As we were the first in the nation to report, in January, Colorado lawmakers proposed legislation that would significantly change the way in which entities operating in Colorado must protect confidential information and disclose breaches involving same.

Last week, the bill’s sponsors submitted an amended bill that revises a number of key provisions. Among other changes, the amended bill would require entities to notify Colorado residents within 30 days of discovery of a data breach.  If enacted, Colorado would have the shortest time frame for disclosure in the country.

The bill’s sponsors also left little doubt that the proposed legislation was a reaction to the Equifax data breach. At a committee hearing held in Denver on February 14, co-sponsor Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe County) began his remarks by specifically identifying the Equifax breach as his motivation for sponsoring the bill. During his remarks, co-sponsor Cole Wist (R-Arapahoe County) stated that the legislation would provide some of the strongest protections for consumers in the country.

The Colorado legislature’s efforts are another reminder that states are continuing to take the lead in enacting privacy and cybersecurity legislation in the face of federal inaction.

For a discussion of the amended bill, see our alert – Update on Colorado’s Proposed Privacy and Cybersecurity Legislation. To listen to the committee hearing, including testimony from Ballard Spahr partner David Stauss, click here.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has unveiled a new, “easier and more efficient” way to notify her office of data breaches. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has created an online portal and web form for submitting data breach notifications.  An email announcing the changes was transmitted this week to attorneys who have previously filed data breach notices on behalf of clients. The email requested our “assistance in passing the message along,” which we are hereby doing.

Attorney General Healey stated, “This new feature allows businesses to more efficiently report data breaches so we can take action and share information with the public.”  The Attorney General Office’s website will soon include a publicly accessible database of data breaches reported to the Office. Other states, including California and Maryland, have similar public databases.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General Launches Online Data Breach Reporting Portal

Add South Dakota (site of Ballard’s newest office) and North Carolina to the list of states considering new data security legislation. South Dakota is poised to become the 49th state to enact a data breach notification law, while North Carolina is considering a very significant expansion of its existing law.

Will South Dakota Become No. 49?

The South Dakota Senate passed SB 62 on January 25, 2018. The bill, which now heads to the South Dakota House of Representatives, generally would require an “information holder” to notify South Dakota residents of any “breach of system security” involving their “personal or protected information.” Subject to certain exceptions, notification to South Dakota residents must be made “not later than sixty days from the discovery or notification of the breach of system security.” The South Dakota Attorney General and “all consumer reporting agencies as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1681a” also must be notified of breaches involving more than 250 South Dakota residents. Notification to South Dakota residents is not required “if following appropriate investigation and notice to the attorney general, the information holder reasonably determines that the breach will not likely result in harm to the affected person.” Continue Reading South Dakota and North Carolina Consider New Data Security Legislation

A bipartisan group of Colorado legislators proposed legislation that, if enacted, would significantly change the requirements for how Colorado entities protect, transfer, secure, and dispose of documents containing personal identifying information. The proposed legislation also would expand the types of information covered by the Colorado Breach Notification Law and add additional requirements for companies that have suffered a data breach, such as a 45-day deadline to provide notice to affected individuals. Click here for a discussion of the proposed legislation.

With the New Year comes new data breach compliance obligations! Two Mid-Atlantic states have cybersecurity related compliance statutes that have – or will soon – take effect. Are you ready?

New Year’s Day ushered into effect the amended Maryland Personal Information Protection Act, which expands the definition of “personal information,” creates a 45-day deadline for providing notice of a breach, allows for substitute service when the breach enables an individual’s e-mail to be accessed, and increases the class of information subject to Maryland’s destruction of records laws. To the customary litany of data elements comprising “personal information,” Maryland has added personal health and health insurance information, biometric data, online account credentials and passport/government ID numbers. The amended data destruction provision now applies to customer and employee/former employee records containing personal information. See our prior alert detailing the amendments here. Continue Reading New 2018 Data Breach Compliance Obligations Begin Going into Effect

2017 brought a new trend in cybersecurity law – state agency rulemaking independent of legislative action. To be sure, Massachusetts has long had cybersecurity regulations on the books, but those regulations were enacted based on a legislative mandate. What occurred in 2017 is different because individual state agencies in New York, Colorado, and Vermont took it upon themselves to promulgate regulations directed at filling a perceived need to ensure that regulated entities were taking proper steps to protect confidential information. That action – and the expectation that we will see more in 2018 – has added another level of complexity to the web of state and federal laws that govern this area. In fact, in another sign that we can expect even more action in this area, at the end of 2017, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued a 13 page model data security law. Continue Reading State Cybersecurity Regulations: A Look Back at 2017

The Colorado Division of Securities made national headlines last year when it promulgated cybersecurity rules applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisors. Since the rules went into effect in July 2017, the Division has published a compliance checklist containing additional requirements for covered entities. Colorado-based members of Ballard Spahr’s Privacy and Data Security Group, who participated in drafting the cybersecurity rules, have now published a guide for covered entities that will help them understand their obligations under the Division’s rules and how to comply with them. Click here to view the guide.

The Arizona legislature is considering legislation that would significantly change its data breach notification statute. The proposed legislation would expand the statute’s definition of personal information, modify the timing requirements for providing notice to affected individuals, and specify what information must be provided in the notice. To read more about this proposed legislation, click here.