GDPR Fragmentation May Appear More Significant than Intended

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With the entry into application of the GDPR on May 25, 2018, the EU Member States were expected to have adopted national legislation implementing the regulation. To date, however, only 30% of Member States have effectively passed legislation, which still leaves the legal landscape to be precarious. The GDPR allows for deviations and specifications in several areas, for instance to introduce specific conditions or limitations for the processing of biometric, genetic, or health data; to create specific protection regimes for employee data; or to restrict the rights the GDPR grants to individuals. [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Data Protection Paper 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

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

Data Protection Litigation to Become a New Reality in Belgium

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On November 16, 2017 the Belgian Senate adopted an “Act on the Establishment of the Data Protection Authority” (the “Act”). Following Austria, Germany, and the UK, Belgium is the fourth EU Member State to pass a domestic statute implementing the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”) prior to its effective date of 25 May 2018. The new Belgian Act sets forth the structure and legal organization of the Data Protection Authority (“DPA”), which will serve as the successor of the current Belgian Privacy Commission. More importantly, the Act significantly broadens the DPA’s [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Advisory on Six Myths of Breach Response

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Alston & Bird recently issued an Advisory entitled “Six Myths of Breach Response,” authored by Jim Harvey. As data breaches are on the rise, so are the challenges that businesses face in handling these security incidents. This Advisory identifies six strategic pitfalls to avoid when responding to breaches. The Advisory addresses the true significance of public notification, common mistakes in preserving attorney-client privilege, and tough choices regarding the selection of public relation, investigative, and legal counsel. Jim Harvey co-chairs Alston & Bird’s Cybersecurity Preparedness [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Cyber Alert on the EU Network Information Security Directive

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This morning, Alston & Bird partner Jim Harvey issued an Advisory on the EU’s forthcoming Network Information Security Directive (“NIS Directive”).  National laws passed to implement the NIS Directive will impose substantial new compliance responsibilities on providers of “essential services,” as well as on a broad range of “digital service providers”—potentially even if a digital service provider's only EU presence is a website.  Companies subject to the NIS Directive will be obligated to implement internal cybersecurity measures.  Moreover, the NIS Directive establishes [...] 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

The Importance of Strategic Vendors in Breach Response

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Alston & Bird recently issued an Advisory, co-authored by Jim Harvey and Karen Sanzaro, on the complexities of managing a data breach that implicates strategic third party vendor relationships. Cybercrime and data security incidents are on the rise.  Security breaches and the ensuing investigation and remediation process can be costly and complex.  The process is further complicated if the breach implicates a company’s third party service provider, or the services provided by such third party, particularly where the services or the service provider are strategic or essential to a company’s [...] Read more

Information Sharing Law Finally Passed

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After years of vigorous debate and numerous bills aimed at incentivizing cyber threat intelligence sharing having failed to become law, on December 18, 2015, President Obama signed an omnibus spending bill containing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”). The statute is located in Title I of Division N of the bill, beginning on page 1728. Passage of CISA is a major victory for cybersecurity proponents in Congress and the private sector, many of whom have called for information sharing legislation for years. Although the Act raises some significant privacy concerns, the [...] Read more

The EU General Data Protection Regulation – Europe Adopts Single Set of Privacy Rules

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On December 15, 2015, following four years of close, sometimes contentious, review, the EU institutions agreed upon the text of the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).  One of the most important EU legislative initiatives in recent years, the GDPR is also a landmark in privacy regulation worldwide. As from the time the GDPR takes effect – most likely in early 2018 – data protection regulation for most of Europe will largely proceed from a single set of rules. The GDPR will replace the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) (the “Directive”), adopted in 1995, which was [...] Read more