On March 14, 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a guide, Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – 12 Steps to Take Now. The guide, which is a high-level checklist with accompanying commentary, sets out a number of points that should inform organizations’ data privacy and governance programs ahead of the anticipated mid-2018 entry into force of the GDPR. Continue Reading ICO Issues Twelve Step Guidance on Preparing for the EU General Data Protection Regulation

On February 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) ruled that Lincare, Inc. (“Lincare”) violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule and ordered the company to pay $239,800 to OCR.

Continue Reading Administrative Law Judge Orders Health Care Provider to Pay HIPAA Civil Monetary Penalty

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

On August 24, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (“Wyndham”), affirming a district court holding that the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to regulate companies’ data security practices.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Upholds FTC’s Authority to Regulate Companies’ Data Security Practices

On May 20, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released an Enforcement Advisory announcing that its previously-released Open Internet Order “applies the core customer privacy protections of Section 222 of the Communications Act to providers of broadband Internet access service” and that the statutory provisions of Section 222, which historically have been used to protect Consumer Proprietary Network Information on telephone networks, will apply to broadband providers when the Open Internet Order goes into effect on June 12, 2015. This approach will expand broadband providers’ requirements to protect consumer privacy and limit their use of consumer data.

Continue Reading FCC Advises Broadband Providers to Take Steps to Protect Consumer Privacy

On May 13, 2015, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (the “DPA”) published a recommendation addressing the use of social plug-ins associated with Facebook and its services (the “Recommendation”). The Recommendation stems from the recent discussions between the DPA and Facebook regarding Facebook’s privacy policy and the tracking of individuals’ Internet activities.

Continue Reading Belgian Data Protection Authority Issues Recommendation on Facebook’s User Tracking

On April 8, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission announced a $25 million settlement with AT&T Services, Inc. (“AT&T”) stemming from allegations that AT&T failed to protect the confidentiality of consumers’ personal information, resulting in data breaches at AT&T call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines. The breaches, which took place over 168 days from November 2013 to April 2014, involved unauthorized access to customers’ names, full or partial Social Security numbers and certain protected account-related data, affecting almost 280,000 U.S. customers.

Continue Reading AT&T Enters into Largest Data Breach Settlement with FCC to Date

On March 27, 2015, the England and Wales Court of Appeal issued its judgment in Google Inc. v Vidal-Hall and Others. Google Inc. (“Google”) appealed an earlier decision by Tugendhat J. in the High Court in January 2014. The claimants were users of Apple’s Safari browser who argued that during certain months in 2011 and 2012, Google collected information about their browsing habits via cookies placed on their devices without their consent and in breach of Google’s privacy policy.

Continue Reading UK Court Ruling Allows Claims Against Google for Misuse of Private Information