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Zenus focuses on addressing a variety of business and finance matters, including data governance regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, COPPA, PCI-DSS, and state data breach notification laws. He also assists clients with internal policy development, implementation, assessment, training, and incident response management.

Recently, multiple states have enacted and passed new data privacy laws and bills (Colorado, Virginia, Utah, California Privacy Rights Act, Connecticut, Indiana, and Ohio). Rightfully so, these laws and bills have garnered much of the media attention. However, in the midst of all the new state data privacy laws, new bills regulating “data brokers” have begun to emerge. To no surprise, California is leading the way with its Data Broker Registration Law, which was enacted in 2019.
Continue Reading Am I A Data Broker?: A Quick Primer on State Laws Regulating a Growing Industry

The Colorado Privacy Act (“CPA”) takes effect July 1, 2023, and will provide express consumer rights, as well as controller and processor obligations, relating to personally identifiable information of Colorado consumers. This month, the Office of the Colorado Attorney General (the “Office”) outlined the pre-rulemaking considerations for the CPA (“Pre-Rulemaking Considerations”), in an effort to educate regulated entities on the trajectory of this new law, and how such entities may address the upcoming requirements. The Pre-Rulemaking Considerations were also forecasted in Colorado AG Phil Weiser’s address to the International Association of Privacy Professionals 2022 Global Privacy Summit.
Continue Reading Colorado AG Explains Rocky Mountain Way for Data Privacy Law

The CCPA has been up and running for a couple of years now, with changes coming in 2023 with the amendments from the Consumer Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).  While a federal law is always being teased and
other states coming online in 2023
, California remains the state privacy law by which to assess and manage compliance when processing personal data.

So, as you might imagine, loads of questions and anxiety over the country’s most comprehensive state privacy regulation continue to keep us busy.  This prompted us to provide a simple 3-step process to determine if the law applies to your business (now, in 2023, or beyond), what you need to do to meet the law’s requirements, and how to begin considering a national approach to data privacy governance.  While no summary can capture every aspect of developing a compliance plan, we hope the following resources are helpful in getting your arms around managing privacy and meeting the (applicable) requirements of the California laws.
Continue Reading Breaking Down the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

In March, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act (the “Act”) into law. While the Act consists of various regulations, the security incident reporting requirements for entities in critical infrastructure sectors are getting the most attention. Although the reporting requirements are focused mainly on entities in critical infrastructure, there is potential that entities in various industries could be subject to these requirements.
Continue Reading Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act of 2022

California continues to be at the forefront of data protection in the United States. In February 2022, multiple privacy bills were introduced in the California legislature’s current session. The privacy bills seek to amend and enhance the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), in regards to employee and business-to-business personal information exemptions and also personal information collected by proctors in an educational setting.

Extension to Employee and Business-to-Business Exemptions. Currently, the CPRA provides exemptions to employee personal information and the personal information that is collected in a business-to-business transaction. This exemption expires on January 1, 2023. Two bills were introduced to extend the exemptions. AB 2871 would extend the exemptions indefinitely by removing the sunset date altogether. AB 2891, however, would extend the exemptions to January 1, 2026.
Continue Reading California Privacy Update: Various Privacy Bills Introduced to the State’s Legislature

Before 2018, no state in the US had its own data privacy law. Since 2018, California, Virginia (effective January 1, 2023), and Colorado (effective July 1, 2023) have all enacted their own data privacy laws, seeking to protect consumers by giving them control over their personal information. Recently, Ohio introduced House Bill 376, “The Ohio Personal Privacy Act,” in July 2021, which does not have an effective date at this time. Now, Indiana has introduced Senate Bill 358 and is ready to join the ever-growing Privacy Party.

Introduced in January 2022, Senate Bill 358 sets forth numerous consumer data protection standards, including Indiana consumers’ rights to their personal data, the responsibilities on businesses and service providers (called “controllers” and “processors,” respectively) to protect such data, and the authority of the Indiana Attorney General to investigate and enforce violations of the new law. If the bill is passed, it will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

Continue Reading Indiana Joins the Privacy Party by Introducing its Own Data Privacy Bill

On October 8, 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (the “Act”) in response to K-12 educational institutions facing cyber-attacks across the United States. The types of cyber incidents targeting K-12 information systems include denial of service, phishing, ransomware and malware, and other unauthorized disclosures of personal information.

While the Act itself does not detail specific requirements for K-12 educational institutions, it seeks to address the increasing risk of cybersecurity incidents by authorizing the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to conduct a study on the specific cybersecurity risks currently facing K-12 educational institutions. The director has 120 days from the enactment of the Act to complete the study. The director will then have an additional 60 days to issue recommendations that include cybersecurity guidelines to assist K-12 educational institutions in responding to the cybersecurity threats described in the director’s study. In conjunction with cybersecurity recommendations, CISA will be developing an online training toolkit to educate school officials about the recommendations and to help ease the implementation of the recommendations by providing strategies for officials to take such action.
Continue Reading K-12 Cybersecurity Act: Federal Government Seeks to Improve Security for America’s Educational Institutions

In our blog post discussing Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (“VCDPA”), we anticipated that more states would adopt their own omnibus data privacy laws – and Colorado is the latest  state to do so. Last week, the governor of Colorado signed into law the Colorado Privacy Act (“CPA”), becoming the third state in the U.S. to enact a comprehensive data privacy law. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2023.

The CPA mirrors its California and Virginia counterparts in many ways. The law provides Colorado residents similar rights and protections when it comes to their personal data. These rights include:

  • Right to opt out
  • Right of access
  • Right to correction
  • Right to deletion
  • Right to data portability

That said, the CPA also features a few prominent distinctions that businesses should have on their data governance radar. The following is a brief summary of what businesses should consider.
Continue Reading Rocky Mountain High: Colorado Becomes Third State to Establish its own Data Privacy Law

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The European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out requirements for transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area. These requirements not only restrict the use and transfer of personal data, but also ensure that personal data is adequately protected with enforceable rights and effective judicial remedies. In 2020, the EU invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield, a framework that many US companies relied on when transferring data. However, large tech companies, including Microsoft, have ensured compliance with the GDPR’s transfer requirements through the use of standard contractual clauses (SCCs). These SCCs are “pre-approved” by the European Commission to ensure that adequate protections and safeguards are in place for data transfers.

On May 6, 2021, Microsoft announced they were expanding its existing commitments to data privacy in the EU through a plan called the EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud (EU Data Boundary Plan). This pledge grows Microsoft’s data processing and storing capabilities in the EU by removing the need to move customer data outside the EU. Full implementation of this plan is set for the end of next year.

Continue Reading Freezing the Cloud: Microsoft Takes a Hardline on Data Privacy in the EU

As we have been writing over the past year, COVID-19 has presented a huge opportunity for hackers to wreak havoc on businesses and consumers.  While confidentiality of data is usually the focus with such data breaches, system and data access is also at risk of attack by these same threat actors.  We have seen this play out on a national scale the past couple of weeks with the pipeline shutdown due to ransomware.

According to the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”), insurance claims resulting from ransomware increased by 180% between 2018 and 2019, and almost doubled that amount in 2020. (Indeed, the pipeline company paid a ransom of $4.4 million.)  As a result, the U.S. cyber insurance market was $3.15 billion in 2019 and is expected to exceed $20 billion in the next five years. And just recently, a carrier announced it would no longer pay out for ransomware claims in France.   Earlier this year,  in response to the increase in ransomware attacks, the NYDFS issued seven best practices (“Framework”) that insurers should adopt, including a recommendation that insurers should stop paying ransom payments. Insurers should be aware of what the Framework entails and what this means for them when implementing cybersecurity programs and trying to obtain insurance coverage in the future.

Continue Reading NYDFS Answers Age Old “To Pay the Ransom or Not Pay the Ransom” Question with Definitive DON’T