Photo of Scot Ganow

Scot is a partner in Taft’s Dayton office, and chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security Practice.  As a former chief privacy officer and leveraging more than ten years of management and compliance experience in Fortune 500 companies, Scot brings a diverse business background to his privacy and data security practice. Scot has represented clients in a variety of sectors, including consumer reporting, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing.

In response to recommendations contained in the Solarium Commission report and the Solar Winds cybersecurity incident, President Biden issued an Executive Order on May 12, 2021, outlining new requirements for information technology providers that do business with the federal government. The purpose of the requirements are to protect federal networks from malicious cyber-attacks and to improve information-sharing between the U.S. government and the private sector on cyber issues, thereby strengthening the United States’ ability to respond to incidents when they
Continue Reading Strengthening U.S. Cyber Security – New Executive Order

Guess what?  Last Thursday, the first Thursday in May, was World Password Day. Right? You didn’t even know it.  We in the Privacy and Data Security Practice Group thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of the most basic, but still effective way to safeguard your accounts and data. In the early days of the internet, a simple password was all you might need to adequately protect the one or two accounts you might have had. Your desktop login, your email, and maybe some early version of social media. Password security was taken so lightly; it wasn’t unusual for passwords to be stored in a plain text file on a desktop or on a sticky note at your desk. Those days are over. Well, they should be.

Continue Reading Celebrating World Password Day. Responsibly.

Over the years on Taft’s Privacy and Data Security Insights, we have written on the risk of data breaches and the specific impact on privacy, or the compromise of confidentiality of personally identifiable information. However, many clients forget to also consider the value in other information they possess, specifically proprietary information, information subject to trade secret, and intellectual property. Today we will discuss how failing to account for intellectual property in your data security program can be costly, especially in the event of a data breach.

Intellectual property and specifically patent protection is a critical component for the success of many U.S. businesses, both large and small. As the desire to obtain patent protection grows, so too does the occurrence of data theft and other data breaches.  Therefore, companies need to know whether an invention is still patentable if the propriety information underlying the invention is the subject of a data breach or other cyber security failure. The question applies whether a data breach is accidental or malicious and whether it is perpetrated by an outside source or by an employee of the company.  The answer is the same: the patent rights are likely forfeited.


Continue Reading Data Breaches Ain’t Just About Privacy: Risking the Loss of Patent Rights by Data Breach with Subsequent Disclosure

Last month we discussed California’s Proposition 24, called the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), and that California voters approved the CPRA on November 3, 2020.  The CPRA amends the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which the final regulations of the CCPA were only recently approved by Attorney General Xavier Becerra in August, 2020. The CPRA makes a few substantial changes to the CCPA, such as additional rights to consumers, additional obligations on businesses that apply to the CPRA, an increased focus on “sharing” information for behavioral advertising, and the creation of a new governing entity to enforce the CPRA. The CPRA is set to become effective on January 1, 2023.  Until then, the CCPA will remain in full force and effect.
Continue Reading Meet the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA): California Voters Approve Additional Consumer Rights and Business Obligations

In the midst of an unprecedented presidential campaign, you might have missed that California’s Proposition 24, also called the California Privacy Act (CPRA), was poised to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) a mere three months after Attorney General Xavier Becerra approved the final regulations for the CCPA.

On November 3, California voters approved the CPRA by a count of 56% (YES) to 44% (No). In July, we discussed the CPRA’s proposed changes to the CCPA, such as
Continue Reading California Voters Approve California Consumer Privacy Act; Amendments to CCPA

Taft partner Scot Ganow will be one of the presenters for “What we wish clients would do about business email compromise,” on Oct. 29, 2020. The one-hour seminar brings together cybersecurity and risk management professionals to examine business email compromise including a real-world case study, the ramifications of an attack, and how to arm your business against would-be opportunists.

Register to attend here.
Continue Reading Taft Partner to Speak on Business Email Compromise

Since we originally posted this content to Taft Privacy & Data Security Insights, the governor of California has since signed AB1281, extending the exemptions for employee personal information and that of business contacts until January 2022.  This deadline may be extended again, should voters choose the CPRA, as discussed below.

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An important development on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) front occurred as many of us enjoyed the last days of summer and readied for the Labor
Continue Reading A little relief? CCPA exemptions for employee and business contact information likely to be extended to 2022 (or beyond)

Taft partners Scot Ganow and Phil Schenkenberg will be featured speakers for the “Cybersecurity for In-house Legal Counsel” Seminar on Oct. 26. The virtual seminar will help in-house counsel understand the legal constructs and terminology widely used within the cybersecurity space, and to provide practical ways they can be more responsive and efficient when cyber issues arise. Taft is a sponsor of the event.

Ganow will present “Legal Overview and Key Cyber Risks for Businesses,” which covers the laws, regulations,


Continue Reading Taft Partners Ganow and Schenkenberg to Speak at “Cybersecurity for In-House Legal Counsel” Seminar

What is Privacy Shield?  Since 2016, U.S. companies and organizations receiving personal data relating to individuals in the European Union have relied upon a self-certification program known as Privacy Shield. Rather than enter into numerous agreements and meet other requirements to process the personal data of individuals in the EU, U.S. companies have been able to self-certify to a level of compliance to meet EU law. Privacy Shield serves to address the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) requirement that adequate safeguards be in place for the protection of transatlantic transfers of personal data and the receiving entity’s handling of that data. Under Privacy Shield, self-certified companies that comply with the agreement’s requirements are considered to have met the EU’s higher standard for data privacy and obtained some level of “adequacy.” Since its implementation, more than 5,300 companies have operated under its terms. The future of Privacy Shield, however, is now in jeopardy.

EU Court holds Privacy Shield to be Inadequate.  On July 16, 2020, Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that United States law is inadequate to protect EU citizens’ personal data to the extent that EU law requires. Specifically, the CJEU held that the “limitations on the protection of personal data arising from the domestic law of the United States, on the access and use by U.S. public authorities of such data transferred from the European Union… are not circumscribed in a way that satisfies requirements that are essentially equivalent to those required under EU law.” To put it another way, Privacy Shield’s fundamental flaw, according to the court, is not so much that member companies’ practices are inadequate, but rather that the U.S. government cannot be trusted to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data.  Specifically, the justices found that federal laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “cannot be regarded as limited to what is strictly necessary” and fails to meet “minimum safeguards” guaranteed by the EU.
Continue Reading Warning! Shields are Down: Top EU Court Invalidates EU-US Privacy Shield Protections

Just a friendly reminder from the Taft Law Privacy and Data Security Practice Group that the Attorney General of California will commence enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on July 1, 2020. While we have all understandably been focused on the many important issues of this year, both personally and professionally, let us not forget that the Attorney General of California explicitly declined to extend the enforcement date due to COVID-19 for this first of its kind state privacy law.

While it is obviously late in the game, and impossible to provide you all the ins and outs of CCPA compliance in this single post, you can always check older posts on our Taft Privacy & Data Security Insights.  That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t get started or continue making progress to understand and meet any applicable requirements for your business. Here are some quick points and additional resources to consider.
Continue Reading Don’t Forget! CCPA Enforcement Commences July 1, 2020