Georgia Court of Appeals Reaffirms Lack of Duty to Safeguard Personal Information

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The Georgia Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed its prior conclusion that there is no duty to safeguard personal information under Georgia law.  In McConnell v. Ga. Dep’t of Labor, --- S.E.2d ----, 2018 WL 2173252 (Ga. App. May 11, 2018), the Court of Appeals addressed whether a plaintiff whose social security number and other personal identifying information (“PII”) had allegedly been negligently disclosed by an employee of the Georgia Department of Labor stated a negligence claim in connection with the unauthorized disclosure. In urging that the Court of Appeals should recognize such [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Data Protection Advisory on Accurate Retrieval of Personal Data under the GDPR

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Today Alston & Bird’s Jan Dhont, Peter Swire, and DeBrae Kennedy-Mayo, with support from Senzing, Inc., are publishing a White Paper titled The Importance of Accurate Retrieval of Data Subjects’ Personal Data in Complying with GDPR Individual Rights Requirements. The General Data Protection Regulation, which enters into effect on May 25, 2018, goes considerably beyond existing law in setting forth individual rights that allow data subjects to control how their personal data is used. This Paper addresses an important issue for implementing individual rights – how can those companies [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Named to ATL Top Law Firm Privacy Practice Index

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Alston & Bird’s Privacy & Data Security Team has been named to the first-annual Above The Law (ATL) Top Law Firm Privacy Practice Index. Firms named to the Index were rated by nearly 300 in-house counsel on the “strength and quality” of their data privacy and/or cybersecurity practices. ATL also assessed firms on thought leadership in the area of privacy through their publication of white papers, blogging, media contributions, and speaking engagements. To read more about the Index, click here. [...] Read more

Belgian Privacy Commission Issues DPIA “Black” and “White List” Recommendation

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On February 28, 2018, the Belgian Privacy Commission issued a recommendation on the position it takes with regard to data protection impact assessments (or “DPIAs”) as foreseen in the GDPR. A DPIA under the GDPR is similar in scope and impact to its predecessor, the PIA (or “privacy impact assessment”) and requires businesses to assess processing operations that are likely to present a high risk to individuals’ rights. Such “high risk” is, for instance, likely to present itself in processing operations involving sensitive data, systematic monitoring, or vulnerable individuals such [...] Read more

SEC Announces Its First Enforcement Action Over Cyber-related Disclosures

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The Securities and Exchange Commission’s $35 million settlement with Altaba Inc., the successor in interest to Yahoo! Inc., is the first civil penalty of its kind for a data breach and underscores the agency’s increasing focus on public companies’ cybersecurity disclosure obligations. A cross-practice team from our Securities Litigation and Cybersecurity Preparedness & Response groups examined the SEC action in an advisory published on April 27, 2018. To read the full advisory, please click here. [...] Read more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Schnuck Markets Data Breach Lawsuit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action brought by financial institutions against Schnuck Markets, Inc., following a data breach impacting Schnuck beginning late 2012. The plaintiffs attempted to assert claims of negligence, negligence per se, various contract claims, and violation of Illinois consumer protection laws, alleging damages in the form of employee time to investigate and resolve fraud claims, payments to indemnify customers for fraudulent charges, and lost interest and transaction fees based on changes in [...] Read more

Canada Publishes Final Regulations on Mandatory Reporting of Privacy Breaches

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On April 18, 2018, the Canadian government published final regulations which include mandatory privacy breach notification, reporting and record-keeping obligations under Canada's federal data protection law called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  These new obligations will come into force on November 1, 2018. PIPEDA applies to private-sector organizations and sets out the ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information in the course of commercial activity, explains the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (Commissioner).  [...] Read more

DHS and FBI Issue a Joint Technical Alert with UK Warning Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

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On April 16, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre issued a joint Technical Alert (TA), alerting the worldwide cyber exploitation of network infrastructure devices by Russian state-sponsored cyber actors.  The TA explains primary targets to be government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors.  The affected systems include: Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Enabled Devices; Cisco Smart [...] Read more

Irish High Court Refers Schrems 2.0 to the ECJ

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On April 11, Justice Caroline Costello of the Irish High Court referred the Schrems 2.0 case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) with 11 questions for the ECJ to answer. Per Justice Costello, the sole issue in the case is whether the European Commission’s Decisions regarding standard contractual clauses (SCCs) are valid, which is reflected in the 11 questions posed. The reference asks the ECJ to determine: Whether provisions of EU law related to national security, public security, defense, and state security apply to transfers of data outside the EU under SCCs; Whether [...] Read more

Privacy Commissioner of Hong Kong Issues a GDPR Guidance Document

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On April 3, the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) announced the publication of the “European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016” guidance document.  The PCPD explains that the publication was issued to raise awareness among organizations and businesses in Hong Kong of the possible impact of the new regulatory framework for data protection in the GDPR.  The guidance document covers various provisions of the GDPR, including extra-territorial application of the GDPR and new data privacy governance requirements.  It also contains a chart [...] Read more