We have entered an era where our commercial transactions are increasingly being conducted online without any face-to-face interaction, and without the traditional safeguards used to confirm that a party is who they purport to be. The attenuated nature of many online relationships has created an opportunity for criminal elements to steal or spoof online identities and use them for monetary gain. As such, the ability of one party to authenticate the identity of the other party in an online transaction is of key importance.To counteract this threat, the business community has begun to develop new authentication procedures to enhance the reliability of online identities (so that transacting parties have a higher degree of confidence that the party on the other end of an electronic transaction is who they say they are). At the same time, the law is beginning to recognize a duty to authenticate. This blogpost post looks at two online banking breach cases to examine what courts are saying about authentication and commercially reasonable security.
Employees are increasingly using (and demanding to use) their personal devices to store and process their employer's data, and connect to their networks. This "Bring Your Own Device" trend is in full swing, whether companies like it or not. Some organizations believe that BYOD will allow them to avoid significant hardware, software and IT support costs. Even if cost-savings is not the goal, most companies believe that processing of company data on employee personal devices is inevitable and unavoidable.Unfortunately, BYOD raises significant data security and privacy concerns, which can lead to potential legal and liability risk. This blogpost identifies and explores some of the key privacy and security legal concerns associated with BYOD, including "reasonable" BYOD security, BYOD privacy implications, and security and privacy issues related to BYOD incident response and investigations.
The White House today released its white paper setting forth a framework for "Protecting Privacy And Promoting Innovation in The Global Digital Economy" (the " Framework"). The Framework is far reaching, touching on everything from a call for legislation, including a national standard for security breach legislation, to promoting international interoperability.The Framework centers on The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which contains seven core principles relating to "personal data." Note that "personal data" is defined broadly, to encompass any data, including aggregated data, which can be linked to a specific individual, and may include data linked to a specific computer or other device. It is worth noting that the Framework includes, as an illustrative example of personal data, "an identifier on a smartphone or family computer that is used to build a usage profile."
In 2011, InfoLawGroup began its "Legal Implications" series for social media by posting Part One (The Basics) and Part Two (Privacy). In this post (Part Three), we explore how security concerns and legal risk arise and interact in the social media environment.There are three main security-related issues that pose potential security-related legal risk. First, to the extent that employees are accessing and using social media sites from company computers (or increasingly from personal computers connected to company networks or storing sensitive company data), malware, phishing and social engineering attacks could result in security breaches and legal liability. Second, spoofing and impersonation attacks on social networks could pose legal risks. In this case, the risk includes fake fan pages or fraudulent social media personas that appear to be legitimately operated. Third, information leakage is a risk in the social media context that could result in an adverse business and legal impact when confidential information is compromised.
Publicly traded businesses now have yet another set of guidelines to follow regarding security risks and incidents. On October 13, 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance released a guidance document that assists registrants in assessing what disclosures should be made in the face of cyber security risks and incidents. The guidance provides an overview of disclosure obligations under current securities laws - some of which, according to the guidance, may require a disclosure of cyber security risks and incidents in financial statements.
Much like the "Cloud computing revolution" there is an almost frenzied excitement around social media, and many companies are stampeding to exploit social networking. The promise of increased intimate customer interactions, input and loyalty, and enhanced sales and expanded market share can result in some organizations overlooking the thorny issues arising out of social networking. Many of these issues are legal in nature and could increase the legal risk and liability potential of an organization employing a social media strategy.In this multi-part series the InfoLawGroup will identify and explore the legal implications of social media. This series will help organizations begin to identify some of the legal risks associated with social media so that they may start addressing and mitigating these risks while maximizing their social media strategy. In Part One of the series, we will provide a high level overview of the legal risks and issues associated with an organization's use of social media. In subsequent parts members of the InfoLawGroup team will take a deeper dive into these matters, and provide some practical insight and strategic direction for addressing these issues. As always, we view our series as the beginning of a broader conversation between ourselves and the larger community, and we welcome and strongly encourage comments, concerns, corrections and criticisms.
As we move into 2011 it should be obvious that cloud computing is not a fad, but rather a computing model that is becoming ubiquitous. Cloud computing offers a slew of advantages including efficiency, instant scalability and cost effectiveness. However, these advantages must be balanced against the control organizations may lose over their information technology operations when they are reliant on a cloud provider to provide key processes. The issues that arise out of this loss of control are apparent when considering data breach response and liability in the cloud. When a cloud customer puts its sensitive data into the cloud it is completely reliant on the security and incident response processes of the cloud service provider in order to respond to a data breach. This situation poses many fundamental problems.
Over the past couple years, many predicted that new state laws would follow the lead of states like Nevada and Massachusetts, and some anticipated we could see a situation where 50 different privacy/security laws across the country. Now it looks like we are beginning to see some renewed activity on the state level. In Hawaii we have a proposed bill that would require breached entities to provide credit monitoring and call center services to impacted individuals. In my home state, Colorado, a legislator (Dan Pabon) has proposed a novel bill that takes a new approach to incentivizing companies to implement good security. In this post, we take a look at the highlights of the Colorado bill.
On February 12, 2011, the American Bar Association Information Security Committee established the Smart Grid Privacy and Security Working Group. The working group's mission is to increase awareness regarding privacy and information security legal issues arising in connection with the Smart Grid among consumers, regulators, utilities, service provider and other stakeholders. Gib Sorebo, Chief Cybersecurity Technologist at SAIC, and Boris Segalis, partner at InfoLawGroup, will co-chair the group.
2010. What a year for data security and privacy, and the law. Choose whatever story you want: Facebook privacy practices, Google Buzz, Wikileaks data breach , TSA full body scanning at the airports, FTC Do Not Track, etc. I am having trouble thinking of a week (perhaps even a day) in 2010 where there wasn't a big privacy or data security story reported at a major media outlet. It is difficult to come up with an issue in 2010 (except perhaps "the economy" or the healthcare debate) that became more firmly lodged in the public consciousness than privacy and data security.While we were all thinking about Halloween and Thanksgiving, and trying to avoid the crush of Hanukah, Christmas and New Years, several privacy lawsuits were filed against online behavioral tracking companies and some of their clients. In my view these lawsuits and the activity that arises out of them (regulatory and otherwise) will be one of the big data security and privacy stories of 2011. What follows is a very brief listing of some the key lawsuits from 2010 that InfoLawGroup is aware of and tracking. There may be more that are not on the list (such is pace of change in this space) and if you know of others, please send them to me so I can list them here to serve as a resource for the larger privacy community. Over the course of 2011 (and beyond) InfoLawGroup will be taking a deeper look at these cases and providing updates as they progress through motion practice, trial and settlement.
On December 1, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission issued a preliminary report entitled "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change, A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers". The report proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services.