Posted in: Employee Privacy

Global News Roundup

The California state Senate passed a bill that would require require certain website operators and online service providers to disclose whether they honor users’ “do not track” requests; a bill proposed to the Michigan Assembly could mean fines and jail time for law enforcement officers who track suspects using GPS without a warrant; Wisconsin is poised to be the ninth state this year to pass an employee social media privacy law, and, in Brazil, work is ongoing towards the nation’s first set of data protection and Internet governance laws—including a new amendment requiring data to be stored locally, which is raising concerns among U.S. tech companies.

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Global News Roundup

The lasting legacy of California’s SB 1386, more about the court case that has some questioning BYOD policies and congressional delays to reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Plus, read about key changes included in amendments to the Ukrainian privacy law and a contentious New Jersey bill that would allow warrantless cellphone searches.

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Court Ruling Impacts BYOD

What happens to an employee’s expectation of privacy regarding her personal e-mails on her company-issued Blackberry after she leaves the company? If a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio stands up to further scrutiny, the answer could be that a former employee has greater expectations of privacy after her departure than while she was still employed. In Lazette v. Kulmatycki, the court ruled the Stored Communications Act (SCA) applies to unauthorized access of employees’ personal e-mail accounts, among other determinations.

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Florida Malpractice Law Under Fire; Missouri Gov. Vetoes Database

Two pieces of legislation have come under fire this week for violating privacy rights. Five lawsuits filed on Monday claim a Florida law, which went into effect that same day, violates the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law, which aims to protect doctors facing malpractice suits, allows healthcare providers called as witnesses to give defendants’ attorneys information about patient treatment. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon axed a bill that would have created a database of workers who have filed workers’ compensation claims in the state.

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Texas Breach Law, Nevada Social Media Law

Privacy Tracker reports that while Texas already has a breach notification law on the books that applies to citizens of states without a notification law, it recently passed Senate Bill 1610, which increases the scope further. It also gives organizations the choice of reporting under Texas law or that of the state of the affected person, but Gant Redmon, writing for CO3Systems Blog, says “best practice will remain notifying under the law of the state where the affected party resides.” Meanwhile, Nevada has become the 11th state to pass a social media law prohibiting employers from asking for access information for employees’ or prospective employees’ social media accounts.
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State Legislative Roundup

Over the past two weeks, several states have enacted or initiated privacy legislation. California has moved forward on a security breach notification law, and Maine has considered a 911 privacy bill. Topping state legislative action, however, are social media privacy laws. From Utah to New Jersey, states are clamping down on the employer practice of requiring employees and applicants to disclose social media passwords. In this roundup, we take a look at these initiatives and some concerns that these social media laws could conflict with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Washington Passes Password-Protection Bill

Washington’s governor has signed a law prohibiting employers from asking potential employees for passwords to social media accounts, the Associated Press reports. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), who said he was pleased the bill passed.

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State Legislative Roundup

A number of U.S. states have passed or are working on various types of privacy legislation—from employee privacy to breach notification. Most notably, California has pulled a bill that would have required businesses to disclose to consumers data they have collected on them. The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a law that would require state agencies to notify residents of a breach “as soon as possible.” And the Texas House has also “tentatively” approved similar social media legislation.

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