Written by Susan Kohn Ross and Stephen C. Franz On June 3, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Van Buren v. U.S., No. 19-783. The issue for the Court was relatively straight forward – did a police officer with authorized access to his department’s license-plate database exceed his authorized access when he was given money to run a license plate and shared the results … Continue reading Is Your Computer System Safe from Internal Misuse?
Written by Timothy M. Carter Following a publicized commitment to increased cybersecurity enforcement, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) initiated its first enforcement action against First American Title Insurance Co. (“First American”) on July 22, 2020. Stemming from First American’s alleged failure to adequately safeguard highly confidential, personal consumer information – including bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security … Continue reading New York’s Department of Financial Services Initiates Its First Enforcement Action Under Its 2017 Cybersecurity Regulations
In this video, MSK attorneys Susan Kohn Ross and Timothy Carter discuss contact tracing: what it is, what it means for employers and employees, and the impact it may have on your privacy right. If you are interested in learning more broadly about contact tracing or have any questions on this topic, please email Su at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim at email@example.com. Continue reading MSK Minute: Su Ross and Tim Carter Discuss Contact Tracing
Written by Susan Kohn Ross and Timothy Carter As contact tracing ramps up in states across the country, state and local officials are increasingly warning of a rise in fraudulent contract tracers seeking to wrongfully obtain personal and financial information. We have previously written about contact tracing – long considered to be “a central pillar” of traditional infectious disease control – and how it works. In order to … Continue reading Return to Work: Beware of Fraudulent Contact Tracers
While much attention and focus has rightly been placed on the California Consumer Privacy Act and the dramatic expansion of privacy rights for California residents that it heralds, a number of other states have quickly followed suit, working to strengthen their respective data security and privacy laws. Signed into law on July 25, 2019 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York enacted the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (the “SHIELD Act” or the “Act”). The SHIELD Act amends New York State’s data breach notification law, by broadening existing the state’s data breach notification requirements and requires covered businesses to have “reasonable” data security safeguards. Continue reading “Amidst A Pandemic, New York Quietly Implements Its Enhanced Data Security Law”
Privacy Protection Acts Introduced in Connection with Contact Tracing
Across the globe, governments are harnessing surveillance-camera footage, mobile location data, and consumer purchase records to help track the recent movements of coronavirus patients, monitor those potentially exposed, and establish virus transmission chains. In China, for example, the government has installed surveillance cameras outside and inside quarantined individuals’ homes. A few thousand miles away, Israel’s internal security agency is primed to mine a cache of mobile phone location data, initially collected for counterterrorism operations, in order to pinpoint possible COVID-19 exposure among its citizens. Continue reading “Tracing Concerns”
As the individual states struggle to define how best to reopen in a manner that minimizes the renewed spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19, the subject of contact tracing has become a major focus. To aid in this effort, Apple and Google announced late last week a joint contact tracing project that would leverage Bluetooth technology to identify and selectively alert individuals who have been in close proximity to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Once alerted, that user could self-isolate or seek testing. Individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 can self-report their diagnosis, and any users who have been in recent contact with that individual will receive a notification. Public health agencies would be responsible for checking and verifying test results provided by users in order to prevent spoofing or fabrication. Continue reading “Contact Tracing: COVID-19”
Amazon’s Alexa, Google devices such as Google Assistant and Google Home, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are now commonplace in many homes. These devices and other lesser-known counterparts allow users to control nearly everything in their homes with only their voice. That convenience, however, comes at the cost of some degree of privacy. While seldom viewed as presenting a live microphone inside one’s home or office, these otherwise passive listening devices begin recording upon initiation of a verbal cue. While the use (or even presence) of such voice assistants may present privacy concerns when used in consumers’ homes, with millions of people working remotely across the world due to COVID-19, these potential privacy concerns can quickly escalate to a much broader concern, especially for attorneys, who, as we discussed earlier, are bound to maintain confidentiality regarding information concerning the representation of their clients. But this concern extends far beyond “just” attorneys, because so many business dealings involve the exchange of confidential information. What one thinks of as a private or confidential discussion with a business partner is now taking place at home, perhaps with others around, but all too frequently in close proximity to these devices. Continue reading “Privacy Takes Many Forms”
Cybersecurity Concerns with Remote Work
While likely not the first topic that comes to mind amidst a global pandemic, organizations and businesses that now find themselves entirely (or almost entirely) remote would be remiss not to consider the potential data and cybersecurity issues raised by this sudden and unexpected shift to remote work. For much of the country, COVID-19 has resulted in an abrupt shift in the way we work. Even for those businesses that maintained robust work-from-home policies and systems, this shift presents a learning curve. The more traditional data and cybersecurity concerns ever-present in normal business operations are compounded by the difficulties presented by an extensive remote workforce. Preoccupied remote workers can be more susceptible to online threats such as phishing emails or malware and ransomware, thereby “opening the door” and providing unauthorized access to bad actors. The other, often lesser considered concern is accidental disclosure of confidential business information. Continue reading “Careful With The Remote”
Are Your Employees Telecommuting Now? COVID-19 and Cybersecurity Concerns for Businesses
A topic of immediate concern to businesses that has not received a great deal of attention (but should) is cybersecurity. There are unscrupulous people out there who will try to take advantage of the situation! This is especially worrisome with the increased usage of telecommuting to facilitate business continuity.
Within the Dept. of Homeland Security sits the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA which is “responsible for protecting the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats.” CISA, through its National Cyber Awareness System, released Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams, see here for the full text. In short, beware of emails with malicious attachments and hyperlinks. Also be careful about social media pleas, texts and calls having to do with COVID-19.
The NCAS recommends: