Monthly Archives: February 2010

Senior Google Executives Sentenced for Violation of Italian Privacy Laws

In February 24, 2010, an Italian court in Milan found three Google executives guilty of violating applicable Italian privacy laws.  The executives were accused of violating Italian law by having allowed a video showing an autistic teenager being bullied to be posted online.  The Google executives, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, … Continue Reading

FTC Warns Organizations of P2P-Related Data Security Breaches

On February 22, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission issued a news release indicating that it had notified almost 100 organizations that personal data about their customers, students or employees had been shared from their computer networks on peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file sharing sites, thereby exposing the data of affected individuals to possible identity theft and fraud.  … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Information Security Regulations Take Effect on March 1, 2010

After several delays and revisions, the Massachusetts information security regulations, entitled “Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth,” will take effect on March 1, 2010.  The regulations apply to entities that own or license personal information about Massachusetts residents.  “Personal information” is defined as a combination of a resident’s first … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument in Quon v. Arch Wireless for April 19, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court has set oral argument for April 19, 2010, to review the Ninth Circuit’s 2008 decision on employee privacy in Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co.  Although Quon concerns the scope of privacy rights afforded to public employees under the Fourth Amendment, the case also has forced private employers to renew their … Continue Reading

HHS Delays Enforcement of HITECH Act Business Associate Provisions

We understand that yesterday Adam H. Greene (Office of the General Counsel, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), speaking at the ABA’s 11th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, indicated that enforcement of the business associate provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the … Continue Reading

Failure to Secure Wireless Network Defeats ECPA Claims

A computer user’s failure to secure his wireless network contributed to the defeat of his claim that a neighbor’s unwelcome access to his files violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”).  The ECPA places restrictions on unauthorized interception of, and access to, electronic communications.… Continue Reading

European Parliament Rejects the SWIFT Agreement

On February 11, 2010, the plenary of the European Parliament rejected by a vote of 378 to 196 the agreement reached in 2009 between the EU and the U.S. to allow access by U.S. law enforcement authorities to the payment database of the financial consortium SWIFT.  The agreement had been negotiated between the EU Council … Continue Reading

UK Airports Implement Compulsory Use of Full Body Scanners

On February 1, 2010, it became compulsory for randomly selected passengers at Heathrow and Manchester airports in the UK to pass through full body scanners before boarding their flights.  This enhanced security screening has been implemented following the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack at the Detroit airport in the United States, after which the British … Continue Reading

Privacy and Data Security Risks in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing raises complex legal issues related to privacy and information security.  As legislators and regulators around the world grapple with the privacy and data security implications of cloud computing, companies seeking to implement cloud-based solutions should closely monitor this rapidly evolving legal landscape for developments.  In an article published on February 3, 2010, Lisa … Continue Reading

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Investigates Facebook

Pursuant to a public complaint, on January 27, 2010, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced a new investigation into Facebook.  The investigation concerns the social networking site’s introduction of a tool that required its users to review their privacy settings in December 2009.  According to the complaint, Facebook’s new default settings allegedly made some users’ … Continue Reading