Privacy and Cybersecurity Law Deskbook Second Edition Released

On December 6, 2016, Hunton & Williams announced the release of the second edition treatise Privacy and Cybersecurity Law Deskbook (Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.) by lead author Lisa J. Sotto, head of the firm’s Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. The Deskbook has become an essential tool for those involved in managing privacy and cybersecurity law issues. “The treatise provides a roadmap to comply with global data protection laws, navigate and comply with state breach notification requirements, and stay informed on emerging legal trends,” said Sotto. Members of the global practice group also contributed to the Deskbook.  Continue Reading

CIPL Issues White Paper on the GDPR’s One-Stop-Shop

On November 30, 2016, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton & Williams LLP issued a white paper on The One-Stop-Shop and the Lead DPA as Co-operation Mechanisms in the GDPR (the “White Paper”). The White Paper sets forth guidance and recommendations concerning the interpretation and implementation of the GDPR’s provisions relating to the One-Stop-Shop (“OSS”) and lead DPA, which will become effective on May 25, 2018. Continue Reading

Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity Issues Recommendations

On December 1, 2016, the nonpartisan Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity (the “Commission”), established in February 2016 by President Obama as part of a $19 billion Cybersecurity National Action Plan, issued its Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy (the “Report”), which includes recommended actions that the government and private sector can take over the next 10 years to improve cybersecurity. Continue Reading

FTC Releases Summary of Workshop on Privacy Disclosures

On November 30, 2016, the FTC released a staff summary (the “Summary”) of a public workshop called Putting Disclosures to the Test. The workshop, which was held on September 15, 2016, examined ways of testing and evaluating company disclosures regarding advertising claims and privacy practices. The Summary reviews the workshop and its key takeaways. Continue Reading

HHS Announces HIPAA Settlement with UMass

On November 22, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”)  announced a $650,000 settlement with University of Massachusetts Amherst (“UMass”), resulting from alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy and Security Rules.  Continue Reading

France Adopts Class Action Regime for Data Protection Violations

On November 19, 2016, the French government enacted a bill creating a legal basis for class actions against data controllers and processors resulting from data protection violations. The bill, which aims to facilitate access to justice for French citizens, establishes a general class action regime and includes specific provisions regarding data protection violations. These provisions go beyond the class action provisions already in place for consumers by adding, within the context of the French Data Protection Act of 1978 (“Loi Informatique et Libertés”), a right to class actions for data protection violations regardless of industry sector. Continue Reading

UK Information Commissioner Confirms Forthcoming Regulatory Guidance on GDPR

On November 21, 2016, against the backdrop of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and Brexit, UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham delivered a keynote speech at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers. During the address, Denham discussed the UK ICO’s ongoing preparations for the GDPR, reiterating the government’s position that the GDPR will be implemented in the UK.  Continue Reading

Merkel Calls for Balanced Approach to Data Protection Regulation

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at Germany’s 10th National IT Summit, and called for EU Member States to take a pragmatic approach to the application of EU data protection laws. Chancellor Merkel warned that a restrictive interpretation of data protection laws risks undermining the development of big data projects in the EU. Ahead of the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation throughout the EU in May 2018, Merkel argued that, more than simply preventing the excesses of personal data use, data protection law should serve to enable emerging data developments. Chancellor Merkel’s comments are significant given that Germany typically has taken a hard-line approach to data protection law interpretation and enforcement, particularly with respect to data minimization requirements that can pose challenges to big data developments in the digital economy.

Dutch Court Decides WhatsApp Data Protection Case

On November 23, 2016, Bloomberg BNA reported that the Hague Administrative Court in the Netherlands upheld a decision by the Dutch Data Protection Authority that WhatsApp was in breach of the Dutch Data Protection Act (the “Act”) on account of its alleged failure to identify a representative within the country responsible for compliance with the Act, despite the processing of personal data of Dutch WhatsApp users on Dutch smartphones. WhatsApp reportedly faces a fine of €10,000 per day up to a maximum of €1 million.

U.S. and APEC Leaders Reaffirm Implementation of the APEC CBPR

On November 20, 2016, the heads of state of the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) forum reaffirmed the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) system in their Leaders’ Declaration at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, Peru as follows: “We recall the APEC Leaders 2011 Honolulu Declaration and recognize the importance of implementing the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System, a voluntary mechanism whose participants seek to increase the number of economies, companies, and accountability agents that participate in the CBPR system.” The fact that the CBPR system is mentioned in the Leaders’ Declaration reflects its priority status on the APEC agenda. Continue Reading