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(May 5, 2015) Illinois Attorney General (AG) Lisa Madigan has spent the last decade focused on consumer privacy and data security issues, from the passage of data breach legislation in 2005 to her testimony in front of Congress earlier this year on federal data breach legislation. In this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor, Christine Czuprynski and Divonne Smoyer, CIPP/US, talk to Madigan about why state AGs are so focused on privacy these days and her aims to put more stringent rules around student and biometric data. “Today, 47 states have data breach notification laws that ensure that consumers know when their personal information has been compromised,” Madigan notes. “These laws have improved data security in the U.S. and brought much-needed attention to the harm that breaches can cause.” Read More

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Commission To Detail Digital Strategy

(May 5, 2015) Tomorrow, the European Commission is expected to “provide further details on how it plans to make European companies more competitive online, while also making it easier to shop online and stream movies across borders,” Techworld reports. The commission is especially concerned with “the growing power of U.S. tech companies (that) provide the search, app store, e-commerce and social media platforms on which many online businesses rely,” the report states. According to leaked documents, the commission is going to probe such platforms—particularly the transparency of search results. While Google is reportedly the focus, other tech companies including Skype, WhatsApp and Netflix, may also be scrutinized as the commission aims to review regulations to adapt them to such services. Read More

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Herold on Organizations’ Need for Vigilance

(May 5, 2015) Rebecca Herold, CIPP/US, CIPM, CIPT, writes for Dell on the necessity for organizations to consider the privacy harms associated with the Internet of Things as the expansion of smart gadgets is creating more privacy risks than ever. “Whenever an organization considers any type of new product that interacts with users and collects information from them, privacy harms must be considered and then controls implemented to mitigate them,” Herold writes. Using a case study of a toy manufacturer producing a new WiFi-connected doll, Herold writes that organizations should consider the potential privacy harms identified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including loss of trust, loss of self-determination or physical harm. Read More

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No Start-Up Is Small Enough To Ignore Security

(May 5, 2015) CNBC cautions start-ups that security is not just for big companies. “One big data breach could cost you your business,” the report states, offering insights from experts in the field. "If you are not planning ahead, you are going to have terrible, terrible legal problems," warns Greenberg Traurig’s Ian Ballon, CIPP/US, adding, "Just because you are an emerging company, there's no 'emerging company exception' to the federal laws and notification laws." Meanwhile, The Hill reports on the FBI’s “n... Read More

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Cerf: Encryption Backdoors Are a Bad Idea

(May 5, 2015) Internet pioneer Vint Cerf has said more users should encrypt their data and that the encryption backdoors the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are using will weaken online security, IDG News Service reports. During a speech in Washington, DC, Cerf said because of the Internet’s myriad security challenges, more users and Internet service providers need to adopt measures like encryption, two-factor authentication and HTTP over SSL. He added that calls by law enforcement for technology vendors to build encryption workarounds into their products is a bad idea, the report states. “If you have a back door, somebody will find it,” he said, “and that somebody may be a bad guy.” Read More

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Activist Wants Google Settlement Tossed; Plaintiffs Want Blue Cross Suit Back in State Court

(May 5, 2015) An activist has filed papers in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing a judge’s approval of Google’s recent $8.5 million settlement in a privacy lawsuit, MediaPost reports. Theodore Frank is founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness and previously asked a judge to reject the deal, arguing it would not benefit Google’s users. Meanwhile, Blue Cross of California customers who allege the health insurer’s data security practices put millions at risk by exposing their Social Security numb... Read More

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Who Should Pay for Breaches?

(May 5, 2015) Help Net Security examines a recent study from Experian Data Breach Resolution and the Ponemon Institute from the perspective of “who should be responsible for securing payment systems and how effective their organization is in preparing for and responding to a payment card breach.” In detailing the results, the report states respondents indicate breach prevention is a growing priority. "Companies in the payments industry face a huge challenge keeping up with securing new technologies to protect... Read More

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Facebook Project and Microsoft App Draw Criticisms

(May 5, 2015) ITProPortal reports that Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, aimed at bringing free basic Internet services to users in developing countries, is being described by critics as a “privacy nightmare” because users will be tracked on partner sites, the traffic will be unencrypted and data will be shared with third parties. Meanwhile, Web Security reports on privacy concerns related to Microsoft’s new app that guesses people’s ages and genders via an uploaded photograph. The app, which has had 210,00... Read More

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Pilgrim: Metadata Is PI

(May 5, 2015) After 22 months, journalist Ben Grubb should now be able to access his own metadata from Internet provider Telstra. That’s because Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim “has ruled that metadata is personal, finding that Telstra must hand over information it holds about a journalist, two years after he exercised his legal right to see his personal metadata,” ABC reports. However, the story may not be over. The Australian reports telcos are unhappy with the decision. “Australia’s telcos have reacte... Read More

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The Risks Increase for All Entities

(May 5, 2015) A piece for Healthcare IT News looks at the risks facing healthcare IT security. Every 60 seconds, 232 computers are infected with malware and 12 websites are successfully hacked, the report states. Plus, medical records are worth $60 on the black market, where credit card data is worth $20. “That makes us significant targets,” said Intermountain Healthcare CISO Karl West. Meanwhile, ID Experts President and Cofounder Rick Kam, CIPP/US, writes for Government Health IT why size doesn’t matter in health data breaches. For example, while large organizations used to be the primary targets, mid-sized organizations with presumably smaller cybersecurity budgets are now becoming targets. Read More

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