Posted in: Employee Privacy

Global News Roundup

In this Privacy Tracker weekly legislative roundup, read about the prospects of German advocacy groups getting the right to sue businesses, the status of the Philippines’ cybercrime law and proposals in the U.S. pushing for less data collection and more consumer protections. The Utah attorney general has stopped using administrative subpoenas for cellphone and Internet data, saying “writing yourself a note to go after that stuff without any check is too dangerous,” while the Senate looks at a bill that would mean law enforcement needs a judge’s order as well. Also, Orin Kerr has published an article supposing what a communication privacy act might look like if the U.S. scrapped ECPA and started from scratch, and there’s a handy interactive map outlining the status of social media privacy laws throughout the U.S.

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Workplace Privacy 2014: What’s New and What Employers May Expect

By Philip L. Gordon

In the past year, legislative trends in workplace privacy have steadily been moving in “a direction that favors employee privacy,” writes Philip Gordon of Littler Mendelson in this Privacy Tracker blog post, and indications are that this shift will continue. Gordon sums up laws that went into effect as of January 1, including “ban-the-box” laws, employee social media laws and laws that limit the use of credit information for employment purposes and offers recommendations for employers on how to navigate these laws and the challenges of BYOD.

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GINA: Recent Class Actions Shine the Spotlight on Camouflaged Privacy Law

By Philip L. Gordon

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) regulates employers’ collection, use, safeguarding and disclosure of “genetic information,” making it a privacy statute—and one with which it is becoming increasingly difficult to comply, writes Philip Gordon. Social media posts celebrating a family member’s cancer remission or a son’s trip to the ER for asthma contain “genetic information” in the eyes of GINA, Gordon writes, adding, “Recent (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) enforcement actions and private class-action filings as well as the increasing prevalence of personal social media in the workplace highlight the need for organizations to address, or revisit, their compliance with GINA.” Find out more about the EEOC’s implementing regulations and how to mitigate risk in your organization.

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Global News Roundup

This week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup includes the IAPP’s coverage of the European Commission’s report critiquing the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement and offering the U.S. 13 ways to save it, and insight from Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E, on the report. You’ll also find information on the United Nation’s approval of an unlawful surveillance resolution, why India may have to wait a little longer for a privacy law and South Africa’s new law. In the U.S., more regions are considering social media laws and DNA databases, and courts have decided cases relating to COPPA and consumer privacy.

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Global News Roundup

In the U.S.,  FTC v. Wyndham  will decide whether the company’s “failure to safeguard personal information caused substantial consumer injury” and whether the FTC even has the authority to regulate data security; the GAO is pushing for comprehensive federal law governing the collection, use and sale of personal data by businesses, and Sen. Franken is calling for regulation over biometric data before the horse leaves the barn. In the EU, the debate over Safe Harbor continues, with Albrecht and Reding saying EU residents need to be able take data privacy complaints to U.S. courts. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released the final set of Australian Privacy Principles that cover access to and correction of personal information, and in Canada learn about Alberta’s need to create a new Privacy Act and why Bill C-30 is back in the news. All this and more, in this week’s Privacy Tracker legislative roundup.

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Global News Roundup

The Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous ruling, has determined that the Alberta privacy law is unconstitutional and has given the province one year to amend it; A federal judge in Vermont has ruled there can be no expectation of privacy when it comes to data exposed online via a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, and the New Zealand Parliament has voted down a bill that would have given the privacy commissioner increased powers. Meanwhile, the FTC has asserted its power over parental-consent methods, Brazil is calling for a crackdown on government surveillance and Italy’s data protection authority and intelligence department have entered into a cooperation protocol. This week’s Privacy Tracker roundup has these stories and more.

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Death of the Box: Why the Criminal History Question on Job Applications Is Heading Towards Extinction

By Philip L. Gordon

As privacy professionals know too well, organizations that handle personal information, especially personal information that can trigger security breach notification obligations, have an overwhelming need to screen out untrustworthy applicants from positions that permit access to such data. One tool that many organizations have used for years is straightforward enough—asking applicants to...

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Global News Roundup

In the U.S., guidelines and court rulings have offered insight on everything from drone use to workplace audio recordings, while, internationally, questions still loom about the future of Safe Harbor and national leaders have presented an Internet privacy resolution to the UN. Kazakhstan’s privacy law is scheduled to come into effect this month, and Indonesia is looking into consolidating its sectoral coverage into an overarching law. Also in this week’s roundup is analysis of India’s privacy bill, California’s spate of privacy laws and insight from the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on how to avoid the wrath of regulators.

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One State, Two Cases, Dramatically Different Outcomes

By Lindsey Partridge, CIPP/US

Two public entities, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Rock County Office of Child Support Enforcement—both with snooping employees and both facing class-actions by victims to recoup losses. So why was there a $2 million discrepancy in their outcomes?

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Global News Roundup

This week, read about California’s continued push towards privacy protections including Gov. Jerry Brown signing into law an amendment to the California Online Privacy Protection Act that requires websites to disclose in privacy policies how they react to Do-Not-Track signals, the passing of the “eraser law” and movement on a bill that would extend the employee social media law to public agencies. Meanwhile, a Minnesota court has determined the state is not responsible for an employee’s alleged inappropriate accessing of driver’s license records, and the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a former Virginia deputy sheriff saying his Facebook “Like” is protected by the First Amendment. Plus, read about legislative activity in the EU, Singapore, Australia and South Africa.

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