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HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Updated HIPAA and Research Guidance in Response to 21st Century Cures Act Mandate

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued two helpful new HIPAA guidance documents regarding research uses and disclosures of PHI, fulfilling a mandate in the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255) (the “Act”).  Although the documents merely reaffirm prior guidance in many places, the documents also … Continue Reading

Increased Recognition to Improve Cybersecurity in Healthcare Sector

There is an increasing recognition of the need to improve cybersecurity in the healthcare sector (particularly relating to medical devices).  For example, the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce recently asked HHS in a formal letter to “develop a plan of action for creating, deploying, and leveraging [bill of materials] … Continue Reading

While Ninth Circuit Finds No Additional Harm Required for Standing Under the VPPA, It Applies a Narrow Reading of What Constitutes PII Under the VPPA

In Eichenberger-v.-ESPN., Case No. 15-35499 (Nov. 29, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court judgment holding that the serial numbers on a consumer’s video streaming device and the titles of the videos an individual watches do not constitute personally identifiable information (PII) under the Video Privacy Protection … Continue Reading

Independent Bank Class Action Alleges Specific Equifax Security Failures, Actual Harm and the Threat of Future Harm

In another lawsuit against Equifax, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), on behalf of thousands of community banks, seeks to hold Equifax accountable for the July 2017 data breach that potentially affected more than 145.5 million consumers. ICBA, along with Bank of Zachary and First State Bank, filed the class action last week in … Continue Reading

Privacy Shield: First Annual Review Report Published

On 18 October 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its first annual report on the functioning of the US-EU Privacy Shield (“the Report”), the successor to the Safe Harbor framework after its invalidation in Schrems. The Report will be widely welcomed by businesses on both sides of the Atlantic as the Commission continues to back … Continue Reading

“Bug Bounty” Programs – US DOJ’s Guidance

These days, organizations (including the U.S. Air Force) have been turning to third parties to help hunt for security weaknesses (under “bug bounty” programs) in company software and applications. In July 2017, the Department of Justice released guidance for a structured program (entitled, A Framework for a Vulnerability Disclosure Program for Online Systems) designed to … Continue Reading
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