Privacy Guidelines

New Privacy Guidance From NIST and ISO

National Institute of Standards and Technology, ISO Release Privacy Guidance Companies seeking guidance about how to understand privacy risks and to implement measures to address them should be aware of two new resources – The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (“NIST”) draft Privacy Framework and the International Organization for Standardization’s (“ISO”) International Standard for privacy information management. These tools are designed to work alongside existing guidelines for cybersecurity and the requirements of emerging law such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. The NIST Privacy Framework   In September, NIST, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released a preliminary draft of…

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U.S. Senate Commerce Committee To Hold Hearings on Privacy February 27, 2019

On February 27, 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will convene a hearing titled “Privacy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States.” Committee members will focus on potential Congressional action to “address risks to consumers and implement data privacy protections for all Americans.” Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi described the hearing as an opportunity to “help set the stage for meaningful bipartisan legislation.” The hearing comes in the midst of calls from policymakers, advocates and industry for law that would protect individuals, foster trust, and promote innovation. Several lawmakers introduced legislation in the last Congress, and bills are expected…

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French Data Protection Authorities Fine Google Nearly $57 Million for Violations of the General Data Protection Regulation’s Notice and Consent Requirements

French regulators have fined Google nearly $57 million for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This fine was the first major penalty levied against a large U.S. technology company since the regulation took effect in May 2018. France’s data protection authority, known as the CNIL, said that Google failed to fully disclose to users how their personal information is collected and what happens to it. Significantly, regulators said that Google also did not properly obtain users’ consent to use the data to serve them personalized advertisements. The CNIL said in a statement that the violations “deprive the users of essentially guarantees regarding processing operations that can…

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Singapore Joins the Accountability-based APEC System

While companies work to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European law that takes effect on May 25, it is important to remember that countries in other parts of the world also are adopting new approaches to information privacy protection. Companies that plan to do business in new markets should take note of these and understand that the steps they take to comply with the GDPR – particularly with respect to accountability – can lay the groundwork for compliance in other regions. On March 6, 2018, Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information announced that Singapore has joined the APEC Cross-border Privacy Rules (CBPR). The APEC CBPR system…

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New Guidance about Transparency: Notices Must Be Accurate, Clear and Easy To Locate

Important guidance about the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) transparency requirements has been released from Europe. The Article 29 Working Party, an advisory body that oversees data protection in the EU, issued a paper that provides practical guidance and clarity about the obligations of data controllers with respect to informing individuals about the collection, use and protection of their data. The GDPR requires that notices must: be concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible (Article 12.1); use clear and plain language (Article 12.1); the requirement for clear and plain language is of particular importance when providing information to children (Article 12.1); be provided in writing “or by other means, including where…

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U.S. Regulators Convene Workshop on Privacy Risks and Harms

Compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), scheduled to take effect in May 2018, has taken center stage for companies. But it is important to remember that regulators in the U.S. continue their own work to protect the privacy interests of consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took the spotlight on December 12, 2017, when it hosted a one-day workshop titled “Informational Injury” in Washington DC. The event brought together a variety of stakeholders – including industry representatives, consumer advocates, academics and government researchers – to discuss issues related to the injuries consumers suffer when information about them is misused. In opening remarks, Acting FTC Chairwoman…

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The Five Essential Elements of Accountability Under the GDPR Every Business Should Know

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in May 2018 (only six months from now) has been the subject of countless conference discussions, press stories, and company meetings about the challenges of compliance. The GDPR is a lengthy and complex read, and its requirements – ranging from detailed consent requirements to the need to conduct data protection impact assessments – can seem daunting. What is often lost in the concern about specifics is that the most important change the GDPR represents is the shift in thinking it requires. The GDPR provides that companies change their mindset from one of “check-box” compliance to accountability. It requires…

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Achieved Compliance Participates in the 39th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Hong Kong

Last month, Achieved Compliance attended the 39th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Hong Kong. Stephen Kai-yi Wong, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong, hosted the event, which was attended by over 3,000 data protection authorities, privacy professionals, industry representatives and non-governmental organizations. The Commissioners’ Conference convenes annually and offers one of the best opportunities to learn not only about the current state of data protection law, but to understand what is top-of-mind for regulators and what new challenges they see on the horizon. Among its goals is to promote and enhance personal data protection and privacy rights around the world, and to provide a forum…

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission Announces Settlement of First Privacy Shield Enforcement Action

On September 8, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced settlement of its first enforcement action involving the terms of the Privacy Shield. Three companies – Decusoft, LLC, Tru Communication, Inc., and Md7, LLC were alleged to have violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) by falsely claiming that they were certified to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. In fact, they had not completed the certification process required. One of the companies, Decusoft, falsely claimed not to be certified to the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. As part of their settlements with the FTC, the companies are prohibited from misrepresenting the extent to which they participate in any privacy or…

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You Can’t Outsource Liability for Failure To Protect Data – Fine Issued for Negligence in Overseeing a Vendor’s Performance

If a recent decision of the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) is any indication, companies can expect that data protection authorities will hold them responsible for ensuring that the vendors they contract with can secure and protect the company’s personal data. On July 27, 2017, the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) fined the Hertz Corporation €40,000 when information about approximately 35,000 users was exposed to inappropriate access because of the negligence of a vendor in charge of designing the Hertz France website. The privacy office’s enforcement committee July 18 held that Hertz failed to meet its data security obligations. The enforcement audit of the company’s website determined that a…

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