Cybersecurity & Privacy

  • February 22, 2024

    Stressful Atty Work Can Warrant Disability Pay, Judge Says

    A Virginia federal judge held Wednesday that a cybersecurity attorney whose doctors advised that he stop working after heart surgery shouldn't have had his long-term disability benefits claim denied, ruling that a life insurance company ignored evidence that his job was highly stressful and that stress could be dangerous.

  • February 22, 2024

    FTC Lands $16.5M Privacy Deal Over Avast's 'Bait-And-Switch'

    Cybersecurity software provider Avast LLC will pay $16.5 million and be banned from selling web browsing data for advertising purposes to resolve the Federal Trade Commission's claims that the company sold this information to more than 100 third parties despite promising to protect consumers from online tracking, the agency announced Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Trump Atty Sanctioned For Filing IP Suit On Gut Feelings

    A Florida federal judge has sanctioned an attorney who said he could "just know" if a product infringed his client's patents, rather than conducting a factual investigation — a move that the attorney claimed was backlash for representing former President Donald Trump elsewhere.

  • February 22, 2024

    Survey Website Must Clearly Say It's Selling Customers' Info

    The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office on Thursday announced a settlement with a Colorado company that was allegedly selling the information of visitors to its website to telemarketers without disclosing what it was doing.

  • February 22, 2024

    YouTube Privacy Judge 'Flummoxed' By Kids' Liability Theory

    A California federal judge indicated Thursday that she's open to trimming a revived proposed class action alleging Google and companies that host child-friendly YouTube channels illegally collected children's data from targeted ads, expressing concerns about the requested relief and saying she's "flummoxed" by the consumers' belated liability theory against the channels' owners.

  • February 22, 2024

    HHS' Civil Rights Office Reaches 2nd-Ever Ransomware Deal

    The Department of Health and Human Services has reached a deal with a Maryland-based behavioral health practice over a ransomware attack that affected the protected health information of nearly 15,000 individuals.

  • February 22, 2024

    DOJ Reports $2.7B False Claims Act Haul In 2023

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday released its latest data on recoveries under the False Claims Act, saying there were nearly $2.7 billion in settlements and judgments in the 2023 fiscal year, an increase from the prior year's haul. 

  • February 22, 2024

    Comerica Brass Sued Over Benefit Cards Contract Oversight

    Executives and directors of financial services company Comerica were hit with a shareholder derivative suit alleging they failed to disclose the company was mismanaging a lucrative government benefits card program by allowing sensitive data to be handled at an international vendor's office.

  • February 22, 2024

    Charter Argues For Tough IoT Security Authentication

    As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote next month on a "U.S. Cyber Trust Mark" for Internet of Things devices, cable giant Charter said the FCC should require that eligible devices maintain secure access controls.

  • February 22, 2024

    'Baffled' Judge Tells Attys Flo Health Case Isn't 'World War III'

    A California federal judge on Thursday blasted the parties in a proposed class action alleging that menstruation tracking app Flo Health impermissibly shares users' health information with Google and others, saying with their voluminous expert requests and "nitpicky" discovery letters, they're "litigating this case like it's World War III."

  • February 22, 2024

    HHS Warning to Congress: Health Data Breaches Surging

    The number of large data breaches exposing protected health information more than doubled in a recent five-year period, reaching 626 incidents in 2022 that affected nearly 42 million people, federal officials said Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    AI Software Co. Hasn't Actually Developed AI, Suit Says

    Software and data engineering company Innodata Inc. has been hit with a proposed class action alleging its stock price dropped more than 30% after a financial research firm published a report saying its promised artificial intelligence technology is "smoke and mirrors" and that its marketing claims are like "putting lipstick on a pig."

  • February 22, 2024

    Mich. Judge OKs $52M Deal For Mayo Foundation Subscribers

    A Michigan federal judge on Wednesday gave the initial approval to a $52 million deal for subscribers to the Mayo Foundation's health magazine who allege the publisher shared their private information without consent.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Refiles Defamation Case Against Influencer

    The $150 million defamation battle between former Greenberg Traurig LLP attorney Allan Kassenoff and the social media influencer he accuses of lying about his nightmarish divorce has entered a new phase as Kassenoff has filed a slimmed-down complaint after the previous one was dismissed for being "far longer than it needs to be."

  • February 22, 2024

    Former Kamala Harris Tech Adviser Joins DOJ As 1st AI Chief

    Faced with growing challenges involving artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday named a renowned adviser and professor as its first-ever adviser focused on these emerging technologies.

  • February 21, 2024

    Calif. Chamber Takes Privacy Regs Fight To State High Court

    The California Chamber of Commerce is pressing the state's Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that allows California's new data privacy agency to begin enforcing regulations it has finalized, arguing that there's "no way" state voters envisioned companies having less than a year to comply with the rules.  

  • February 21, 2024

    Voters Want Ga. Officials Sanctioned For Withheld Evidence

    Voting rights advocates who faced off with Georgia election officials at trial last month are now seeking sanctions against the Coffee County, Georgia, board of elections and its attorneys for allegedly withholding evidence related to a January 2021 voting machine breach in the county and for knowingly allowing a witness to lie under oath.

  • February 21, 2024

    FTC Says Twitter Staff Prevented Musk Violating Privacy Order

    The Federal Trade Commission told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that were it not for Twitter employees disobeying Elon Musk's orders to grant some reporters "full access to everything ... no limits at all" to the social media platform's systems, the company may have violated a 2022 FTC consent decree.

  • February 21, 2024

    'Cyber Trust Mark' Will Get Vote At Next FCC Meeting

    The proposed "U.S. Cyber Trust Mark" for "smart" products will come up for a vote at the Federal Communications Commission next month, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Google Judge Slams Lack Of User Choice, Mulls Privacy Cert.

    A California federal judge on Wednesday appeared open to certifying a class of potentially tens of millions of Google account holders alleging Google's ad auction practices violate privacy rights, doubting that users consented to data-sharing if they couldn't opt out and telling Google's counsel, "there's no transparency and there's no choice."

  • February 21, 2024

    ByteDance Can't Arbitrate Ex-Coder's Wrongful Firing Suit

    A California federal judge declined to send a former ByteDance Inc. engineer's wrongful termination suit to arbitration, writing in a ruling made public Tuesday that there are factual disputes over whether he signed employment agreements containing arbitration clauses, saying the matter should be resolved via a jury trial.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Turn Away Meta Bid To End Ad Discrimination Suit

    A proposed class action accusing Facebook owner Meta of permitting discrimination in choices regarding which users could see housing ads appears headed for discovery after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the company's petition to appeal a split Ninth Circuit ruling.

  • February 21, 2024

    GAO Says IT Co. Challenging $79M Gov't Deal Wasn't Misled

    A Virginia information technology company lost its protest of a $79 million U.S. Special Operations Command deal for cybersecurity services after the U.S. Government Accountability Office rejected its contention that USSOCOM engaged in misleading and unfair discussions during procurement.

  • February 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Affirms $90M Facebook Privacy Deal Over Objections

    A Ninth Circuit panel affirmed a $90 million class settlement on Wednesday to resolve allegations that Facebook illegally tracked logged-out users' browsing activity, calling two objectors' suggestion that the company faced $1.24 trillion in statutory damages "an unreasonable baseline that would violate due process."

  • February 21, 2024

    FCC Commissioner To Meet With Indian Gov't On TikTok Ban

    FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is finally getting the chance to chat with Indian officials about the country's decision to ban TikTok over concerns about the Chinese government's influence over the app, a decision he has pushed for here in the United States, during a visit to India.

Expert Analysis

  • 5 Lessons For SaaS Companies After Blackbaud Data Breach

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    Looking at the enforcement actions that software-as-a-service provider Blackbaud resolved with state attorneys general, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission in the past year can help SaaS companies manage these increasingly common forms of data breaches, say attorneys at Orrick.

  • SEC Regs Give Banks Chance To Step Up Cyber Safety Game

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    Just as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act forced financial institutions to undertake best practices in recordkeeping, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently effective cybersecurity regulations stand to similarly drive those same enterprises to seek out and implement best practices in cybersecurity, to everyone's benefit, says James Gerber at SimSpace.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • How DOD Can Improve Flexibility Under Proposed Cyber Rule

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    The U.S. Department of Defense should carefully address some of the more nuanced aspects of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program to avoid unintended consequences, specifically the proposal to severely limit contractor use of plans of actions and milestones, say Joshua Duvall at Maynard Nexsen and Sandeep Kathuria at L3Harris Technologies.

  • Understanding SEC's Focus Amid Lack Of Final AI Rules

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    Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rules to govern artificial intelligence are likely far from being finalized, understanding existing regulatory provisions that could address AI risks with respect to development, disclosure, compliance and data protection could help firms anticipate and avoid pitfalls, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • What's On The Horizon In Attorney General Enforcement

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    A look at recent attorney general actions, especially in the areas of antitrust and artificial intelligence, can help inform businesses on what they should expect in terms of enforcement trends as 10 attorney general races play out in 2024, say attorneys at Cozen O'Connor.

  • $32.4M Fine For Info Disclosure Is A Stark Warning For Banks

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    The New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve's fining of a Chinese state-owned bank $32.4 million last month underscores the need for financial institutions to have policies and procedures in place to handle confidential supervisory information, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Navigating The FCC's Rules On AI-Generated Robocall Voices

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    The Federal Communications Commission's declaratory ruling issued last week extends the agency's regulatory reach under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to calls that use artificial intelligence technology to generate voices, laying out a compliance roadmap, but not making AI-cloned voices in robocalls illegal per se, say attorneys at Wiley Rein.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Despite Risks, AI Is A Worthy Tool For Healthcare Industry

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    Artificial intelligence appears to provide a productive path forward for the healthcare industry, improving economic and human health outcomes, though companies must continue to address certain technology and compliance pain points, says Sarah Abrams at Bowhead Specialty Underwriters.

  • Bitcoin ETF Approval Doesn't Mean SEC Approves Of Crypto

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    While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's approval last month of 11 applications for spot exchange-traded funds tracking bitcoin is a landmark moment for the crypto-asset industry, investors who are hopeful that the SEC will approve similar crypto-based ETFs may be disappointed, says attorneys at Mintz.

  • Key Considerations For Evaluating An AI Vendor

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    As artificial intelligence technology advances across industries, businesses can mitigate risks, while maximizing the value of their investment, by evaluating technology, expertise, support services, transparency and more when selecting an AI vendor, say Rahul Kapoor and Shokoh Yaghoubi at Morgan Lewis.

  • SAG-AFTRA Contract Is A Landmark For AI And IP Interplay

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    SAG-AFTRA's recently ratified contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers introduced a framework to safeguard performers' intellectual property rights and set the stage for future discussions on how those rights interact with artificial intelligence — which should put entertainment businesses on alert for compliance, says Evynne Grover at QBE.

  • FTC AI Inquiry Signals Intensified Focus On Emerging Tech

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    The Federal Trade Commission's recent inquiry into investments and partnerships between Big Tech companies and artificial intelligence startups appears to be directed at guiding future enforcement decisions in competition, privacy and consumer protection — and three principles discussed at a related tech summit give insight on the agency's approach, say attorneys at Skadden.

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