Nigeria and Turkey are both considering government-proposed legislation that would require service providers to turn over to law enforcement customers’ data upon request—with fines, and possible jail time for executives, for noncompliance in Nigeria. In the U.S., senators are addressing breach response and online privacy concerns with bills of their own as the fallout continues from the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches as well as the Snowden revelations. And in Australia, the deadline for the Australian Privacy Principles looms large. The Privacy Tracker’s weekly legislative roundup covers all this and more.
A U.S. District Court cited the Stored Communications Act as protecting “friend-only” posts on Facebook; one expert questions whether the False Light Tort is still relevant, and Apple’s new fingerprint authentication could bring up interesting questions about invoking the Fifth Amendment when it comes to accessing biometrically protected data and devices. Plus, more on HIPAA, California’s leading role in privacy legislation, breach notification in the EU and Brazil’s struggle to pass a privacy law.
The privacy news seems to have stirred up more legal questions than answers this week. With effective dates coming up for HIPAA in the U.S. and FOIA reforms in the UK, privacy pros are figuring out the new lay of the land. Court cases in the U.S. and France bring up e-mail privacy questions, both in and out of the workplace, and in the UK one court ruling may reveal a need for stronger data destruction policies. Lastly, an article from The New York Times questions the new trend of class-actions leaving plaintiffs empty-handed.
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.