Tennessee and Montana are now set to be the next two states with “omnibus” privacy legislation. “Omnibus” privacy legislation regulates personal information as a broad category, as opposed to data collected by a particular regulated business or collected for a specific purpose, like health information, financial or payment card information. As far as omnibus laws go, Tennessee and Montana are two additional data points informing the trend we are seeing at the state level regarding privacy and data protection. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) these two states have taken the model which was initiated by Virginia and Colorado instead of following the California model.

Is there Really Anything New?

While these two new laws may seem to be “more of the same”, the Tennessee law contains some new interesting approaches to the regulation of privacy and data protection. While we see the usual set of privacy obligations (notice requirements, rights of access and deletion, restrictions around targeted advertising and online behavioral advertising, et cetera) in both the Tennessee and Montana laws, Tennessee has taken the unusual step of building into its law specific guidance on how to actually develop and deploy a privacy program in the Tennessee Information Protection Act (“TIPA”).Continue Reading Two New State Privacy Laws – But What is Really New?

The My Health My Data Act (“Act”) was approved by the Washington State House on April 17, 2023. The Act is now with Governor Jay Inslee for signature and is expected to be signed into law in its current form, which is broad enough to warrant anyone with any activity in Washington to consider its scope and implications for operations. Because the Act will be enforceable through a private right of action, it has the potential to create substantial legal exposure for violations.

The Act creates new and unique consumer rights and obligations for business relating to the collection, sharing, and use of “Consumer Health Data” (“CHD”). It expressly aims to “close the gap between consumer knowledge and industry practice” by expanding obligations related to processing of CHD to entities not covered by HIPAA. However, it is significantly broader in potential scope, including, in part, due to the gaping definition of CHD (which expressly includes data that identifies past, present, or future physical or mental health status, for example, “bodily functions” and “precise location information that could reasonably indicate an attempt to receive health services or supplies”). The Act will impact a range of business, including advertisers, mobile app providers like health and wellness trackers, wearable device manufacturers and, of course, healthcare and wellness industry companies and their data processors handling non-HIPAA-regulated CHD. Notably, the Act expressly addresses abortion/reproductive health services and gender-affirming care services (including by making it unlawful for any person to use a “geofence” (or virtual boundary) around a facility that provides health care services) for the purposes of identifying or tracking consumers seeking such services; collecting CHD from consumers; or sending them notifications, messages, or advertisements related to their CHD or health care services. This restriction applies regardless of consent or opt-in.Continue Reading Washington’s “My Health My Data” Act

It’s been no doubt a week of mixed emotions at the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) which last week had its final CCPA regulations (“Regulations”) approved and filed with the California Secretary of State by the Office of Administrative Law. The final regulations have been stated to be “effective immediately”. The result is that California employers are now going to have a significant burden around compliance with California privacy law which they didn’t have previously.

Taken on its face, “effective immediately” would mean that enforcement of the regulations would be available (if not acted upon) immediately. However, as with much about the CCPA, this may not be definitive.

First, the California Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) provides that regulations become effective on one of four quarterly dates based on when the final regulations are filed with the Secretary of State. Under the APA the enforcement date would still be July 1, because the regulation was filed between March 1 and May 31. See Cal. Gov. Code §11343.4(a)(3).

Second, Proposition 24 (the actual amendment to the CCPA) itself provides timing of enforcement of the new provisions of the CCPA. Specifically, Cal. Civ. Code §1798.185(d) states “Notwithstanding any other law, civil and administrative enforcement of the provisions of law added or amended by this act shall not commence until July 1, 2023.Continue Reading CCPA Regulations Are Here – We Think

As we move into 2023, Biometric Information Privacy remains a constantly evolving field, with states enacting new statutes, technology evolving, plaintiffs raising new theories, and cases being filed daily. Keeping up with biometric laws can be a daunting task for these reasons.

On February 7, 2023, we led a webinar looking at some of the

In a January 11, 2023 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, President Joe Biden urged “Democrats and Republicans to come together to pass strong bipartisan legislation to hold Big Tech accountable.”  He warned that the “risks Big Tech poses for ordinary Americans are clear. Big Tech companies collect huge amounts of data” about

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The Illinois Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC, et al., 2022 IL 126511 (Feb. 3, 2022), holding that claims for statutory damages against an employer under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) are not preempted by the exclusivity provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation

Seyfarth Synopsis:  On May 12, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a very broad, 34 page “Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.” The Executive Order, or “EO”, can be found here. This order comes six months after the notorious SolarWinds attack, and mere weeks after other high-profile attacks have invaded our networks, and shut

There have been seminal events in the cybersecurity space since 2012, but there has likely been no event in recent times bigger than the SolarWinds attack which was first announced in December 2020. Though it likely had “nation-state” origins, the SolarWinds attack raised a number of serious issues for US companies and indeed the US

This was originally published as a Seyfarth Legal Update.

Seyfarth Synopsis: As the world progresses with COVID vaccinations, the scenario where you have to show a COVID passport before crossing a border, taking a public mode of transportation, or entering a public space like a cinema no longer seems like a scene out of a dystopian sci-fi movie. Colloquially dubbed the “COVID passport,” the concept refers to various forms of a certificate of COVID vaccination and/or negative test status recognized on a national or inter-state basis, the use of which remains a controversial topic at this juncture, giving rise to technical, legal and ethical concerns.

Having said that, some countries have already adopted or proposed adopting various versions of COVID passports on a national or inter-member states basis, such as the “Green Pass” for visiting certain premises or events within Israel[1], the “Green Health Code” for domestic travel and entry into certain premises within mainland China[2], and the proposed “Digital Green Certificate” for travelling between member countries of EU and abroad[3]. The decentralized initial approach and the practical challenges of implementing an universally recognized COVID passport remains as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Overview of Technology and Data Privacy Issues Arising from COVID Passports

California has once again decided it needed to pass privacy legislation to protect the residents of the great state from the nefarious actions of Big Tech.  However, this time they did it with a ballot initiative and not via the thoughtful (mostly) mechanism of the legislative process.  The proponents of the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) touted this as an improvement over the CCPA – but is it really?  To listen to the proponents of the CPRA, it aims to strengthen California consumer privacy rights, while for the most part, avoiding the imposition of overly-burdensome requirements on a business, particularly those businesses that are already CCPA compliant.  So, what’s changed, really?
Continue Reading California Prop 24 – Is the New Privacy Law Really New (Or Is the Sky Falling)