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.
The Google Buzz settlement that the Federal Trade Commission announced on March 30, 2011 is the latest in the line of the Commission's numerous Section 5 actions related to privacy and data security violations. The Google Buzz settlement, however, is unique in several important ways. The settlement represents (i) the first FTC settlement order has requires a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers' information, and (ii) the Commission's first substantive U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework enforcement action. Let's dive in (make sure to read the "Action Item" at the conclusion of the post!).
Dave and I recently spoke with BNA's Daily Report for Executives about the importance of due diligence and planning for organizations entering into (or considering) enterprise cloud computing arrangements. You can find the article, "'Cloud' Customers Facing Contracts With Huge Liability Risks, Attorneys Say," here.
On February 17, 2009, Congress signed into law the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health or "HITECH" Act ("HITECH" or the "Act") as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The HITECH Act requires entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") to provide notification to affected individuals and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("HHS") following the discovery of a breach of unsecured protected health information. HITECH also requires business associates of HIPAA-covered entities to notify the covered entity in the event of the breach. The Act required HHS to issue interim final regulations with respect to the new breach notification requirements. On August 24, 2009, the HHS interim final regulations were published in the Federal Register.