GDPR: The Countdown to Compliance

Many companies, large and small, are scrambling with last-minute preparations for compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25, 2018. This is because If they don’t comply, they face fines of up to 4 percent of a company’s worldwide revenue for serious infractions or $20 million euros – whichever is higher. A recent IAPP survey of U.S. and European companies carried out by the Pokémon Institute has revealed that only 52 percent of companies expect to achieve
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Chili’s Carefully Announces Limited Data Breach

On May 11, 2018, Chili’s Grill & Bar learned that “some of [their] guest’s payment card information was compromised at certain Chili’s restaurants” as the result of a “data incident,” according to a press release on the company’s website. Preliminary investigations suggest malware was used to gather payment card information for purchases between March and April 2018. While such data incidents are increasingly common, Chili’s press release is notable for two reasons. Firstly, The release, presented as a letter to “valued guests,” provided…
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No More Chits to Call In: Computer Crime Policy Does Not Cover Fraudulent Transaction

In Interactive Communications International, Inc. v. Great American Insurance Company, a lawsuit closely monitored by those in the cyberinsurance space, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court’s decision, finding an insurance policy’s “Computer Fraud” coverage did not extend to certain losses caused by fraudsters. The decision comports with other recent decisions finding that social engineering fraud schemes do not satisfy the policy’s requirement of losses resulting directly from the use of a computer. Here, the devil was in the details. InComm operated a…
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FTC Settles False Representation Claim Against Mobile Phone Manufacturer

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with BLU Products, Inc. over allegations that the unlocked mobile phone manufacturer allowed a third-party provider to collect detailed personal information about its consumers without their knowledge or consent. In 2016, BLU Products admitted that a third-party app called “Wireless Update” has been “collecting unauthorized personal data in the form of text messages, call logs and contacts from customers” on some devices. The FTC alleged that BLU Products, its co-owner, and president falsely claimed that only information needed…
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The SEC Imposed its First Data-Breach Related Disclosure Penalty

On the heels of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) February 20, 2018 guidance on cybersecurity-related disclosures, the SEC imposed its first data breach related enforcement penalty. It should come as no surprise that the SEC’s first penalty was levied against Yahoo arising from its massive 2014 data breach. The $35 million penalty was, as the SEC stated in its April 24 press release, intended “to settle charges that [Yahoo] misled investors by failing to disclose one of the world’s largest data breaches…
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Nearly a 50 percent Increase in Gulf Region Cyberattacks

Gulf Business Machines (GBM) reports a significant increase – from 28 percent in 2016 to 41 percent in 2017 — in hacking events among Gulf-based enterprises. Even so, only 31 percent of regional organizations are concerned about the detection and response to these attacks. At the 2018 Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference in Dubai that took place from May 1-3, 2018, GBM issued its Seventh Annual Cybersecurity Study, which surveyed regional organizations regarding security in the business environment. The survey polled over 600 executives…
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Targeting Public Services: How Municipalities and Gas Pipelines are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

While the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal has captured the public’s attention, two significant attacks on the City of Atlanta and natural-gas pipeline operators illustrate risk to fundamental human services, including law enforcement and consumer energy. On March, 22 2018, the City of Atlanta reported a ransomware cyberattack on government network servers, including servers hosting data for the Atlanta Police Department, preventing government employees from accessing information necessary to perform their duties. In particular, the police department was effectively handcuffed, and unable to access evidence…
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Facebook Continues Playing the Globalist Game

Facebook once again recently taught us that it may be easier to avoid a law, than to comply with it. On April 17, 2018, Facebook confirmed that to meet its mission to comply “in spirit” with “the whole” of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) , which takes effect on May 25, 2018, Facebook is effectively moving data for approximately 1.5 million users outside the reach of the law.  By offering “new privacy experiences” complete with updated terms of service
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Consumers Have Standing for Data Breach Claims against Barnes & Noble

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued its second decision in favor of consumers bringing claims against retailers for injuries following cyber attacks exposing sensitive consumer information in Diefenbach v. Barnes & Noble, Inc. On April 11, 2018 the court resurrected the class action brought against the book retailer by consumers whose debit card information was hacked in 2012. Specifically, the court ruled that the named plaintiffs properly alleged an injury under state consumer protection laws, including lost time, cost of…
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Facebook Faces a Bombardment of Lawsuits Over Handling of Personal Information

Facebook is facing yet another class action lawsuit in the wake of the well-publicized Cambridge Analytica scandal. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California near the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, follows close on the heels of Facebook’s admission that the personal information of a large number of its users was collected via a personality quiz app named “This is Your Digital Life” and shared with Cambridge Analytica. The app harvested the personal information of not only those who used it, but also millions…
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