Time for a General Federal Privacy Law? Peter Swire Opens the Discussion on Potential Preemptive Effects

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The IAPP article, “US federal privacy preemption part 1: History of federal preemption of stricter state laws,” written by Alston & Bird Senior Counsel Peter Swire and published on January 9, 2019, discusses the potential for a general U.S. privacy law and whether and to what extent this new federal law would “preempt” state privacy protections. This article, the first of two parts, primarily focuses on the history of federal privacy legislation. Swire looks at the arguments for and against a general federal privacy law in light of the historical trends of federal privacy legislation […] Read more

HHS Releases New “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices”

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On December 28, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new voluntary cybersecurity guidance for the health care industry titled, “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients.”  This four-volume set of consensus-based principles and practices (the “HICP”) reflects the recommendations of the 405(d) Task Group, a HHS and industry-led collaborative task group named for Section 405(d) of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, a provision that calls for a more coordinated approach to cybersecurity in the health care industry. The HICP […] Read more

Michigan Enacts Insurance Data Security Model Law

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Michigan enacted the Michigan Data Security Act on December 28, 2018, imposing stringent cybersecurity measures on any person (individual or corporate) licensed by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Based on the 2017 NAIC data security model law and nearly identical to the South Carolina Insurance Data Security Act, the Michigan statute will require insurance licensees to adopt a number of measures including a comprehensive written information security program (“WISP”), the submission of an annual certification of compliance to the Department of Insurance and Financial […] Read more

South Carolina Insurance Data Security Law Now Effective

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South Carolina’s prescriptive data security law for insurers took effect on January 1, 2019. Subject to specified exemptions, the law requires any person licensed pursuant to South Carolina insurance laws to take certain steps, including among other things notification of specified cybersecurity events to the South Carolina Department of Insurance. Covered persons are also required to implement a written information security program (by July 1, 2019) and to comply with provisions on third-party service providers (by July 1, 2020). Please see our previous coverage of the law for additional [...] Read more

Department of Commerce Issues FAQs on UK’s Exit from the EU

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The Department of Commerce recently issued a number of FAQs on the effect of the UK’s impending exit from the EU on the Privacy Shield. As these FAQs make clear, there remains significant uncertainty as to how the UK’s exit will play out from a transitional perspective, and Privacy Shield participants will need to plan for at least two different scenarios. In the first scenario, the UK and the EU manage to finalize an agreement on a transitional period – from the planned date of the UK’s exit, March 30, 2019, to December 31, 2020 – during which EU law (and EU data protection law) will [...] Read more

DOJ Announces Indictment of Chinese Hackers

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On December 20, 2018, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced the indictment of two Chinese hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, who have been charged in a years-long global hacking campaign that resulted in the theft of sensitive information from companies and government agencies around the world. The two hackers, members of the hacking group known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (APT10) (also known as MenuPass Group or Stone Panda), which is associated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, were charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, conspiracy to commit wire […] Read more

Rich Willis and Laura K. Song share insights on the challenges data localization poses for the payments industry via Bloomberg BNA

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Rich Willis, partner in the Financial Services & Products Group, and Laura K. Song, associate in the Privacy & Data Security Team, co-authored the Bloomberg BNA article “Data Localization Poses Challenges for Payments Industry and Innovation.” In the article, Willis and Song discuss the different jurisdictional approaches to data localization and the impacts faced by those in the payments industry. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), data privacy has been the focus of recent attention but the article addresses why [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Hosts John Frank of Microsoft to Kick Off IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2018

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Alston & Bird’s annual event to kick off the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2018 featured a fireside chat with John Frank, Vice-President, EU Government Affairs at Microsoft. Moderated by Peter Swire, Senior Counsel at Alston & Bird, the discussion provided practical insights into areas that are expected to shape privacy and data protection around the world. Mr. Frank also discussed Microsoft’s approach to global compliance amidst a wide array of privacy and data protection laws and regulations. John Frank John Frank leads Microsoft’s government affairs teams in Brussels […] Read more

FTC Publishes Report Regarding Privacy Workshop

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In October 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published a report that summarized discussions at a December 2017 workshop discussing the potential impact to consumers of privacy and security incidents. The purpose of the workshop was to explore whether government intervention in this arena is warranted under the enforcement authority granted to the FTC under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. The report reveals that the workshop participants identified several types of potential impacts that they believe consumers may face in the wake of a data security incident that could warrant [...] Read more

Are You Ready for Canada’s New Privacy Breach Rules?

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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) will come into force as of November 1, 2018. Earlier this year, the Canadian government published new privacy-related obligations under PIPEDA.  PIPEDA applies to private-sector organizations and sets the ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information in the course of commercial activity.  The new obligations present challenges to organizations, requiring an additional [...] Read more