On May 14, 2018, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability released its Multiyear Plan for Energy Sector Cybersecurity (the “Plan”). The Plan is significantly guided by DOE’s 2006 Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Energy Sector and 2011 Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity. Taken together with DOE’s recent announcement creating the new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (“CESER”), DOE is clearly asserting its position as the energy sector’s Congressionally-recognized sector-specific agency (“SSA”) on cybersecurity. Continue Reading Department of Energy Announces New Efforts in Energy Sector Cybersecurity

On May 1, 2018, the Information Security Technology – Personal Information Security Specification (the “Specification”) went into effect in China. The Specification is not binding and cannot be used as a direct basis for enforcement. However, enforcement agencies in China can still use the Specification as a reference or guideline in their administration and enforcement activities. For this reason, the Specification should be taken seriously as a best practice in personal data protection in China, and should be complied with where feasible. Continue Reading National Standard on Personal Information Security Goes into Effect in China

On January 25, 2018, the Standardization Administration of China published the full text of the Information Security Technology – Personal Information Security Specification (the “Specification”). The Specification will come into effect on May 1, 2018. The Specification is voluntary, but could become influential within China because it establishes benchmarks for the processing of personal information by a wide variety of entities and organizations. In effect, the Specification constitutes a best practices guide for the collection, retention, use, sharing and transfer of personal information, and for the handling of related information security incidents. Continue Reading China Releases National Standard on Personal Information Security

On January 9, 2018, the FTC issued a paper recapping the key takeaways from the FTC’s and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s June 2017 workshop on privacy and security issues involving connected cars. The workshop featured representatives from consumer groups, industry, government and academia. Continue Reading FTC Recaps Connected Cars Privacy and Security Workshop

On December 18, 2017, the French data protection authority (“CNIL”) publicly announced that it served a formal notice to WhatsApp regarding the sharing of WhatsApp users’ data with Facebook Inc. (“Facebook”). This decision, dated November 27, 2017, follows the CNIL’s investigations regarding Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. In 2016, WhatsApp updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to reflect the sharing of information with Facebook. Following this update, the Article 29 Working Party (“Working Party”) requested explanations from WhatsApp on its data processing practices and data sharing, and asked the company to stop sharing data for targeted advertising purposes. The Working Party also gave a mandate to its subgroup in charge of the cooperation on investigations and sanctions to coordinate actions of the relevant national data protection authorities. It is in that context that the CNIL started its investigation of WhatsApp’s data processing practices. Continue Reading The CNIL Serves Formal Notice to WhatsApp Regarding Sharing Data with Facebook

On August 22, 2017, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (“NIAC”) issued a report entitled Securing Cyber Assets: Addressing Urgent Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure (“NIAC Report”). NIAC was first created in 2001 shortly after the 9/11 attacks and advises the President on information security systems in banking, finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing and emergency government services. The NIAC Report notes that sophisticated and readily available malicious cyber tools and exploits have lowered the barrier to cost and increased the potential for successful cyber attacks. According to the NIAC Report, “[t]here is a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity before a watershed, 9/11-level cyber attack to organize effectively and take bold action.” Continue Reading NIAC Issues Recommendations to Improve Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

On June 20, 2017, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure issued a report on the ethics of Automated and Connected Cars (the “Report”). The Report was developed by a multidisciplinary Ethics Commission established in September 2016 for the purpose of developing essential ethical guidelines for the use of automated and connected cars. Continue Reading Germany Issues Ethics Report on Automated and Connected Cars

On March 17, 2017, retailer Neiman Marcus agreed to pay $1.6 million as part of a proposed settlement (the “Settlement”) to a consumer class action lawsuit stemming from a 2013 data breach that allegedly compromised the credit card data of approximately 350,000 customers. Continue Reading Neiman Marcus Agrees to Settlement in Data Breach Class Action

Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) published its final Regulations Implementing FAST Act Section 61003-Critical Electric Infrastructure Security and Amending Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (the “CEII Regulations”). The CEII Regulations, which differ little from the notice of proposed rulemaking that FERC issued in June 2016, were approved unanimously on November 17, 2016, by FERC’s three sitting Commissioners (recent retirements have left the two other FERC seats vacant). Continue Reading Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Publishes Final CEII Regulations