On May 16, 2017, the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, signed into law House Bill 1493 (“H.B. 1493”), which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. The law will become effective on July 23, 2017. With the enactment of H.B. 1493, Washington becomes the third state to pass legislation regulating the commercial use of biometric identifiers. Previously, both Illinois and Texas enacted the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14) (“BIPA”) and the Texas Statute on the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. §503.001), respectively. Continue Reading Washington Becomes Third State to Enact Biometric Privacy Law

On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $2.4 million civil monetary penalty against Memorial Hermann Health System (“MHHS”) for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule.  Continue Reading OCR Fines Texas Health System For Alleged HIPAA Privacy Rule Violation

On October 3, 2016, the Texas Attorney General announced a $30,000 settlement with mobile app developer Juxta Labs, Inc. (“Juxta”) stemming from allegations that the company violated Texas consumer protection law by engaging in false, deceptive or misleading acts or practices regarding the collection of personal information from children. Continue Reading Texas AG Settles Suit with Messaging App Over Children’s Data Practices

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog:

In a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on November 4, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sought injunctive and declaratory relief against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on the grounds that the agency’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions “purports to preempt the State’s sovereign power to enact and abide by state-law hiring practices.” In particular, the complaint argues against the EEOC’s prohibition against blanket “no felons” hiring policies. The Texas AG’s complaint highlights key failures and shortcomings of the EEOC’s recent investigative actions, and provides detailed examples of the “real world” effect of the guidance on the state’s hiring decisions.

Continue Reading Texas AG Argues EEOC Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Violates State Sovereignty

On August 28, 2013, the Obama Administration issued several documents relating to the Cybersecurity Framework that the President called for in Executive Order 13636: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The documents include:

Continue Reading Obama Administration Releases Draft Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework

On June 14, 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants before accessing customer electronic data held by email service providers. Introduced on March 4, 2013, the bill passed unanimously in both the Texas House and Senate on May 7 and May 22, respectively. The law takes effect immediately.

Continue Reading Texas Enacts Law Requiring Warrants to Search Emails

Last month, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a health privacy bill into law that imposes new obligations exceeding the requirements in the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  The law, which will become effective on September 1, 2012, incorporates the expanded definition of the term “covered entity” in Texas’s existing health privacy law and could have a broad impact on many non-HIPAA covered entities.

Continue Reading Texas Enacts Expansive New Health Privacy Law

Google Earth and Google Street View, two popular applications offered by Google that enable users to view detailed satellite images of buildings or street-level panoramas of major roads and neighborhoods, have recently engendered controversy.  In the United States, legislators in California and Texas have introduced bills directed at Google Earth and other similar applications.  The proposed California bill prohibits operators of commercial Internet websites that make a “virtual globe browser available to members of the public” from providing “aerial or satellite photographs or imagery” of schools, religious facilities or government buildings, unless those images have been blurred.  Violators could be fined at least $250,000 and natural persons who knowingly violate the provisions could face imprisonment between one to three years.  The proposed Texas bill prohibits any person from publishing on the Internet “an image capable of zooming into greater detail than that of an aerial photograph taken without a magnifying lens 300 feet or higher of private property not visible from the public right-of-way,” and classifies the offense as a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $2,000 or 180 days in prison.

Continue Reading Proposed Bills Target Google Earth and Google Street View