In a local news interview, I was recently asked to comment on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica story involving the unauthorized use of Facebook user profile information by Cambridge Analytica for profiling and targeting purposes. The focus of the interview was what consumers can do to better protect themselves. However, there are learning opportunities for businesses too. Here are some quick points to consider for both parties.

Consumers

  1. Your choices matter most. I beat this drum pretty heavily, but it is


Continue Reading

U.S. privacy law is based on the principles of notice and consent – for instance, under FTC and state consumer protection laws, consumers given fair notice and the opportunity to consent generally cannot complain about the use of their data.

But as we have noted in prior posts, the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which will become effective May 25 of this year, is more comprehensive than any U.S. privacy law in most respects. It treats personal data (defined broadly) as belonging to the person identified by the data, or “data subject.” The company collecting the data has a limited license to use that data in legitimate ways – as described in one article, a company can only use the data in ways that “wouldn’t surprise them or make them uncomfortable.”

It is unsurprising, then, that under the GDPR, the specific concepts of fair notice and consent are also more robust than in the U.S. This post will give an overview of the notice requirements under the GDPR, and a future post will explore the consent requirements.


Continue Reading

Well, if Star Wars (May 4) and doughnuts (first Friday in June) can have their own day, you would hope a day might be dedicated to reminding us all about the importance of privacy and increasing awareness of ways we can empower ourselves and our clients to better use and protect personal information. Data Privacy Day began as Data Protection Day in Europe. The day commemorates the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy
Continue Reading

As you put together your resolutions and plans for the new business year, it is important to remember that the European Union’s (“E.U.”) General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will go into effect on May 25, 2018. The impact that it could have on U.S. companies will depend on whether a company processes the personal data of E.U. citizens (note: the definition of “personal data” under the GDPR is quite broad). If you think this doesn’t apply to your company, think again – even without a physical presence in the E.U., the internet makes it easier than ever to collect personal data from E.U. residents while operating solely in the U.S. So, whether it’s the information of your customers, the customers of your clients, or even the personal data of your own employees, it is important to be aware of your obligations under GDPR and the ways by which you can comply.

As we introduced last year, underpinning the GDPR is the view that privacy is a fundamental human right. Accordingly, the GDPR takes a comprehensive approach to privacy law – much more so than the sectoral approach used here in the U.S. In the U.S., privacy tends to be regulated based on the category of information collected (e.g., protected health information under HIPAA). Under the GDPR, as well as its predecessor, the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the focus is on personal data in all sectors of industry. And we should take a moment to remind everyone that stringent regulations on transferring personal data from the E.U. to the U.S. are not something new. U.S. companies should have been complying with the Data Protection Directive since 1995. Indeed, many companies are just now starting to do what they should have been doing for a long while. In truth, in some part, this lack of compliance or sufficient protection of personal data is why the GDPR has come to be.


Continue Reading

This is part one of a multi-part look into the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and why U.S. companies need to concern themselves with an EU law, the difference from U.S. regulations and the different mechanisms available to comply. We will conclude this series with a webinar in 2018 that will review the series and provide further insights and comments on any updates that may have occurred since the beginning of the series.

The GDPR is a new privacy
Continue Reading

The saga surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal concluded with the issuance of a final punishment from MLB. The scandal stemmed from the actions of the former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa, after he illegally accessed the e-mail accounts of members of the Houston Astros front office as well as their scouting database. The Cardinals were ordered to forfeit their top two selections in the upcoming 2017 amateur draft to the Astros and pay them two million dollars within
Continue Reading

To effectively guard against an enemy of any kind it’s important to know your enemy. This strategy is just as effective when fighting an online battle to protect your company’s data.

Before you can effectively defend against cyberattacks, it is important to educate yourself on potential threats and how to handle them. We invite you to join us on September 7 for part two of the Columbus Cybersecurity Series featuring FBI agent David Fine returns. During this portion of the
Continue Reading

EuroParlSince the first draft comprehensive regulation to govern cybersecurity in the European Union (“EU”) was issued by the European Commission in January 2012 (click here), the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament have been working together to update and supersede the existing EU Directive (95/46/EC) in order to bring it up to date and in line with recent sweeping advances in technology and technological globalization.  (EU Privacy Regulations:  Who Will Own Your Data Now?


Continue Reading