The European Commission (the “EC”) has published (see link here) slides from its Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom regarding the future relationship with the UK, in connection with personal data protection. The slides discuss a possible “adequacy” decision for the UK’s data protection regime, to be delivered by the EC by the end of the “transition period” which, under the draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU (the “Withdrawal Agreement”), is currently envisaged to be December 31, 2020.

The slides were used for internal “preparatory discussions” and were presented on January 10, 2020 to the European Council’s Ad hoc Working Party on Article 50. The slides are not binding and are stated as being for “presentational and information purposes only”. Continue Reading European Commission Provides Further Hints at Post-Brexit Adequacy Decision for the UK

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”.

According to a 2019 survey, Chief Legal Officers ranked data breaches as the most important issue keeping them “up at night.” Cybersecurity also remained top of mind for boards and other corporate stakeholders, particularly given the increasing reputational, regulatory and litigation consequences that often follow from a significant cybersecurity incident.

To read the full post, please click here.

For a PDF of the full memorandum, please click here.

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”.

Increased regulation continues to be the trend in data privacy law, with 2019 bringing forth a host of new regulations and guidance on existing laws. This year, the pace will not likely slow, with January 1, 2020, having marked the official arrival of robust data privacy law in the United States as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) came into effect.

Boards and management will need to continue to monitor the evolving privacy compliance landscape to ensure that they are considerate of privacy obligations and attendant risks when implementing their business objectives and oversight going into 2020.

To read the full post, please click here.

For a PDF of the full memorandum, please click here.

Since the end of 2018, the Federal Trade Commission has reportedly been considering how to strengthen the injunctive relief imposed in orders in data security cases.  The FTC began its evaluation with a public hearing in December 2018 on data breaches and data breach assessments.  Several months later, in March 2019, the Commission issued a statement explaining that it was examining the obligations in its orders in data security cases and mandating “new requirements” while “anticipat[ing] further refinements.”  Thereafter, the FTC ultimately issued seven data security orders with specific data security practices and obligations that differed markedly from past orders. Continue Reading FTC Summarizes a Year of Change in its Data Security Orders

On January 7, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released its 2020 Examination Priorities (“2020 Priorities”).  While at first blush the themes appear consistent with and predictable from their 2019 priorities, on closer read OCIE has provided some new insights and some unexpected focus areas.  The themes for the 2020 Priorities are:  retail investors, information security, financial technology (“Fintech”) and innovation (including digital assets and electronic investment advice), several areas covering registered investment advisers and investment companies, anti-money laundering, market infrastructure (clearing agencies, national securities exchanges, alternative trading systems, transfer agents), and oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board programs and policies.  OCIE also stressed the challenges it faced in light of last year’s government shutdown and resource constraints, as the Division of Enforcement did in its 2019 Annual Report (see our analysis here), and the challenges in examining non-U.S. advisers due to limits that foreign data protection and privacy laws may place on cross-border information transfers.  In this post, we analyze the highlights in and our takeaways from the 2020 Priorities. Continue Reading From the Expected to the Surprises: Highlights of SEC OCIE’s 2020 Priorities

On November 21, 2019, the French data protection authority (the “Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés” or “CNIL”) imposed a €500,000 fine on Futura Internationale, a midsized French company, for serious infringements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) in connection with cold calling campaigns.[1] Continue Reading French Regulator Fines Futura Internationale €500,000 for Infringements of the GDPR in Connection With Telephone Advertising Campaigns

On October 1, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a decision outlining the requirements for a user to consent to a service provider’s use of cookies.[1],  The Court held that active consent is required, and thus requiring a user to deselect a pre-checked tracking cookie notice in order to disallow the use of cookies does not sufficiently constitute consent to the collection and use of data under EU law. Continue Reading The Way the Cookie Crumbles: CJEU Clarifies European Data Protection Rules for the Use of Cookies

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) announced a proposed settlement with InfoTrax Systems, L.C. (“InfoTrax”), a third-party service provider, regarding multiple data security failures.  As a result of these security shortcomings, a hacker accessed about one million consumers’ sensitive personal information after more than twenty intrusions into InfoTrax’s network.  This settlement marks one of the first instances in which the FTC has alleged a violation of the FTC Act predicated solely upon the failure to maintain reasonable security measures by a third-party service provider.  The settlement is also notable for a Commissioner’s concurring statement criticizing the settlement’s standard twenty-year term. Continue Reading Latest FTC Data Privacy Settlement May Signal More Direct Approach to Regulating Data Security

Global Crisis Management Series:  This post is part 15 in a series concerning topics further elaborated on in Cleary Gottlieb’s Global Crisis Management Handbook—a desk reference for spotting issues and avoiding common mistakes when faced with a crisis.  The current version is available here.

Have the right policies in place

  • Ensure clear, readily accessible, and (where necessary) country-specific policies are in place indicating the permitted uses of company devices and other IT equipment, including messaging services. If you allow employees to use their own devices to perform work, make sure your policies adequately address issues of access in the context of investigations.
  • Draft and make accessible to employees a policy concerning the purposes for which, when, and by whom, suspicious log data can be accessed, and implement and enforce acceptable and unacceptable use of IT work facilities policies.
  • Evaluate policies regularly. Policies that allow monitoring of communications should be reviewed at least annually to assess whether they are the least intrusive means to achieve the stated purposes.
  • Stay informed on updates in the law surrounding monitoring, and note that these rules also apply to the monitoring of electronic communications in the workplace.

Continue Reading Be Prepared: How to Proactively Account for Data Privacy

Global Crisis Management Series:  This post is part 14 in a series concerning topics further elaborated on in Cleary Gottlieb’s Global Crisis Management Handbook—a desk reference for spotting issues and avoiding common mistakes when faced with a crisis.  The current version is available here.

Many investigations, particularly those that are cross-border in nature, are likely to present data privacy issues, and managing these issues is frequently a key consideration in an investigation.  By keeping data privacy laws in mind as soon as an investigation starts, an organization will avoid the risk that it has failed to satisfy certain requirements, thereby exposing itself to the possibility of a fine or sanction from a regulator.  Below we walk through chronologically how an organization might incorporate data privacy considerations at each stage of an investigation: Continue Reading Incorporating Data Privacy Considerations Into Investigations