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And Now There are Three: Nevada Joins California and Delaware in Privacy Policy Requirements for Website Operators

The latest development with respect to privacy policies involves amendments to existing legislation governing state statutes governing the security of personal information for website operators and online service providers. (See June 30, 2017 Alert – FTC Issues Updated Guidance for Compliance with COPPA).  This may be the next wave of statutory amendments in the ongoing … Continue Reading

Two New Developments in Website Accessibility Cases: Nation’s First Website Accessibility Trial Verdict Is Far From a Winn for Retailers, and Hobby Lobby Is Dealt a Blow in California Decision

As numerous retailers know firsthand, website accessibility has become a hotbed for litigation in recent years. Despite plaintiffs filing scores of website accessibility claims against retailers each year, very few of these cases make it past pleadings, and there has been little to no guidance from the courts. This changed on June 13, 2017, in … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Attorney Has No Standing to Bring Class Action Discrimination Suit Against Card Processor

A recent decision by the United States District Court in Robert E. White v. Square, Inc., (N.D. Cal. 2016) provides an interesting discussion of the standing requirements for the assertion of discrimination claims against online businesses pursuant to the California Unruh Civil Rights Act. Key Facts The defendant provided point of sale processing of debit … Continue Reading

Sedgwick’s Cinthia Motley speaking at ACI’s 14th Advanced Forum on Cyber & Data Risk Insurance

Coverage, Underwriting and Claims Strategies for Managing Privacy/Security, Data and Network Risk and Liability Who Should Attend: Insurance professionals, in-house counsel, and outside counsel specializing in technology, products, pricing, coverage options, prevention strategies and more. Where: Park Central Hotel, San Francisco, CA When: November 30 – December 1, 2016 Register at: In its 14th … Continue Reading

Ransomware article by Scott Lyon published in Today’s General Counsel

The article “Lessons from Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Providers” by Scott Lyon was published in the June/July issue of Today’s General Counsel. The article addresses the recent ransomware attacks on healthcare providers and proposes strategies for any company to avoid or mitigate ransomware attacks. Click here to view the article.… Continue Reading

Federal Legislation Seeks to Pre-Empt State Bills Mandating Smartphone Encryption Backdoors

On February 10, 2016, Representative Ted Lieu (D-California) and Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced a bill into Congress that would seek to pre-empt state efforts to require smartphone manufacturers to incorporate encryption “backdoors” for law enforcement and otherwise dictate smartphone design and encryption standards. Rep. Lieu, one of only four computer science majors serving in … Continue Reading

California Restricts Warrantless Access of Electronic Data by Law Enforcement

An overwhelming majority of Californians (82%) have spoken up loud and clear that they want change – they want the police to “get a warrant” for digital information. Now, Californians can rest assured that law enforcement cannot poke around in their digital records without first obtaining a warrant. On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown … Continue Reading

California AG Sends Strong Message to Live Up to Privacy Promises or Face Multi-Million Dollar Consequences

A California state court on September 17, 2015 approved a $33 million settlement between the California Attorney General (“AG”), the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) and Comcast for Comcast’s failure to live up to its promise not to disclose customer’s information when those users paid for a non-published telephone number. This settlement illustrates the AG’s … Continue Reading

Second Wave of Auto-Renew Lawsuits Makes Business Model Risky

In the past several years, subscription-based product and service providers have emerged in almost every sector. People are buying baby supplies, razors, groceries and cloud space by using a model once reserved for magazines. For a monthly fee, startups also offer services such as transportation, personal assistance, and dress rentals — as companies continue to … Continue Reading

California’s Song-Beverly “Consumer Perception Test” in Jeopardy — Will Retailers in California Be Barred from Requesting Any Personal Information from Consumers at the Point-of-Sale?

On May 5, 2015, the Ninth Circuit certified for the California Supreme Court the issue of whether the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (“the Act”) prohibits retailers from requesting a customer’s personal information at the point-of-sale (POS) after the customer has already paid, even if a reasonable consumer would not interpret the request as a condition for paying by credit … Continue Reading

New California Privacy & Protection Act Proposes Standards for Personal Information Encryption, Bans Sales of Voice-Recording TVs, Criminalizes Vehicle Hacking, and Slew of Other Privacy-Related Measures

New legislation proposed in California includes a package of privacy-related bills referred to as the California Privacy & Protection Act. The bills proposed include: Encryption: A.B. 83 would set encryption standards for personal information stored in the cloud. The bill’s author rejected a specific standard in favor of a “reasonably prudent encryption standard” to flex … Continue Reading

California Passes New Data Breach Laws: Requirement to Offer Identity Theft Protection at No Cost, New Duties Imposed on “Maintainers” of Personal Information, and Sale of Social Security Numbers Banned

California added new provisions to its data breach law on October 1 by signing Bill AB 1710 into law. The amendment to California’s Civil Code (1) requires entities that experience a data breach to provide identity theft prevention and mitigation services at no cost for 12 months if the notifying entity is the “source” of … Continue Reading

California Enacts Smartphone Kill Switch Law to Promote Data Security

This week California enacted into law Senate Bill 962, which requires a “kill switch” on all smartphones that would render the device inoperable. The law applies to all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 and sold in the state, but exempts other mobile devices such as tablets and smartwatches. While Minnesota passed a similar law … Continue Reading

California AG’s Guidelines for CalOPPA and Do Not Track Disclosures

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently released guidelines for compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”) entitled, Making Your Privacy Practices Public.  Attorney General Harris stated that the guide can be used as “a tool for businesses to create clear and transparent privacy policies that reflect the state’s privacy laws and allow consumers … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Emerge as Enforcers for Consumer Data Privacy

A recent lawsuit brought by the California state attorneys general accusing Kaiser Permanente of unreasonable delay in revealing a 2011 data breach to affected individuals, continues a rising trend of enforcement of consumer data privacy protections laws by state attorneys general. Traditionally, consumer online and data privacy protection enforcement has been dominated by the Federal … Continue Reading

California’s SB 46 Amends Data Breach Notification Law

With the start of 2014 come several new privacy laws in California. In an earlier post we discussed A.B. 370, which requires companies to disclose how companies that collect personally identifiable information about consumers’ online activities across time and websites respond to consumers’ do not track signals. On the data breach side, California S.B. 46 … Continue Reading

AB 370 Amends CalOPPA To Require Transparency Regarding Consumers’ “Do Not Track” Requests to Websites, Online Services And Mobile Applications

The California legislature has been considering a raft of privacy bills this year, only a couple of which have made it through to the governor for signature.  California Bill AB 370 has garnered the most attention.  It was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 27, 2013 and is set to become effective on … Continue Reading

California AG Sues Delta for Failure to Post a Mobile App Privacy Policy

December 12, 2012 by Matthew Fischer On December 6, California Attorney General Kamala Harris initiated the first enforcement action under California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) in San Francisco Superior Court. The complaint filed against Delta Air Lines Inc. asserts that the airline’s operation of its mobile app called “Fly Delta” violates both CalOPPA and … Continue Reading