On December 4, 2018, the New York Attorney General (“NY AG”) announced that Oath Inc., which was known as AOL Inc. (“AOL”) until June 2017 and is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc., agreed to pay New York a $4.95 million civil penalty following allegations that it had violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) by collecting and disclosing children’s personal information in conducting online auctions for advertising placement. This is the largest-ever COPPA penalty.
On August 28, 2018, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Nielsen Holdings PLC (“Nielsen”) and some of its officers and directors for making allegedly materially false and misleading statements to investors about the impact of privacy regulations and third-party business partners’ privacy policies on the company’s revenues and earnings. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Continue Reading Plaintiffs File Class Action Lawsuit Against Nielsen Over Alleged False and Misleading Statements
As reported in BNA Privacy Law Watch, on June 27, 2018, Equifax entered into a consent order (the “Order”) with 8 state banking regulators (the “Multi-State Regulatory Agencies”), including those in New York and California, arising from the company’s 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million consumers. Continue Reading Equifax Enters Into Consent Order with State Banking Regulators Regarding 2017 Data Breach
On June 25, 2018, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued a final regulation (the “Regulation”) requiring consumer reporting agencies with “significant operations” in New York to (1) register with NYDFS for the first time and (2) comply with the NYDFS’s cybersecurity regulation. Under the Regulation, consumer reporting agencies that reported on 1,000 or more New York consumers in the preceding year are subject to these requirements, and must register with NYDFS on or before September 1, 2018. The deadline for consumer reporting agencies to come into compliance with the cybersecurity regulation is November 1, 2018. In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Oversight of credit reporting agencies ensures that the personal private information of New Yorkers is less vulnerable to the threat of cyber attacks, providing them with peace of mind about their financial future.”
On January 23, 2018, the New York Attorney General announced that Aetna Inc. (“Aetna”) agreed to pay $1.15 million and enhance its privacy practices following an investigation alleging it risked revealing the HIV status of 2,460 New York residents by mailing them information in transparent window envelopes. In July 2017, Aetna sent HIV patients information on how to fill their prescriptions using envelopes with large clear plastic windows, through which patient names, addresses, claims numbers and medication instructions were visible. Through this, the HIV status of some patients was visible to third parties. The letters were sent to notify members of a class action lawsuit that, pursuant to that suit’s resolution, they could purchase HIV medications at physical pharmacy locations, rather than via mail order delivery. Continue Reading Aetna Agrees to $1.15 Million Settlement with New York Attorney General
On January 22, 2018, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued a press release reminding entities covered by its cybersecurity regulation that the first certification of compliance with the regulation is due on or prior to February 15, 2018. Covered entities must file the certification, which covers the 2017 calendar year, at the NYDFS online portal. Continue Reading NY Department of Financial Services Issues Reminder for Cybersecurity Filing Deadline
On December 11, 2017, Lisa Sotto, chair of Hunton & Williams LLP’s Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, was one of 54 women in the legal profession honored at the New York County Lawyers Association’s (“NYCLA’s) 103rd annual dinner. “NYCLA has long been at the forefront of equality…At this year’s annual dinner, we are thrilled to honor the contributions of women lawyers and focus a spotlight on their accomplishments,” said NYCLA President Michael McNamara. Among the women honored were judges, prosecutors, district attorneys, general counsel, partners and executives.
On October 31, 2017, the New York and Vermont Attorneys General (“Attorneys General”) announced a settlement with Hilton Domestic Operating Company, Inc., formerly known as Hilton Worldwide, Inc. (“Hilton”), to settle allegations that the company lacked reasonable data security and waited too long to report a pair of 2015 data breaches, which exposed over 350,000 credit card numbers. The Attorneys General alleged that Hilton failed to maintain reasonable data security and waited more than nine months after the first incident to notify consumers of the breaches, in violation of the states’ consumer protection and breach notification laws. Continue Reading Hilton Agrees to Settle Data Breach-Related Claims by NY and VT Attorneys General
On June 12, 2017, a putative class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Tempur Sealy International, Inc. and Aptos, Inc. Tempur Sealy is a mattress, bedding and pillow retailer based in Lexington, Kentucky. Aptos is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and formerly hosted and maintained Tempur Sealy’s website and online payment system. The plaintiff alleges that the breach was discovered in November of 2016 and involved the exposure of payment card data and other PII of an undisclosed number of Tempur Sealy customers. Continue Reading Tempur Sealy Data Breach: Putative Class Action Filed
On May 22, 2017, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that the AG’s office has reached a settlement (the “Settlement”) with Safetech Products LLC (“Safetech”) regarding the company’s sale of insecure Bluetooth-enabled wireless doors and padlocks. In a press release, Schneiderman indicated that this “marks the first time an attorneys general’s office has taken legal action against a wireless security company for failing to protect their [customers’] personal and private information.” Continue Reading New York AG Settles with Wireless Lock Maker Over Security Flaws