights from the updated FAQs are outlined below:

  • Data processors. When ...
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On August 15, 2018, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh signed an order granting final approval of the record $115 million class action settlement agreed to by Anthem Inc. in June 2017. As previously reported, Judge Koh signed an order granting preliminary approval of the settlement in August 2017.

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As reported in BNA Privacy Law Watch, a California legislative proposal would allocate additional resources to the California Attorney General’s office to facilitate the development of regulations required under the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”). CCPA was enacted in June 2018 and takes effect January 1, 2020. CCPA requires the California Attorney General to issue certain regulations prior to the effective date, including, among others, (1) to update the categories of data that constitute “personal information” under CCPA ...

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