On March 10, 2020, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued guidance to all of its regulated institutions engaged in virtual currency business activity, requiring them to have plans for preparedness to manage the possible operational and financial risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. NYDFS requires the plans to be submitted by Thursday, April 9, 2020.… Continue Reading
In a judgment which will be warmly welcomed by employers (and their insurers) in the UK, the UK Supreme Court today overruled the Court of Appeal in holding that that Morrisons supermarkets is not vicariously liable for a data breach maliciously caused by a former employee.
The Supreme Court concluded that the Court of Appeal had misunderstood the principles governing vicarious liability in their previous judgments in the case.… Continue Reading
Recent legal action by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) will shed light on the Federal Court’s willingness to enforce and monitor compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). On February 6, the OPC filed a notice of application (the Application) in the Federal Court seeking a declaration that Facebook has contravened PIPEDA and various orders that would compel Facebook to bring itself into compliance.  Organizations governed by PIPEDA should keep a close eye on the Court’s inquiry as well as any eventual order enforcing compliance with the Act.… Continue Reading
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has held that Spanish shop workers’ right to privacy under Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights was not violated when their employer obtained evidence of theft from covert CCTV footage of the employees.… Continue Reading
On 24 September 2019 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave two judgments (Cases C-507/17 and C-136/17) ruling that: (i) de-referencing by Google should be limited to EU Member States’ versions of its search engine with some important qualifications; and (ii) when Google receives a request for de-referencing relating to a link to a web page on which sensitive data are published, a balance must be sought between the fundamental rights of the person requesting such de-referencing and those of internet users potentially interested in that information.
Google has already faced the issue … Continue Reading
The GDPR has significantly altered the landscape of data protection. Its broad scope and potentially severe penalties have forced those who hold and process data to take note of its provisions. In certain instances, that will include many in the international arbitration community, such as arbitral institutions. In parallel, cyber attacks and instances of hacking in the arbitration context have brought cyber security issues to the fore.
As a result, data protection and cyber security are now hot topics in international arbitration. A majority of respondents in the 2018 Queen Mary International Arbitration Survey listed “security of electronic communications and … Continue Reading
The opinion includes several key points on whether consent is ‘freely given’ pursuant to the ePrivacy-Directive and the GDPR and also gives insight on what constitutes ‘informed consent.’… Continue Reading
On January 3, 2019, the federal trial court in Manhattan issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily halting a new local law aimed at required disclosures by home-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, to the city. The court granted the preliminary injunction on the basis that the city’s broad requirement that the services turn over detailed customer information on a monthly basis likely violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—infringing the privacy rights of the companies, rather than the users. In contrast, the court ruled that the companies’ Stored Communications Act claim did not meet the standard for a … Continue Reading
In a recent decision, a California federal court held that an arbitration provision contained in Viacom, Inc.’s browsewrap agreement was unenforceable and denied Viacom’s request to stay the case pending arbitration. The court’s decision in Rushing v. Viacom, Inc. is consistent with “courts’ traditional reluctance to enforce browsewrap agreements against individual consumers.”… Continue Reading
A judgment handed down today by the English High Court will be welcomed by UK data controllers. Lloyd v Google  EWHC 2599 represents a corollary to recent case law expanding the circumstances in which litigation may be brought in relation to breaches of data protection legislation.
Most notably, the case:
- reinforces the need for “damage” to be proven by claimants before compensation can be obtained in these circumstances; and
- makes clear that the courts will not permit representative claims to be brought on behalf of a potentially large population of claimants without close scrutiny of the basis of those
On June 22, 2018, the US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States, holding that the federal government needs a warrant to access cellphone location records.
In the decision, the Court agreed that there should be a higher standard for accessing location records due to their intrusive nature.… Continue Reading
On March 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in In re Zappos.com, Inc., finding that allegations of future risk of identity theft from a data breach are sufficient to confer standing. This decision fuels an ongoing circuit split, pitting the D.C., Sixth, Seventh and now Ninth Circuits against the Second, Fourth, and Eighth Circuits over whether the mere exposure of personal information – without actual identity theft or credit/debit card fraud – establishes Article III standing.… Continue Reading
On March 16, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) omnibus order of 2015, relating to challenges to four of the FCC’s determinations relating to cell phones. The appellate court upheld the FCC’s determinations that consumers can revoke consent to receive marketing calls by “any reasonable means” that clearly expresses the desire to receive no further messages from the caller, and an exception for certain “emergency” healthcare-related calls. On the other hand, the court set aside the FCC’s decision regarding the definition of an “automatic telephone … Continue Reading
The High Court in London has handed down a judgment establishing that, as a matter of English law, a company can be held vicariously liable in respect of data breaches caused by its employees.
The German federal labor court held in a recent decision (Bundesarbeitsgericht, 27 July 2017 – case no. 2 AZR 681/16) that the use of evidence obtained through the use of key logger software is not permitted under current German privacy law, if there is no suspicion of a criminal offense. Such monitoring is only allowed when an employer has a concrete suspicion of a criminal offense by an employee or any other serious breach of duty in a specific case. This decision is understood as a general guidance where the highest labor court gave guidance on secret employee … Continue Reading
In technology vendor contracts, the vendor’s obligations to protect the customer’s data are often hotly negotiated. The vendor may want to spell out only the data security measures it currently employs, or—at most—agree to implement “reasonable” data security measures. Given the stakes if sensitive data is breached, though, the customer may insist that the vendor use its “best efforts” to protect its data. But one rarely sees a “best efforts” clause in a technology contract, especially with respect to data protection.… Continue Reading
In the data breach case, Beck v. McDonald, 848 F.3d 262 (4th Cir. 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit joined at least five other circuits in analyzing whether mere allegations of future identity theft can establish injury-in-fact as required to confer Article III standing. There, the Court found that allegations of future harm were too speculative, particularly where there was no allegation or evidence that the confidential information was targeted or had been used fraudulently. The analysis aligns with distinctions made by other circuits between misplaced or stolen physical property cases, where the loss of … Continue Reading
Earlier this year, a Canadian trial court ruled that Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) has extra-territorial application and restricts the dissemination of personal information of Canadians, even where the information is already public, and even though it is made available from outside Canada.… Continue Reading
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania last month dismissed a class action lawsuit, Dittman v. UPMC, brought by employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) for a 2014 data breach. The breach impacted nearly 62,000 UPMC employees and resulted in at least 788 fraudulent tax filings. The court held that UPMC had no duty to safeguard the electronically-stored personal and financial information of its employees. This decision presents a practical analysis of the challenges facing large employers who need to store employee information electronically while also guarding against the ever-present risk of a data breach.… Continue Reading
Under the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA“), data subjects have rights to obtain copies of their personal information through a data subject access request (“DSAR“). Data subjects frequently use DSARs to obtain information in the context of non-data protection disputes with data controllers. There has been much controversy over this practice, particularly as the £10 maximum fee the data controller may charge dwarfs the cost of complying with the request.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals last week reversed the district court’s approval of a settlement and settlement class in the consolidated consumer class action arising from Target Corporation’s 2013 security incident. This decision provided a new perspective on a persistent dilemma in the evolving law of data breaches: how to handle data breach victims whose data was compromised but not misused, and therefore they cannot show concrete monetary harm. Here, that issue has at least temporarily derailed a multi-million settlement of the last major lawsuit arising out of Target’s high-profile incident.… Continue Reading
On October 19, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decided that the dynamic IP address of a website visitor is “personal data” under Directive 95/46EC (Data Protection Directive) in the hands of a website operator that has the means to compel an internet service provider to identify an individual based on the IP address.… Continue Reading