Financial Industry Groups Should Have a Pulse on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Financial institutions that are grappling with how the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)may impact their U.S. operations should also be keeping a close eye on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”).  The CCPA, or Assembly Bill (“AB”) No. 375, which was passed on June 28, 2018 and is set to take effect in 2020, mirrors some GDPR protections by providing California residents greater control over the dissemination of their personal data, including the option of barring companies from selling their data. 

California Unanimously Enacts Comprehensive Digital Privacy Law

Back in 1972, California voters added privacy to the state constitution’s list of inalienable rights. On June 28, 2018, the California Legislature enacted and Governor Brown signed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The new Privacy Law creates one of the most comprehensive frameworks for regulating digital privacy in the United States. 

Proposal for new European ePrivacy Regulation

On 10 January 2017, the European Commission announced its proposal for new legislation which would update the law relating to privacy in electronic communications. The Commission has proposed a draft ePrivacy regulation that would repeal and replace the existing ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) (“ePrivacy Directive”). The draft regulation aims to further the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy by complementing and conforming privacy rules in the telecommunications sector with the General Data Protection

China’s New Cybersecurity Law

On November 7, 2016, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress promulgated the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “CSL”) to become effective on June 1, 2017. While the law purports to create an overall national cyber security plan, its provisions, some of which are still vague, create significant potential uncertainties for companies doing business in China.

Ransomeware: To Pay or Not to Pay

Ransomware. It’s a data security buzzword that has caught on among civilians and businesses. And it’s real. It threatens system security and costs victims plenty. But what is ransomware? Why is it more of a threat than typical cyber viruses and infections? What do you do to keep yourself immune from ransomware? If affected, what are your options?

Mobile Apps Face New Controls in China

The circumstances surrounding the replacement of Lu Wei as head of the Cyberspace Administration of China in June remain difficult to discern, but the politics surrounding its leadership seem not to have deflected the CAC from its mission to assert more control over cyberspace.

The CAC – also known as the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs – has issued new regulations which took effect on 1 August 2016 and place obligations on providers of mobile internet applications, or “apps”, that seem to mirror those placed on website and social media operators.

How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information

Companies should take three steps now to ensure use of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

In May, President Barack Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act that creates a federal civil cause of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets. This new law amends the Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a federal crime to steal and use trade secrets. Title 18 U.S.C. 1831, et. seq. For companies that depend on confidential information to provide them a competitive edge, there are several proactive steps they should take to ensure their use and the full benefits of this statute if their trade secrets are stolen.

Most significantly, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, unlike the state trade secrets laws, provides for an ex parte “order for the seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret,” upon a showing of “exceptional circumstance.” Traditional state court equitable remedies are limited to a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. The law also makes the theft, possession and use of trade secrets a predicate act for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statue, which can form the basis of a civil RICO action for treble damages and attorney fees. (In the past, federal courts have been reluctant under most circumstances to find a RICO “pattern” for trade secrets theft as part of a scheme to defraud based on the mail and wire fraud statutes. See, e.g., Bro-Tech Corp. v. Thermax (E.D. Pa. 2009).

Cybersecurity Advice to CEOs and Boards “Take more responsibility”!

The White House and its top security advisors are regularly advised about cyberintrusions and as a result the “time has come for CEOs and Boards to take personal responsibility for improving their companies’ cyber security” according to Former White House Senior Director for Cybersecurity Sameer Bhalotra. In the recent report from LogRhythm entitled “The Cyber Threat Risk – Oversight Guidance for CEOs and Boards” Bhalotra went to say:

Global payment systems, private customer data, critical control systems, and core intellectual property are all at risk today.

As cyber criminals step up their game, government regulators get more involved, litigators and courts wade in deeper, and the public learns more about cyber risks, corporate leaders will have to step up accordingly.

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