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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