Security Breach

Colorado Enacts Expanded Data Breach Notification Law

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Consistent with recent expansions to state data breach notification laws, Colorado recently enacted an expanded data privacy law that strengthens the state’s existing breach notification law and that requires policies and procedures concerning the protection and destruction of personal identifying information (“PII”).  The law applies to any individual or commercial entity that maintains, owns, or licenses “personal information” or PII, as applicable, in the course of its business, vocation, or occupation, and also contains largely identical provisions that apply to state and local governments.  [...] Read more

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

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

SEC Adopts Statement and Interpretive Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release announcing its unanimous approval of a statement by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and interpretive guidance (the “2018 Guidance”) to assist public companies in preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents. This is the first interpretive guidance published by the full Commission on the topic of cybersecurity for public companies, and it may foreshadow increased SEC action to protect investors from the potential negative effects of increasingly common large-scale data breaches. The 2018 Guidance formalizes and expands [...] Read more

Virginia Amends Data Breach Notification Law

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Virginia amended the state’s data breach notification law, effective July 1, 2017, to expand notification requirements for employers and payroll service providers to data breaches that involve “unauthorized access and acquisition of unencrypted and unredacted computerized data containing a [Virginia] taxpayer’s identification number in combination with the income tax withheld for that taxpayer. . . .”[1] The expanded notification obligation is subject to the same likelihood of harm threshold that applies in the original law. Notification is required only when the employer or payroll [...] Read more

Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Scottrade Data Breach Suit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a putative class action brought by customers of the brokerage firm Scottrade in the wake of an alleged data breach impacting Scottrade in 2013.  The named plaintiffs had asserted several contract-based claims against Scottrade, alleging that Scottrade had violated its contractual obligations to take adequate steps to safeguard the personal identifying information (“PII”) of its customers. The Eighth Circuit first considered whether the plaintiffs had adequately alleged standing.  [...] 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

Australia Adopts New Data Breach Notification Legislation

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On February 13, 2017 Australia became one more among nation states adopting data breach notification legislation. In recent House and Senate votes, the Australian Parliament amended the Privacy Act 1988, introducing mandatory data breach notification requirements for entities regulated by the Privacy Act. Who is Subject to the New Legislation? The recent bill requires entities with revenue over $3 million AUD ($2.3 million USD) and certain credit reporting bodies and recipients of tax file number information to notify both the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals “as [...] Read more

Center for Cyber & Homeland Security Issues Report on How the Private Sector Can Actively Defend Against Cyber Threats

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Earlier this year, the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at the George Washington University (“Center”) announced a new project on active defense against cyber threats. The Center  established a high-level task force to examine these issues.  The task force included prominent cybersecurity and industry experts, including Alston & Bird partner Michael Zweiback. The Task Force successfully released its final report in October. It is available here. The report comes at a time when cyber vulnerabilities have been exploited by hostile state and non-state actors in cyberspace [...] Read more

California Updates Data Breach Notification Statute for 2017

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California, which has historically been one of the states at the vanguard of data breach notification issues, has made an update to its statute that takes effect on January 1, 2017. The update will require companies to notify affected individuals of a data breach of encrypted information, if “the encryption key or security credential was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person and the person or business that owns or licenses the encrypted information has a reasonable belief that the encryption key or security credential could render that personal information [...] Read more