Joseph Molosky

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CFPB Brings First Data Security Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently brought its first data security enforcement action, adding itself to the growing list of federal regulators tackling data security issues. The CFPB’s enforcement action was against Dwolla Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa-based online payment platform. The CFPB alleged that Dwolla misrepresented its data security practices, and as a … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Brings First Enforcement Actions Against Kids Apps Using Persistent Identifiers for Targeted Advertising

On December 17, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enforcement actions challenging the use of persistent identifiers to engage in targeted advertising to children. The FTC alleges that two app developers—LAI Systems, LLC (LAI) and Retro Dreamer and its principals (Retro Dreamer)—allowed third-party advertising networks to … Continue Reading

California Attorney General Includes Chief Privacy Officer Requirement in Data Privacy Settlement

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced a settlement with Houzz Inc., a home design website, over allegations that the company failed to notify individuals that it was recording their phone calls with the company.1 While the settlement included the payment of $175,000 in penalties and fees, it also included the surprising requirement that Houzz … Continue Reading

FTC Closing Letter Confirms the Importance of Implementing Employee Access Controls

Companies have been pressing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional guidance on data security, and the agency recently delivered. On August 10, 2015, the FTC issued a public closing letter to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (Morgan Stanley) regarding the agency’s investigation into concerns that the company “fail[ed] to secure, in a reasonable and … Continue Reading

DOJ Issues Guidance for Responding to Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks can result in significant monetary and reputational damage to a wide range of businesses. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) increased its efforts to engage businesses on cybersecurity issues. Earlier this year, as part of that effort, the department published a new resource for companies victimized by a cyber attack. The guidance, … Continue Reading

California Amends Data Breach Notification Law and State Attorney General’s Data Breach Report May Lead to More Changes

Prompted by data breaches affecting large retailers in the United States, the California legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 1710 (A.B. 1710) to update the state’s breach notification law to require breached entities to provide free credit monitoring services to affected individuals following certain types of data breaches. This change, effective January 1, 2015, was recommended … Continue Reading

Privacy and Data Security Risk Assessments: An Overview

Recent large-scale data breaches provide a stark reminder of the risks and challenges associated with today’s data-driven economy. The exploding number of devices connected to the Internet and amount of information collected about people by organizations make it increasingly important for officers, directors, and senior management to fully understand the privacy and data security risks … Continue Reading

The Wyndham Rulings and the FTC’s Leadership on Data Security Enforcement

Despite reaching settlements with more than 50 organizations on data security issues since the late 1990s, no organization seriously challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to bring such cases until FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. made headlines in 20121 The case brought rampant speculation from the privacy and data security community on the likely … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies That Consent May Be Provided by Intermediary for Informational Text Messages

On March 27, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) addressed an outstanding petition1 seeking guidance for compliance with the “prior express consent” requirement of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for informational text messages.2 In a declaratory ruling, the FCC provided clarification of this requirement, and specifically addressed whether an intermediary may provide such consent. … Continue Reading

FTC Steps Up Enforcement of Safe Harbor Compliance Claims

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) enforcement actions for claims of compliance with Safe Harbor privacy frameworks by U.S. companies have increased significantly over the past few months. In the first two months of 2014 alone, the FTC announced settlements with 13 U.S. companies over allegations that the companies falsely claimed they held current certifications under … Continue Reading

Breach Notification: Timing Is Everything

A data security incident can be daunting for an organization, quickly spurring it into full-blown crisis mode. Once an incident is discovered, IT and security personnel may work around the clock to attempt to identify and fix security vulnerabilities, assess and mitigate any damage from the incident, and report their findings and efforts to senior … Continue Reading
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