On August 29, 2018, Bloomberg Law reported that four Senate Commerce Committee members are discussing a potential online privacy bill. The bipartisan group consists of Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), according to anonymous Senate aides. Continue Reading Senate Commerce Committee Members Rumored to be Discussing Online Privacy Bill
On May 23, 2017, various attorneys general of 47 states and the District of Columbia announced that they had reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target regarding the states’ investigation of the company’s 2013 data breach. This represents the largest multi-state data breach settlement achieved to date. Continue Reading Target and State Attorneys General Resolve Investigation with Largest Multi-State Breach Settlement to Date
On November 7, 2016, Adobe Systems Inc. (“Adobe”) entered into an assurance of voluntary compliance (“AVC”) with 15 state attorneys general to settle allegations that the company lacked proper measures to protect its systems from a 2013 cyber attack that resulted in the theft of the personal information of millions of customers. Under the terms of the AVC, Adobe must pay $1 million to the attorneys general and implement new data security policies and practices. Continue Reading Adobe Settles Multistate Data Breach Enforcement Action
On July 1, 2015, Connecticut’s governor signed into law Public Act No. 15-142, An Act Improving Data Security and Agency Effectiveness (the “Act”), that (1) amends the state’s data breach notification law to require notice to affected individuals and the Connecticut Attorney General within 90 days of a security breach and expands the definition of personal information to include biometric data such as fingerprints, retina scans and voice prints; (2) affirmatively requires all businesses, including health insurers, who experience data breaches to offer one year of identity theft prevention services to affected individuals at no cost to them; and (3) requires health insurers and contractors who receive personal information from state agencies to implement and maintain minimum data security safeguards. With the passing of the Act, Connecticut becomes the first state to affirmatively require businesses to provide these security services to consumers.
On April 7, 2015, the FTC announced proposed settlements with TES Franchising, LLC, an organization specializing in business coaching, and American International Mailing, Inc., an alternative mail transporting company, related to charges that the companies falsely claimed they were compliant with the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks.
On June 12, 2014, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that may require retailers to modify their existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) authorizations for pharmacy reward programs. The law, which will become effective on July 1, 2014, obligates retailers to provide consumers with a “plain language summary of the terms and conditions” of their pharmacy reward programs before the consumers may enroll. It also requires retailers to include specific content in their authorization forms that are required pursuant to the HIPAA. If the consumer is required to sign a HIPAA authorization to participate in a pharmacy reward program, the authorization must include the following items “adjacent to the point where the HIPAA authorization form is to be signed:” Continue Reading Connecticut Governor Signs Pharmacy Reward Program Authorization Bill into Law
On March 12, 2013, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced that a coalition of 38 states had entered into a $7 million settlement with Google Inc. (“Google”) regarding its collection of unsecured Wi-Fi data via the company’s Street View vehicles between 2008 and 2010. The settlement is the culmination of a multi-year investigation by the states that we first reported on in 2010.
In recent weeks, both state and federal regulators have considered security breach notification legislation. On June 15, 2012, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a budget bill that, among other things, amends the state’s security breach notification law. The changes, which will take effect on October 1, 2012, most notably require businesses to notify the state Attorney General no later than the time when notice of a security breach is provided to state residents. Although the law does not specify when notice must be provided to affected individuals, the law states that such notice must be made “without unreasonable delay,” subject to law enforcement delays and the completion of an investigation by the business to determine the nature and scope of the incident, to identify affected individuals, or to restore the reasonable integrity of the data system. As we previously reported, Vermont also recently amended its breach notification statute to require businesses to notify the state Attorney General within 14 days of discovering a security breach or concurrently when notifying consumers, whichever is sooner.
On January 24, 2011, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein announced that they had reached an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (“AVC”) with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (“MetLife”) in connection with an incident involving the disclosure of customer personal information on the Internet. In November 2009, a MetLife employee posted the personally identifiable information of current and former MetLife customers, including their Social Security numbers, on the Internet. Following the discovery of the posting, MetLife acted to mitigate possible harm by providing credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to the affected customers.
As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog, on October 10, 2011, California became the seventh state to enact legislation restricting public and private employers alike from using consumer credit reports in making hiring and other personnel decisions. Assembly Bill No. 22 both adds a new provision to the California Labor Code — Section 1024.5 — and amends California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”). Effective January 1, 2012, California employers will be prohibited from requesting a consumer credit report for employment purposes unless they meet one of the limited statutory exceptions, and those employers meeting an exception, will be subjected to increased disclosure requirements. Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, Maryland and Washington already have similar laws on the books, and many other states, as well as the federal government, are contemplating similar legislation. This trend creates a potential “credit-centric” minefield for employers that do business in any one or more of these states. In light of the multiple laws affecting their use, employers who utilize consumer credit reports in making personnel decisions should proceed cautiously. Employers must evaluate the need for these reports in making personnel decisions, review and modify their policies to ensure compliance with the myriad of regulations in this area, and monitor any new developments to ensure continued compliance.