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The First Tangible Effects of the GDPR

May 10, 2018 Data Protection , European Union , GDPR , Priavcy , security

Over the past two weeks, you’ve probably received numerous privacy policy updates from online companies. For example, last week LinkedIn sent its users an e-mail informing them of changes to its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, explaining, “[w]e now meet the high standard for data privacy introduced by the new European data protection law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect later in May.”

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Is the GDPR Right for the United States?

April 9, 2018 Cybersecurity , Data Protection , GDPR , Privacy , security

Europe’s new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will enter into force in May 2018. Understandably, given that data breaches and privacy violations have been in the headlines lately — and given that the GDPR will reshuffle privacy protection in Europe and beyond — many in the United States are looking to the GDPR for ideas of what to do – and what not to do. We think that it would be impractical and ineffective to copy and paste the GDPR to U.S. law — the institutions and legal systems are just too different.

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Here’s How Congress Should Respond to Facebook/Cambridge Analytica

March 23, 2018 Cybersecurity , Data Breach , Legislation , Privacy , security

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. By now we know the basic facts: Aleksandr Kogan, purporting to be a researcher, developed an authorized Facebook application. As was Facebook’s practice at the time, when users connected the app to their Facebook accounts, the app scooped up not only the users’ personal information, but also their friends’ personal information. In this manner, Dr. Kogan was able to amass information about 50 million Facebook users – even though only 270,000 individuals used the app. Dr. Kogan then, exceeding his authorized use of the data, funneled that information to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that purported to engage in “psychographics” to influence voters on behalf of the Trump campaign.

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Analyzing Congress’ Response to Data Breaches: Do Proposed Bills Protect You?

January 26, 2018 Cybersecurity , Data Security , Equifax , Privacy , security

For nearly three months last summer, the sensitive personal data of more than 145 million American consumers was exposed to bad actors thanks to some “ham-fisted” behavior on the part of credit reporting giant, Equifax. Americans were outraged, and lawmakers began to scrutinize Equifax’s behavior during the breach, including three Equifax senior executives selling shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered the hack.

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Members of Congress Tackle Consumer Protection Failures from Equifax Breach

October 13, 2017 Consumer Privacy , Cybersecurity , Equifax , Privacy , security

Last week, Congress held four hearings to investigate the Equifax data breach, which jeopardized the highly sensitive data of 145 millions Americans. The exposed consumer information includes social security numbers, prior addresses, student loans, credit card numbers, and other pieces of private data compiled into credit reports that determine if a consumer qualifies for employment, loans, or new lines of credit. For days, members of Congress questioned former Equifax CEO Richard Smith as to how the breach could have occurred and what steps the company was taking to protect consumers. Mr. Smith resigned in September after the extent of the breach was fully disclosed. During the hearings, he offered little in terms of solutions on how to protect consumers going forward, but his answers revealed significant problems with our current data security regime that Congress must address.

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