Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Data Privacy News and Updates

Firms that store and manage sensitive client information should take heed of recent privacy developments and news:
  • New California Data Privacy Law Now In Effect -- "SB 24 strengthens and standardizes the notification requirements when someone’s personal information has been hacked into, stolen, or lost. The bill also requires state agencies, businesses and others to notify the Attorney General if more than 500 Californians are affected by a data breach."
  • Privacy Enforcement Actions Set to Increase in 2012? -- "There's going to be a lot more privacy enforcement actions. By a lot of different government authorities, not just DPAs. And the sanctions/damages are going to go through the roof. Indeed, it's not easy to keep track of which government officials are in charge of data protection enforcement actions. There are a lot of them."
  • A pertinent example: UCLA Hospitals Sued Over Patient Data Breach -- "The suit, filed as a proposed class action on Dec. 14, alleges that by not protecting its patients' confidential information, the hospital system violated California's Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. The law allows each patient to recover $1,000 in statutory damages per occurrence." In this case, a former physician had sensitive information on his home computer, which was stolen by burglars. (Could this happen to a lawyer?)

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