Health Privacy

Privacy & Data Security Team Launches Unique GDPR Tracker Website

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“To Harmonize or Not To Harmonize: That Is the Question.” With the the GDPR fast approaching on May 25, 2018, European Member States are getting ready with the implementation of national legislation. Although the GDPR is a regulation, and directly applicable in all Member States, it has left room for country-specific legislation in several different regards (such as the processing of employee data or individual rights restrictions). Most Member States still only have draft legislation at this point, but the expectation (or at least intention) is that each country will have adopted legislation [...] Read more

An English-Language Primer on Germany’s GDPR Implementation Statute: Part 4 of 5

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Over the past year, the German government has been working on legislation to implement the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  On July 6, 2017, Germany did so by passing a statute titled the Data Protection Amendments and Implementation Act. The Act repeals Germany’s venerated Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, or BDSG) and replaces it with an entirely new BDSG, aptly referred to as the “BDSG-New.” Germany becomes the first EU Member State to pass a GDPR implementation statute. Given Germany’s reputation as one of, if not the, most serious privacy jurisdiction [...] Read more

An English-Language Primer on Germany’s GDPR Implementation Statute: Part 2 of 5

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Over the past year, the German government has been working on legislation to implement the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  On July 6, 2017, Germany did so by passing a statute titled the Data Protection Amendments and Implementation Act. The Act repeals Germany’s venerated Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, or BDSG) and replaces it with an entirely new BDSG, aptly referred to as the “BDSG-New.” Germany becomes the first EU Member State to pass a GDPR implementation statute. Given Germany’s reputation as one of, if not the, most serious privacy jurisdiction [...] Read more

An English-Language Primer on Germany’s GDPR Implementation Statute: Part 1 of 5

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Over the past year, the German government has been working on legislation to implement the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  On July 6, 2017, Germany did so by passing a statute titled the Data Protection Amendments and Implementation Act. The Act repeals Germany’s venerated Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, or BDSG) and replaces it with an entirely new BDSG, aptly referred to as the “BDSG-New.” Germany becomes the first EU Member State to pass a GDPR implementation statute. Given Germany’s reputation as one of, if not the, most serious privacy jurisdiction [...] Read more

Anthem Settles Data Breach Litigation for Record-Setting $115M

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Health insurance giant Anthem, Inc. agreed to the largest data breach settlement to-date last week, ending multi-district consumer litigation over a 2015 data breach for $115 million.  The data breach, which resulted from a hacker-orchestrated cyberattack following the theft of an employee password, exposed personally identifiable information (“PII”) and protected health information (“PHI”) of nearly 80 million people.  The stolen information included the names of current and former clients, dates of birth, addresses, social security numbers, and other medical information. The settlement [...] Read more

Advocate Health Care Network Agrees to Pay $5.55 Million to Settle Potential HIPAA Penalties

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On August 4, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”), Illinois’ largest fully-integrated health care system, has agreed to pay a record-breaking $5.55 million to settle claims of multiple Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) violations involving electronic protected health information (“ePHI”).  The substantial settlement stems from the extent and duration of the alleged noncompliance and the large number of individuals whose information was compromised, among other factors. The OCR initiated [...] Read more

HHS/OCR Announces Launch of HIPAA Audit Program Phase 2

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Today, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’s (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Compliance Audit Program. (OCR’s announcement can be accessed at Audit Phase 2 Announcement and further information about Phase 2 can be accessed at Audit Phase 2 Information.) In this phase, OCR will review the policies and procedures that covered entities and business associates have adopted and implemented to meet certain standards and implementation specifications of the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and/or Breach Notification Rules. Phase 2 will consist [...] Read more

HHS Issues HIPAA Security Rule Crosswalk with NIST Cybersecurity Framework

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Last week, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a crosswalk between the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The crosswalk – which was developed in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT – maps each administrative, physical and technical safeguard standard and implementation specification of the HIPAA Security Rule to the relevant subcategory in the Cybersecurity Framework. HHS notes that, because of the granularity of the NIST Cybersecurity [...] Read more

FTC PrivacyCon Event Examines Cutting-Edge Research and Current Policies Regarding Privacy and Data Security

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The Federal Trade Commission held its PrivacyCon event, featuring nineteen presentations showcasing original research regarding important consumer privacy and security issues by leading academics from universities and think tanks from around the world. A full video recording of the webcast is available here. The conference took place in Washington on Jan. 14, 2016, and included discussion about the policy implications of the research being conducted with thought leaders from academia, research, consumer advocacy, and industry. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill succinctly outlined the top concerns [...] Read more

Jan Dhont Authors Corporate Counsel Article on Safe Harbor Decision

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Jan Dhont, Brussels partner and head of the firm’s European Privacy and Data Protection practice authored the Corporate Counsel article, “The Sinking of the Safe Harbor: Just Another Symbolic Decision?”  In the article, Dhont discusses the concerns and uncertainty stemming from the October 6 European Court of Justice strike-down of Safe Harbor, and where companies may go from here.  This ruling is a matter of global concern and may actually result in less privacy for individuals, not more. Dhont notes that while there are mid- to long-term solutions to take the place of Safe Harbor, [...] Read more