Global Privacy & Security Compliance Law Blog

European Commission Proposes ePrivacy Regulation

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy

By Ulrich Wuermeling

On January 10, 2017, the European Commission proposed a new ePrivacy Regulation (Proposal). Compared to the internal draft that was leaked in December, the official Proposal has been substantially modified. However, the general approach taken by the European Commission has not changed. The Proposal includes provisions with a broad scope of application covering over-the-top (OTT) services as well as communication between devices and all data stored on a device.

In the internal draft, the European Commission suggested to allow Member States to set the level of fines for unsolicited marketing communication. In the Proposal, the fine is set to be up to 10 million Euros. The European Commission also included May 25, 2018 as the date on which the new Regulation should become applicable. This would ensure that the ePrivacy Regulation would be in place simultaneously with the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679). However, given the complexity of the Proposal the timeline for the legislative process appears ambitious.

Look for a detailed analysis of the Proposal posted shortly here on the Global Privacy & Security Compliance Law Blog.

Financial Institutions Await Response to Concerns Over New York State Department of Financial Services’ Proposed Cybersecurity Rules

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Security

By Jennifer Archie, Alan Avery, Serrin Turner, and Pia Naib

Dozens of financial institutions and trade associations have lodged emphatic objections with the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) in response to the Department’s September 28, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies” (the Proposed Rules). As published for comment in the New York State Register, the Proposed Rules would impose expansive new cybersecurity requirements on entities under NYSDFS’ jurisdiction (and, through contract, would likely also impact service providers that process or store non-public information on their behalf). The Proposed Rules are considerably more prescriptive than cybersecurity guidance and standards promulgated by other financial regulators and, if adopted in their current form, would significantly ratchet up cybersecurity compliance obligations for affected institutions.

Interested parties were given the opportunity to provide feedback to NYSDFS on the Proposed Rules in a public notice-and-comment period that ended on November 14, 2016. The selected comments reviewed in this Client Alert cover a wide range of topics, but are animated by an overarching criticism that the Proposed Rules impose sweeping, categorical mandates as opposed to flexible, risk-based standards. The contemplated approach, the commenters warn, is at odds with well accepted principles of cybersecurity governance and would result in significant costs on financial institutions that are not justified by the cybersecurity benefits.

Recent reports indicate that, in light of the comments, the NYSDFS intends to modify the Proposed Rules and delay the effective date, which had initially been designated as January 1, 2017. How far NYSDFS goes toward modifying the Proposed Rules may signal where regulatory trends are headed in this area and how aggressively regulators may seek to exert pressure on businesses to incorporate specific policies and practices into their cybersecurity programs.

Read our full client alert: Financial Institutions Await Response to Concerns Over NYSDFS’ Proposed Cybersecurity Rules

GDPR Guidance: DPOs, Data Portability & the One-Stop-Shop

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy

By Fiona Maclean & Calum Docherty

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) – the group that represents the data protection authorities of all EU Member States – has published guidance and FAQs on a number of issues under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data Protection Officers (DPOs) (Guidance & FAQs)

DPOs are the cornerstone of the GDPR’s accountability regime. The GDPR requires that organisations must appoint a DPO when they engage in large-scale processing of personal data, large-scale regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects, or where obliged to by local law. The WP29 guidance elaborates on what these criteria mean in practice, clarifying when a DPO should be appointed. The guidance also confirms that the DPO can be an external party and is not personally responsible in the case of noncompliance with the GDPR. Continue Reading

Leaked Draft ePrivacy Regulation: What to Expect from the New Rules

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy

By Ulrich Wuermeling

An internal Commission draft of a new ePrivacy Regulation (Draft) has been leaked to the public. The Commission plans to propose it in early 2017, but the content of the Draft does not seem near a final proposal. It is either older or still needs some time to be finalized. The Draft reveals the Commission’s priorities of extending the scope of the Regulation, reducing the number of consent notices for first party cookies, increasing privacy and confidentiality of user data and applying higher fines.

If the approach proposed by the Draft were to pass, the commercial rules for the Internet could change substantially in the EU. The ability of internet service providers to monetize services with marketing would be hampered and the users would have to pick up the bill. The economic impact analysis of the Draft simply ignores these consequences by stating that website publishers would have “small” adoption costs and not mentioning any economic impact for users. Furthermore, the Regulation would in parts isolate the EU market from global innovations by fostering data localization. The approach might shield EU based companies from unwanted competition, but would ultimately slow down the development of the digital market in the EU. Continue Reading

6 Key Requirements of China’s First Network Security Law

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy

By Jennifer Archie, Gail Crawford, Serrin Turner, Hui Xu & Lex Kuo

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has introduced China’s first and comprehensive Network Security Law (also referred to as Cybersecurity Law). The law will have far-reaching implications for parties that utilize the internet and handle network data and personal information in the PRC.

What this means for China’s internet users

Both individuals and entities which access internet in the PRC will be subject to enhanced security requirements and new regulation relating to the use and transfer of personal data. Network operators, equipment suppliers, security solution providers and other market participants will need to comply with the sweeping new security requirements and national standards, which will come into effect on June 1, 2017. Continue Reading

Around the Table: Behind the Headlines of Evolving Cyberthreats

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy, Security

Latham partners Serrin Turner, Jennifer Archie and Jeffrey Tochner sat down with Eric Friedberg, Executive Chairman at Stroz Friedberg, and Matt Olsen, President – Consulting at IronNet Cybersecurity, to discuss current cyberthreat levels and the growing need for companies to devote resources for future risk mitigation.

 

 

Prevent and Prepare for a Cybersecurity Breach

Posted in Security

By Jennifer Archie, Gail Crawford, Andrew Moyle, Serrin Turner, and Brian Meenagh

Hacking of organizations’ systems is becoming increasingly commonplace, even with advancements in security practices. To mitigate risk, a company must have an enterprise-level, cross-functional incident response plan that is rehearsed and practiced. In the event of an incident a company with a rehearsed plan can avoid delays and mistakes, minimize conflicts between functions, and ensure regulatory, legal and contractual reporting requirements are met.

Take Preventative Action

No one can predict when or how a cybersecurity breach will occur, but organizations should take active steps to prepare. The following five actions can help ensure an organization’s cyber-readiness.

1. Adopt and continuously optimize a formal cybersecurity program:

While any program should be tailored to industry and regulatory schemes, generally the program must have the following core components. Continue Reading

FCC Issues New Privacy Regulations for Broadband Providers

Posted in Privacy

By Matt Murchison and Alex Stout

Today, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved far-reaching new information privacy rules that will govern how providers of broadband Internet access service collect, use, protect, and share data from their subscribers. These new rules, which were adopted by a 3 to 2 vote, are intended to fill a consumer protection gap that was created by the FCC’s reclassification of broadband Internet access service (or BIAS) as a Title II common carrier service as part of the 2015 Open Internet Order (the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not have jurisdiction over common carriers acting as common carriers). Although the full text of the today’s privacy order (the Order) has not yet been released, the agency provided a general outline of its new rules.

Today’s privacy rules are the result of a process that began in March, when the FCC circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on implementing Section 222’s privacy obligations for broadband providers. Section 222 was applied to broadband providers as part of the 2015 Open Internet Order, but until today’s Order the precise privacy obligations of broadband providers was not clear. The FCC’s NPRM had initially proposed sweeping new rules that in many ways went beyond the existing privacy framework of the FTC. For example, while the FTC has long embraced a unified, “technology neutral” approach applied equally to ISPs, websites, and all other participants in the Internet ecosystem, the FCC’s proposals focused solely on regulating ISPs. Moreover, whereas the FTC’s approach historically has turned on the sensitivity of the information being collected, used, or shared, the FCC’s initial proposal would have treated all forms of customer information equally, whether the information was a Social Security number or merely the customer’s first and last name. And while the FTC imposes a reasonableness standard for data security practices, the FCC proposed that broadband providers be required to “appropriately calibrate[]” their security practices to the data being collected, without an apparent reasonableness standard.  The FTC, in its comments to the FCC in this proceeding, suggested changes to the FCC’s proposal that would bring the two privacy regimes into greater harmony. Although the FCC did not accept all of these changes—and never wavered from its focus on regulating only ISPs—the final product is significantly changed from what we first saw in the NPRM. Continue Reading

Anonymous or Not: Court of Justice Issues Ruling on IP Addresses

Posted in Privacy, Security

By Gail Crawford and Ulrich Wuermeling

On October 19, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a ruling on the question of whether IP addresses constitute personal data. The ruling has direct implications on the general question of when data can be regarded as anonymous and, thus, fall outside the scope of data protection law. Many statistical applications rely on the assumption that they only use anonymous data (for example for online behavioral advertising, web analytics, security monitoring or health research). Whilst the CJEU has come to the conclusion that in this specific case IP addresses can be used to identify individuals, it provides helpful guidance in other cases where there is no real likelihood of the “key” to the data that is anonymised ever ending up in the hands of the processor in question.

In the case before the CJEU, the institutions of the German Federal Government stored logfiles of users of their internet websites in order to prevent attacks and to make it possible to prosecute “pirates.” The logfiles were kept by the institutions after the user ended the session. A German data protection activist sued the Government with the aim to block such storage. He argued that the data should be regarded as personal data since the internet service provider used by the activist had knowledge about his identity and the dynamic IP addresses he used. The logfiles should be regarded as “personal data” because the internet services provider, as a third party, was able to identify the users. Continue Reading

“Yarovaya” Law – New Data Retention Obligations for Telecom Providers and Arrangers in Russia

Posted in Legislative & Regulatory Developments, Privacy, Security

By Ksenia Koroleva

On July 6, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No 374-FZ. This law is also known as the “Yarovaya” law (named after a Russian senator who was the main driving force for the law to come into existence).

The Yarovaya law introduces amendments to certain Russian federal laws. The majority of the amendments came into effect on July 20, 2016, however, some of the requirements relating to storage of metadata, as described below, will only come into force starting from July 1, 2018. A draft law which aims to postpone the effective date of such requirements due to their technical complexity from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2023 is currently being considered by the Russian State Duma.

The Yarovaya law, which is political and primarily aimed at combating terrorism, contains new rules on data retention which need to be taken into account by telecom companies and other persons operating or assisting in the operation of communications services. Continue Reading

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