Robocall Legislation Likely to Move Forward for White House Approval

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee issued a joint statement early November advising that they have reached a deal on anti-robocall legislation which will seek to stave off those pesky robocalls United States consumers receive, often at the most inopportune times. Robocalls have been a growing problem in the U.S., based in large part on their solicitation of the disclosure of personal information to unknown organizations (who are typically based outside of the U.S.), often resulting in identity…
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Potential Changes to North Carolina Cybersecurity Law

As we continue to see substantial changes in the area of cybersecurity law across the United States as well as globally, North Carolina has undertaken preliminary steps to expand on its current laws within the state. On April 16, 2019, the North Carolina House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill to amend North Carolina’s Identity Theft Protection Act. The bill passed its first reading and was referred to committee. The proposed bill contains numerous changes that will affect how cybersecurity is handled in North…
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Landmark Decision on Vehicle Data Privacy Issued by Georgia Supreme Court

In a landmark decision on vehicle data privacy, the Georgia Supreme Court on October 21, 2019 overturned a Georgia Court of Appeals decision that could have made it legal for police to take any data as they wished from private vehicles without a warrant. Mobley v. State.[i] The case arose from a fatal vehicle crash in December 2014, when a man named Victor Mobley collided into a Corvette pulling out from a driveway with two people inside, both of whom died from the crash.…
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Ransomware Hits Hard During 2019

Highly visible ransomware attacks have occurred since the start of 2019. At their most basic, ransomware attacks involve the introduction of malware onto a victim’s computer or server, rendering it unusable. The fraudsters will then demand payment from the victim in order to restore the systems. In recent months, major cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, and Johannesburg have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. The ransomware attack to Baltimore is especially revealing as its impacts continue to be felt. While the mayor rebuffed the criminals’ demand…
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NSA Launches Cybersecurity Directorate to Combat Cyber Attacks on Government and Private Sector Systems

The National Security Agency (NSA) has established a Cybersecurity Directorate that “unifies NSA’s foreign intelligence and cyber defense missions” to more closely align its offensive and defensive operations. The directorate, operating as of October 1, 2019 will help contribute to the NSA’s defensive mission to protect digital systems. It will focus initially on the defense industrial base and weapon security improvement.  The increased focus on cybersecurity comes in the wake of a 56-page report by the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee warning that the United…
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ADA Website Accessibility: Courts Continue To Provide Clarity, At Cost to Businesses

In Thurston v. Midvale Corp.,[i]the California Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District dealt another blow to businesses struggling with the onslaught of website-related Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) suits, affirming a trial court’s finding that a restaurant’s inaccessible website violated the Unruh Act— specifically requiring the restaurant to bring its website into compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. The court determined that the plaintiff’s inability to utilize the online menu and reservation system deprived her of equal access to the…
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Millennials Reporting More Electronic Scams, but Smaller Losses than Individuals Over 40

Scams, whether initiated online or over the phone, affect people of all ages. However, to the surprise of some, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that individuals in the millennial generation, which the FTC defined as people between 20 and 39, are 25 percent more likely to report losing money to fraud from electronic scams.  In its report, the FTC analyzed the reporting rates of fraud from September 2017 to August 2019, including the following types: 1. Online shopping 2. Business imposter scams…
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Securities and Exchange Commission Waits to Create Cryptocurrency Regulation

Although Congress ramped up its pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission with the recent announcement of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, it appears clear regulations are still far down the line. The SEC’s responses at a recent panel suggest that Facebook’s planned launch of Libra in mid-2020 will not lead to an immediate release of regulations specifically designed to address cryptocurrencies. In June, Facebook announced that it would be getting into the cryptocurrency market with Libra, a digital currency supposedly targeted at the 1.7 billion unbanked…
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Part 3: Coverage Considerations Under CGL Policies for CCPA Violations

This blog post is our third in a multi-part series addressing what insurers need to know about the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Imagine this: You own a successful string of sporting goods stores across California. Not only do you sell goods directly, but you also finance large purchases to well-qualified buyers and have a generous rewards program. When customers log in to your website, you gather personal information (e.g., name, email address, cell number, etc.). In order to participate in the rewards…
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The Push for a National Data Privacy Law Continues as Tech Giants Write to Congress

On September 10, 2019, 51 companies from the Business Roundtable joined together to send a letter to House and Senate leadership asking them to pass “a comprehensive data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.” The companies included, among others, Amazon, IBM, AT&T, Chubb, and Marriot International, Inc. Signatures from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook were notably absent, although both have, in the past, supported…
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