US State Law

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

Lenovo Wins Second Motion to Dismiss in Adware Class Action

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By Jay Repko A California district court recently dismissed—for the second time—consumer claims that technology giant Lenovo Inc. violated New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Statute by selling laptops with preinstalled VisualDiscovery software that allegedly invades users’ privacy and exposes users to security breaches.  In reaching this decision, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. concluded that dismissal was warranted for two reasons: (i) the plaintiffs lacked standing and (ii) the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege actual damages. By its very terms, New York’s Deceptive [...] 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

Irish High Court refers Facebook’s data case to the European Court of Justice

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In what it considered “an unusual case” (available here), the Irish High Court has referred the issue of the way data is transferred between the EU and countries outside the EU to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). Ms. Justice Caroline Costello will ask the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) as an adequate data transfer mechanism. Justice Costello did not comment on the laws of the EU or the US, but rather on the validity of SCCs as a data transfer measure between the EU and the US. The case arose from a complaint [...] Read more

New York Attorney General Announces Record Number of Data Breach Notices in 2016

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On March 21, 2017, New York Attorney General (NYAG) Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office had received a record breaking 1,282 data breach notices to his office affecting 1.6 million New York residents during 2016. Compared to 2015, these figures represent a 60 percent increase in the number of notices and a 300 percent increase in the number of New York residents affected. These research figures build on the NYAG’s 2014 report “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Security in New York State,” which analyzed eight years of security breach statistics in New York from [...] 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

Illinois Makes Extensive Changes to Data Breach Notification Law

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  On May 6, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB1260, which significantly updates the state’s Personal Information Protection Act. The changes take effect on January 1, 2017. When the new law becomes effective, Illinois’ data breach notification statute will include one of the broader definitions of the information which, if breached, will trigger notification to individuals. Starting in 2017, the definition of personal information in the Act will include an individual’s full name, or first initial and last name in combination with their health insurance policy number [...] Read more

Nebraska Makes Changes to Data Breach Statute

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Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed LB835 into law, updating the state’s data breach notification statute. The changes take effect on July 20, 2016. With the updates, Nebraska joins a growing number of states that include a username or email in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account in the definition of personal information which, if acquired by an unauthorized person, would require notice. In addition, the statute has been modified to require notice to the state’s Attorney General concurrent with notice provided [...] Read more

Tennessee Updates Data Breach Statute

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On March 24, 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 2005 into law. The bill makes three principal updates to Tennessee’s data breach statute. First, the statute will now require organizations that have experienced a data breach to notify individuals within 45 days from the discovery or notification of the breach, unless a longer period of time is required due to the legitimate needs of law enforcement. Service providers must report a breach to the organization for which they are processing the data within 45 days of discovery. The second update to the statute adds employees of the [...] Read more