Tag Archives: PII

Information in Distress – Part 1

More and more frequently the following question arises: “What do we do about personal, sensitive, and business information owned by or residing with a financially troubled company?” Information is an intangible asset and often has significant value. Information increasingly resides with a party other than the owner and may need to be transferred in unexpected … Continue Reading

FTC v. ASUS – In the Internet age, being a foreign-based company is no defense

Your business is an international company selling products to U.S. consumers. In the last few years, you may have heard a lot about high-profile information privacy and security cases brought by the U.S. government. Should you be concerned? Most definitely. On Feb. 23, 2016, the FTC announced that Taiwan-based computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computers, Inc. … Continue Reading

Adding yet more class to Information Governance (Part 3)

In this series on defining your company’s information security classifications, we’ve already looked at Protected Information under state PII breach notification statutes, and PHI under HIPAA. What’s next? Customer information that must be safeguarded under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), a concern for any “financial institution” under GLBA. GLBA begins with an elegant, concise statement of congressional … Continue Reading

What’s new with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act?

The Cybersecurity Act of 2015, signed into law on Dec. 18, has four titles that address longstanding concerns about cybersecurity in the United States, such as cybersecurity workforce shortages, infrastructure security, and gaps in business knowledge related to cybersecurity. This post distills the risks and highlights the benefits for private entities that may seek to … Continue Reading

Adding more class to Information Governance (Part 2)

In this series on establishing security classifications for your company’s information, last week’s post looked at one aspect – the widely varying definitions of Protected Information under state PII breach notification statutes. But if your organization is a covered entity or business associate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the definition of Protected … Continue Reading

Adding some class to Information Governance (Part 1)

When governing information, it works well to identify and bundle rules (for legal compliance, risk, and value), identify and bundle information (by content and context), and then attach the rule bundles to the information bundles. Classification is a great means to that end, by both framing the questions and supplying the answers. With a classification … Continue Reading

FTC v. LifeLock — sorry Virginia, there is no Security Claus

Today the FTC announced a $100-million settlement of its most recent data security lawsuit against LifeLock, the ubiquitous B2C provider of credit monitoring and identity theft protection to consumers.  Despite years of litigation with the FTC and 35 states’ attorneys general, LifeLock has continued with a business model that taps into consumers’ visceral fear of identity … Continue Reading

Wyndham checks out of FTC dispute

Yesterday the FTC announced it has settled its claims against Wyndham for inadequate data security, with Wyndham signing on to essentially the same consent order used by the FTC in most of its more than 50 concluded data security enforcement matters. The settlement marks the end of a three-year legal battle in which Wyndham attempted, unsuccessfully, to restrict … Continue Reading

FTC v. LabMD – 50 shades of white hat

The FTC has pursued enforcement actions against more than 50 companies for inadequate data security, and to date only two, Wyndham Hotels and LabMD, have pushed back. On the heels of a Third Circuit victory in its Wyndham litigation, the FTC recently suffered a blow when its administrative complaint against LabMD was dismissed – by an FTC administrative … Continue Reading

Target update: Happy holidays for banks

Talk about a “bank holiday” – under a settlement deal filed in court yesterday, Target will pay $39.4 million  to a litigation class of banks and credit unions to settle financial institution claims related to the retailers’ massive 2013 data breach, which compromised at least 40 million credit cards. The preliminary settlement is the first time … Continue Reading

IRS shines the light on tax ID theft

There are at least 1,040 reasons to love Florida. Who isn’t drawn to the sunshine, the pristine beaches, the food… and the tax fraud racket? For decades, South Florida has been the Silicon Valley for scam artists, drawn by the weather and the opportunity to make lots of money without actually doing much work. According … Continue Reading

IG perspective: Are wearable fitness trackers fit for the workplace?

Wow, our group health plan premiums are crushing us. Wait a minute—what if we ramped up our company’s wellness program, using cool technology to help get our workforce in shape? Let’s get all our employees to use those wearable fitness tracker gizmos! We can fold those into our BYOD program, offer a device subsidy, and … Continue Reading

90% of information governance is half contracting

Yogi Berra will be missed, but his wisdom will endure. Who else could have observed “No one goes there nowadays. It’s too crowded”? The information governance equivalent is “No one has information anymore. There’s too much of it.” In the last decade we have witnessed the systemic utilitization of computing power. Data used to be housed predominantly … Continue Reading

Will you still love me tomorrow, post-breach?

Do data breaches cause lasting reputational damage for organizations? We all know breach response is expensive –  just ask Target, which posted data breach-related costs of $162 million through fiscal year 2014, plus another $129 million for the first half of FY2015, all net of $90 million in cyber insurance. That’s a lot of zeros, and it’s … Continue Reading

DEF CON 23—Part II: cyber risk management strategy

At DEF CON you’ll often hear that “every company is receiving penetration testing, but some companies pay for the pleasure.” My take is that every company pays for penetration testing – some companies pay in planned expenditures, but others pay in response costs, reputation loss, business interruption, legal liability, and increased insurance premiums. Or as Claus Moser observed, … Continue Reading

DEF CON 23—Part I: Hackers highlight evolving cyber threats

Faces lit by computers, the hackers’ objectives were clear — attack and defend. At this year’s DEF CON, the largest hacker convention in the United States, pre-qualified teams of hackers from around the globe faced-off in a network-security simulation that combined network sniffing, cryptanalysis, programming, reverse-engineering, and other tactics that would make Lisbeth Salander blush. Back in … Continue Reading

Sorry seems to be the hardest word – updating your privacy policy

“Sorry.” Music service Spotify joins the club as the latest company to apologize to its customers for proposed privacy policy changes. When it comes to bad press, it would be tough to beat Minecraft-founder Markus Persson’s tweet about Spotify: “Hello. As a consumer, I’ve always loved your service. You’re the reason I stopped pirating music. Please … Continue Reading

IG perspective: adding social media to workplace websites

Old-school company intranets are like soooo boring. Why not juice things up? Sure, we’ll keep the one-directional content (employee policies, company announcements, etc.), but let’s add a dynamic platform for employee interactive training modules, capturing employee responses and quiz results. Why stop there – how about a message board for employees, to turn dull company … Continue Reading

Federal Cyber Legislation Update #2

As high-profile data breaches continue to make news, it appears Congress could finally pass legislation establishing a national standard for data breach notification. Currently, PII breach notification is governed by a patchwork of state laws, making compliance burdensome and time consuming for affected businesses. To further complicate matters, many states have recently passed or are … Continue Reading

State breach notification laws: the quilt is getting crazier

Ah, Federalism. In countless ways we benefit from a system in which individual states can express their respective policy interests in differing state laws, with the resulting quilt bound together by the Constitution, federal law, and judicial interpretation. But on some topics we end up with a “crazy quilt” … and PII breach notification is … Continue Reading

Words from the wolf at the door

Companies suffering a data breach have a lot to worry about. High on that list is Norman Siegel, a founding member of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP. Siegel is a prominent data breach plaintiffs’ lawyer – he helped lead the team representing consumers in the consolidated Target data breach lawsuits, and currently serves as lead counsel representing … Continue Reading

Decrypting what you need to know about encryption keys

Some weeks ago I experienced that sinking feeling that comes with locking your keys in the car. Fortunately, I was only a phone call and a 20-minute wait away from rescue. But how can that happen, you ask, given all the modern safeguards built into automotive key technology? Don’t cars these days alert you or … Continue Reading

Taking stock of the Target data breach

The Target data breach disrupted the 2013 holiday shopping season, shook the retail industry, and shocked many who assumed that a nationwide retailer would have the security controls in place to prevent such an attack. The breach exposed credit card data of 40 million individuals and personal data of approximately 70 million consumers. A quarter billion … Continue Reading
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