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 December 9, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (“Wyndham”) settled charges brought by the FTC stemming from allegations that the company unfairly failed to maintain reasonable data security practices. The case is FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, et al. (2:13-CV-01887-ES-JAD) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Continue Reading Wyndham Settles FTC Charges in FTC v. Wyndham

Earlier this month, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (“PCI SSC”) published a set of enhanced validation procedures designed to provide greater assurance that certain entities are maintaining compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”) effectively and on a continuing basis. The payment card brands and acquirers will determine which organizations are required to undergo a compliance assessment with respect to these supplemental validation requirements, which are entitled the PCI DSS Designated Entities Supplemental Validation (“DESV”).

Continue Reading PCI Security Standards Council Releases Enhanced Validation Requirements for Designated Entities as PCI DSS Version 3.0 Set to Retire

On September 13, 2012, the PCI Security Standards Council (“PCI SSC”) issued new guidelines entitled “PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines” (the “Guidelines”), which outline best practices for mobile payment acceptance security. As we reported in May, the PCI SSC Mobile Working Group published its “At a Glance: Mobile Payment Acceptance Security” fact sheet, detailing how merchants can more securely accept payments on mobile devices.

Continue Reading PCI Security Standards Council Issues Best Practices for Mobile Payment Acceptance Security

On May 16, 2012, the PCI Security Standards Council’s (“PCI SSC’s”) Mobile Working Group published its “At a Glance: Mobile Payment Acceptance Security” fact sheet (the “Guidance”), which outlines best practices for securely accepting payments via mobile devices. The Guidance offers merchants practical advice for partnering with a Point-to-Point Encryption (“P2PE”) solution provider and satisfying their PCI Data Security Standard compliance requirements in the context of mobile payment acceptance. The Guidance includes recommendations for maintaining data security throughout the payment lifecycle, including securing account data at the point of capture and using an approved hardware accessory in combination with a validated P2PE solution.

Continue Reading PCI Security Standards Council Provides Mobile Payment Acceptance Guidance

Lush Cosmetics Ltd. (“Lush”) has avoided a monetary penalty for its breach of the UK Data Protection Act 1998.  Instead, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) has required Lush to sign an undertaking that obliges the company to “ensure that future customer credit card data will be processed in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.”

Continue Reading Lush Avoids ICO Fine After Website Data Breach

On June 14, 2011, the PCI Security Standards Council’s Virtualization Special Interest Group published its “Information Supplement: PCI DSS Virtualization Guidelines”(the “Guidelines”) to Version 2.0 of the PCI Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”).  The Guidelines provide context for the application of the PCI DSS to cloud and other virtual environments, and offer at least three critical reminders:

  • the PCI DSS applies to cloud environments without exception; 
  • critical analysis of the application of the PCI DSS to rapidly evolving cloud offerings is essential to compliance; and
  • cloud providers must be prepared to document and contract for necessary controls.

Continue Reading PCI Data Security Standards Council Provides Cloud Compliance Guidelines

On March 28, 2011, the Briar Group, LLC, owner and operator of several Boston-area bars and restaurants, reached a settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley regarding the breach of “tens of thousands” of consumers’ payment card information.  The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts Superior Court alleging that in April 2009 hackers gained access to the Briar Group’s computer systems and misappropriated customer data by installing malcode which was not removed by the company until December of that year.  The complaint further alleged that the Briar Group’s lax data protection practices, such as allowing employees to share computer passwords and failing to secure network wireless connections, put customers’ personal information at risk.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General Reaches $110,000 Data Breach Settlement with Boston Restaurant Group

Under a Washington law effective July 1, 2010, certain entities involved in payment card transactions may be liable to financial institutions for costs associated with reissuing payment cards after security breaches.  Designed to encourage the reissuance of payment cards as a means of mitigating harm caused by security breaches, Washington H.B. 1149 applies to three types of entities:  businesses, processors and vendors.  Under the law, a business is an entity that “processes more than six million credit card and debit card transactions annually, and who provides, offers, or sells goods or services to . . . residents of Washington.” A processor is any entity, other than a business, that “directly processes or transmits [payment card] account information for or on behalf of another person as part of a payment processing service.” A vendor is any “entity that manufactures and sells software or equipment that is designed to process, transmit, or store [payment card] account information or that maintains account information that it does not own.”

Continue Reading Addition to Washington Breach Law Imposes Retailer Liability in Payment Card Breaches

On January 1, 2010, two important state data security and privacy laws took effect in Nevada and New Hampshire.  The laws create new obligations for most companies that do business in Nevada and for health care providers and business associates in New Hampshire.

Continue Reading Nevada and New Hampshire Data Security and Privacy Laws Take Effect