On September 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights issued guidance regarding when the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to disclosures and requests for information about a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status. The guidance addresses common workplace scenarios and answers questions about whether and how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies.
Continue Reading OCR Guidance Regarding HIPAA’s Applicability to COVID-19 Vaccination Information

On September 22, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo released a joint statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s issuance of preliminary Critical Infrastructure Control Systems Cybersecurity Performance Goals and Objectives. The Preliminary Goals identify nine overarching control system cybersecurity performance goals, each containing specific objectives to support the deployment and operation of secure control systems.
Continue Reading DHS Issues Cybersecurity Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Firms

On July 28, 2021, President Biden signed a National Security Memorandum that formally establishes an Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative and directs the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, in collaboration with other agencies, to develop and issue cybersecurity performance goals for critical infrastructure.
Continue Reading White House Issues Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems

On June 17, 2021, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced the reintroduction of the Data Protection Act of 2021, which would create an independent federal agency, the Data Protection Agency, to “regulate high-risk data practices and the collection, processing, and sharing of personal data.”
Continue Reading Senator Gillibrand Announces Renewed Data Protection Act 2021

On May 11, 2021, the European Parliament issued a press release requesting that the European Commission amend its draft decisions on UK adequacy to more closely align with EU court rulings and the opinion of the European Data Protection Board. The request came after the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee passed a resolution evaluating the Commission’s approach regarding the adequacy of the UK’s data protection regime.
Continue Reading MEPs Urge European Commission to Amend Draft UK Adequacy Decision

On May 2, 2021, the Norwegian data protection authority, Datatilsynet, notified a U.S. company of its intention to issue a fine of 25 million Norwegian Krone (approximately 2.5 million Euros). The preliminary fine was issued for failure to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation’s accountability, lawfulness and transparency requirements, primarily due to the company’s tracking of website visitors.
Continue Reading Norwegian DPA Issues 2.5M EUR Preliminary Fine for U.S. Company Utilizing Web-Tracking IDs

On February 8, 2021, Pinellas County, Florida officials announced that a hacker had remotely gained access to the City of Oldsmar’s water treatment system on two separate occasions and was able to change the setting for sodium hydroxide in the water supply. The incident highlights the danger to local government information systems and the dangers of remote access vulnerabilities.
Continue Reading Florida Water Hack Shows Danger of Remote Access Vulnerabilities