Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $10 million settlement with the online learning company ABCmouse for allegedly violating the FTC Act as well as the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA). The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affective commerce. ROSCA makes it illegal to automatically
Over the past several years, state legislatures have become more aggressive in passing laws to protect consumers’ digital rights. The promulgation of state data security and privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, is a prime example of this trend. Another less publicized example of state oversight of online activities is legislation regulating…
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reinstated a data breach class action filed against Barnes & Noble (B&N). The litigation, styled as Dieffenbach v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., now heads back to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which previously dismissed the complaint three times for lack of standing and/or failure to state a claim.
The lawsuit stems from a September 2012 data breach in which “skimmers” gained access to the payment card readers in B&N stores and siphoned off customer names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and PINs. “Skimming” is an ‘old school’ hacking technique involving tampering with the PIN pad terminals to exfiltrate the payment card data that runs through them when a card is swiped. Payment card data was skimmed from PIN terminals in 63 B&N stores, located in 9 states.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Reinstates Barnes & Noble Data Breach Class Action
Alabama has officially joined the data breach notification party. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Act No. 2018-396 into law on March 28, 2018. The law will take effect on June 1, 2018. Although it was last in the country to enact such a data security law, Alabama’s new law will immediately take its place among the most stringent in the nation.
The Alabama law generally can be categorized into four obligations:
- All entities subject to the law (covered entities and third-party agents) must “implement and maintain reasonable security measures to protect sensitive personally identifying information against a breach of security.”
- A “covered entity shall conduct a good faith and prompt investigation” into “a breach of security that has or may have occurred in relation to sensitive personally identifying information.”
- A covered entity must notify each affected Alabama resident, and a third-party agent must notify the covered entity, of a “breach of security involving sensitive personally identifying information;”
- A covered entity must notify the Alabama Attorney General and credit reporting agencies of a breach involving more than 1,000 Alabama residents.
South Dakota (site of Ballard’s newest office) has become the 49th State to enact a data breach notification law. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed SB 62 into law on March 21, 2018. The law will take effect on July 1, 2018.
As with similar measures pending in other state legislatures, SB 62 was introduced in the South Dakota Senate on January 9, 2018, in the wake of the disclosures relating to the Equifax breaches. The law generally mirrors those of many other states, but includes a few new wrinkles.
Continue Reading South Dakota Enacts Data Breach Notification Law
Lyft recently confirmed that it is investigating whether its employees were accessing its customer database without appropriate authorization to obtain personal information, including rides taken by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The investigation was announced less than six months after Uber entered into a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent order to resolve allegations of similar behavior by its own employees.
The investigation demonstrates the importance of revisiting internal compliance measures in the wake of legal developments that may be relevant to a particular company or industry. Companies need to maintain comprehensive privacy programs to ensure the confidentiality of the personal information that they collect. Such programs should include, at a minimum:
Continue Reading Lyft Employees Demonstrate Need for Privacy Compliance Management
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
2018 is shaping up to be a potentially momentous year for data privacy, with a number of pending cases whose impact could fundamentally alter the scope of future privacy lawsuits and criminal investigations. This post will take a look at some of these cases and their potential impact.
Carpenter v. United States
We’ll start with Carpenter, which is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court and focuses on whether the Fourth Amendment requires the government to secure a search warrant to obtain a criminal defendant’s cell phone records from his or her cellular service provider.
Continue Reading Data Privacy Cases to Watch in 2018
Consumers are not the only ones suing retailers for payment card data breaches. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently denied, in large part, a motion to dismiss a data breach class action brought by Veridian Credit Union, on behalf of itself and other financial institutions, against Eddie Bauer, LLC. The class action relates to a January 2016 payment card data breach that allegedly impacted “every Eddie Bauer store in the United States and Canada.”
The court dismissed Veridian’s negligence per se claim, but allowed Veridian’s negligence and state statutory claims to proceed. The court’s analysis of choice of law and negligence issues is worth a read.
Continue Reading Federal Court Allows Credit Union Data Breach Class Action to Proceed Against Eddie Bauer
The FTC has released its annual report summarizing its activity during 2017 relating to privacy and data security issues. In its self-declared role as “the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer,” the FTC outlines 10 privacy cases and 4 data security cases that it brought in 2017, including Uber Technologies (transportation service), Vizio (television manufacturer), Blue Global (lead generator), Upromise (college rewards program), ACDI Group (an alleged debt buyer), TaxSlayer (tax preparation service), and D-Link (wireless routers and Internet cameras). In addition, the FTC also brought its first actions to enforce the EU-US Privacy Shield in 2017. The FTC report also described its activities relating to international enforcement, children’s privacy, and Do-Not-Call.
Continue Reading FTC Releases Annual Privacy and Data Security Update