On February 23, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS). The ASUS settlement highlights the FTC’s position regarding security in the connected device market: connected
Continue Reading WSGR Alert: FTC Settles with Manufacturer of Home Network Routers over Alleged Data Security Flaws

 President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law on December 4, 2015. The FAST Act not only provides long-term funding for highway and infrastructure improvements and other transportation projects, but also includes several privacy- and security-related provisions, including an important provision that may reduce consumer confusion and industry compliance costs by eliminating annual privacy notice requirements for financial institutions in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading FAST Act Eases GLBA Compliance Burdens for Many Companies, Addresses Transportation and Infrastructure Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues

ThinkstockPhotos-469750754-webOn September 29, 2015, the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) issued guidance regarding data breach responses for merchants and service providers who process payment cards. The PCI SSC is a global forum founded by card brands (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa), and it is responsible for the development and management of the data security standards (i.e., the PCI-DSS and the PA-DSS standards) required by the card brands’ security programs. The new guidance includes the PCI SSC’s recommendations on: (i) how to prepare in advance of an incident to reduce risks and costs; and (ii) engaging and working with a Payment Card Industry Forensic Investigator (PFI) following a cardholder data breach.
Continue Reading PCI Security Standards Council Issues Guidance on Responding to a Data Breach

ThinkstockPhotos-489306446On September 9, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held its first “Start with Security” conference at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. The conference was the first in a series of events hosted by the agency intended to provide additional guidance to businesses regarding how to keep consumers’ information secure.

The FTC’s San Francisco event was aimed primarily at start-ups and software developers, with panels focusing on building a culture of security, scaling security during periods of rapid growth, investing in security, vulnerability disclosure and response, and implementing security features. The panels were each moderated by a staff attorney from the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, with panelists hailing primarily from Silicon Valley tech companies. Each panel is summarized below.
Continue Reading FTC Begins “Start with Security” Conference Series

ThinkstockPhotos-87341406-webThis article is the third in a series of articles that discuss the importance of privacy and data security considerations in the transactional context.

In any transaction in which an entity invests in or acquires another business or its assets, the investing or acquiring entity (the “Acquiror”) should fully evaluate its counterparty (the “Company”), the Company’s assets, and the Company’s liabilities and risks prior to the consummation of the transaction. A spate of significant data security incidents and exposés in the past few years has raised awareness across industries of the need to adequately contemplate privacy concerns and appropriately secure data systems. Businesses, acquirors, and investors increasingly understand that expensive data security incidents, lawsuits, and government investigations can result from basic failures to comply with applicable privacy laws or data processing contracts or, with regard to information security, well-established industry best practices.
Continue Reading Privacy and Data Security Due Diligence

ThinkstockPhotos-471796151-webThe Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is now showing that it has strong teeth. CASL requires companies operating in Canada to obtain affirmative opt-in consent prior to sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs), such as emails or text messages, within Canada. In addition, any CEM sent must contain certain identification information and provide recipients with a means of opting out or unsubscribing from future messages. These requirements were enacted in December 2010, and CASL provided a grace period that ended on July 1, 2014. Now that CASL is subject to enforcement, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is charged with enforcing CASL, has announced two enforcement actions that should place organizations operating in Canada on notice that violations of the law may result in significant penalties.
Continue Reading Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation Shows Its Teeth with First Enforcement Actions

ThinkstockPhotos-87341406-webThis article is the second in a series of articles that discuss the importance of privacy and data security considerations in the transactional context.

In light of numerous costly security breaches affecting disparate sectors of the American economy, public companies—ranging from merchants like Target Corporation and The Home Depot to technology firms like Adobe Systems, and from entertainment companies like Sony Entertainment to insurers like Anthem Blue Cross, to name a few examples—are under increased pressure to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately evaluated, addressed, and disclosed to investors. Because of the increasing number and cost of data security incidents, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken an active role in advising public companies on how to appropriately manage and disclose cyber risks. SEC cyber risk guidance to date, outside of advice specific to the financial services industry, relates to: (i) the responsibilities and duties that boards of public companies must bear with regard to cyber risk; and (ii) the manner in which public companies should disclose (when appropriate) the relevant cyber risks in company filings with the SEC.
Continue Reading Navigating Public Company Cybersecurity Obligations: Advising Boards and Disclosing to Investors