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California’s Proposed New Law (AB 1710) Would Hold Retailers Liable for Data Breaches

Two California legislators have introduced legislation that would require the strictest measures in the nation from online retailers.  Assembly Bill 1710, introduced by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) on April 16, 2014, proposes that retailers be held responsible for certain costs associated with data breach incidents. Coined the Consumer Data Breach Protection Act, AB […]

U.S. Dep’t of Civil Rights Settles First Privacy Violation Case against State County Government Over HIPAA Violations

U.S. Dept of Civil Rights Settles First Privacy Violation Case against State County Government Over HIPAA ViolationsOn March 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights settled the first known HIPAA violation allegation against a state governmental agency, for $215,000.

The settlement involved the Skagit County Public Health Department in Washington State. Initially, OCR’s investigation focused on potential access of seven individuals’ ePHI on a public County server, which included ePHI related to infectious disease testing and treatment. The investigation later revealed ePHI of approximately 1,600 individuals to be at issue.

The claims at issue not only addressed the improper access, but also the County’s failure to issue proper breach notices and to maintain adequate security measures, going back to as early as 2005.

California law protects victims of breaches of privacy and provides them with an avenue for recovery against perpetrators. The California Confidential Medical Information Act provides plaintiffs with a private right of action against medical providers that disclose their medical information without authorization. Victims of privacy violations involving medical records need to act quickly to preserve their rights by consulting with a HIPAA violation lawyer.

SOOFI | Legal Counsel represents clients in numerous types of privacy violations, including HIPAA/medical information violations, violations by doctors, medical care providers, schools, and employers, violations of name, likeness, and image, right of publicity claims, online / internet privacy violations, and numerous others. SLC’s managing attorney Rabeh M. A. Soofi is recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers in Southern California” by SuperLawyers, and has extensive experience as a HIPAA violation / privacy lawyer serving clients throughout California. 

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 For information on retaining SOOFI | Legal Counsel to represent you with respect to a privacy violation, contact info@soofilc.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation. SLC is a Los Angeles, California privacy law firm assisting numerous kinds of clients with a wide array of privacy matters. 

U.S. Dept of Civil Rights Settles First Privacy Violation Case against State County Government Over HIPAA Violations

New Survey Shows Majority of Americans Aggrieved with Retail Data Breaches

New Survey Shows Majority of Americans Aggrieved with Retail Data Breaches

A new survey conducted by Feedzai, a data science company using real-time statistics concludes that the majority of Americans are troubled by the recent date breaches by online retailers, such as Target and Nieman Marcus.

The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Feedzai in January 2014 among 2,047 U.S. adults age 18 and older. According to the results:

Who’s to blame?
Among U.S. adults who are aware of any data breaches, 60% believe merchants are responsible for preventing future incidents, while 13% believe responsibility falls on banks.

  • Only 5% of these adults feel it is the consumer’s responsibility, and among males age 18-34, that increases to 10%.
  • 20% of these females age 18-34 believe the government bears the responsibility, while 13% of all those who are aware of any data breaches feel the government is most responsible.

Getting the flu > credit card stolen
It seems many consumers find getting their credit or debit card stolen more aggravating than a number unpleasant activities, and in fact 43% of U.S. adults feel that nothing is more aggravating than theft. The survey also found:

  • 20% of Americans think losing their cell phone is more aggravating than card/debit card data theft; in the Northeast that figure drops to 15%, and it jumps to 30% among females age 18-34
  • 20% feel getting the flu is more aggravating, which jumps to 25% for Americans age 35-44
  • 14% of Americans find being stuck in rush hour traffic more aggravating
  • 13% of Americans found going to the DMV more aggravating, while 12% say serving on jury duty and 11% thought preparing income tax returns was more aggravating than credit/debit card data theft

All eyes on data breaches – and merchants
Consumers took notice of the recent retailer breaches over the holiday season and fraud is top of mind.

  • While the recent data breaches happened in physical stores, over half (52%) of U.S. adults who are aware of any data breaches still believe shopping in a physical store is safer and more secure than shopping online when using debit or credit cards.
  • Over 1 in 5 people (22%) who are aware of any data breach changed their shopping behavior due to recent retail data breaches. The highest proportion of those making a change in shopping behaviors came from those aware of data breaches in the Midwest, with 26% reporting changes, while the lowest proportion of those reporting changes came from those in the West with 19% reporting changes in shopping behavior due to recent data breaches.
  • Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) U.S. adults who are aware of any data breach have stopped shopping at the affected retailers. Among those aged 35-44, the proportion increases to nearly 4 in 10 (36%).

What is old is new again. Cash is back
While memories of an older generation stuffing cold hard cash between their mattresses and in envelopes may seem like the thing of the past… it may not be the case.

  • While 40% of those aware of any data breaches say they started using cash for more of their purchases when shopping, the proportions rise for those aged 18-34 (43%) and those aged 35-44 (45%).
  • 32% of those who are aware of any data breaches aged 65 and older say they are using more cash.

A youthful outlook
Younger generations appear to expect the risk of using credit cards.

  • While over half of those aware of data breaches (51%) believe data breaches are an expected part of the experience when shopping with credit or debit cards, there are sharp distinctions between age groups.
  • Almost 3 in 5 (58%) of those who are aware of data breaches between the age of 18 and 34 believe data breaches are part of the shopping experience, while only 38% of those who are aware of data breaches age 55-64, believe that is true.

Read More:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/60-percent-of-americans-aware-of-a-data-breach-put-the-responsibility-for-preventing-future-incidents-on-merchants-250763851.html

New Survey Shows Majority of Americans Aggrieved with Retail Data Breaches

California Senate Approves Landmark Credit Card Privacy Law

California Senate Approves Landmark Credit Card Privacy LawThe California State Senate has approved a sweeping new online privacy bill, S.B. 383, which takes a huge step towards promoting privacy rights of online shoppers using credit cards for purchases.

The new law prohibits online merchants from storing personal information typically collected as part of the account-creation process.  The gathering of personal information during sales transactions by retail and bricks-and-mortar establishments has long been outlawed in California, but the same prohibitions have not been extended to online purchases, leading to a loophole that has posed threats of fraud and security breaches for online shoppers.   Continue reading

Judge Rules Against U.S Government in First Ruling on NSA Mass Surveillance Lawsuit

Judge Rules Against U.S Government in First Ruling on NSA Mass Surveillance LawsuitA federal judge in Washington, D.C. has issued the first ruling on the issue of mass-surveillance conducted on Americans’ telephone records by the U.S. National Security Agency.

The opinion comprises the first judicial ruling on the issue of the lawfulness of the NSA’s data-collection activities, and represents a significant setback for the NSA and Obama administration’s justifications for the activities.

Kaiser Privacy Breach and HIPAA Violation – Legal Claims for Victims of Anaheim Privacy Breach

Kaiser Privacy Breach and HIPAA Violation   Legal Claims for Victims of Anaheim Privacy Breach

Kaiser’s Anaheim Center was the site of a major data breach.

 

On December 10, 2013, Kaiser Permanente notified 49,000 patients that some of their personal information was compromised in a September data breach at Anaheim Medical Center in Orange County, California.

Kaiser said a flash drive was reported missing Sept. 25 from the nuclear medicine department of the hospital. Patients were notified of the breach on Dec. 3.

Continue reading

Bill Making Unauthorized Disclosure of “Revenge Porn” a Misdemeanor Passes California Senate

Bill Making Unauthorized Disclosure of Revenge Porn a Misdemeanor Passes California SenateThe California Senate has approved a bill, authorized by Sen. Anthony Cannella, which will make it a misdemeanor for individuals to disclose pornography or obscene photographs of their ex-partners or spouses out of revenge.

Termed “revenge porn,” the practice usually involves the online disclosure of intimate videos or photographs spread without authorization.  According to some sources, individuals who have their privacy violated in this manner have legal recourse, but they are often too embarrassed to pursue their rights.

California law protects victims of breaches of privacy and provides them with an avenue for recovery against perpetrators.  In California, it is unlawful to publicly disclose private facts which would be offensive and objectionable to a reasonable person, which are not of legitimate public concern.  It is also unlawful in California to intrude upon the personal affairs of others. 

 With two offices in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California, SOOFI | Legal Counsel regularly represents clients in numerous types of privacy violations and privacy litigation, including the public disclosure of private facts, invasions of privacy, intrusion upon personal affairs, violations of name, likeness, and image, right of publicity claims, HIPAA/medical privacy violations, online / internet privacy violations, and numerous others.

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 For information on retaining SOOFI | Legal Counsel to represent you with respect to a privacy violation, contact info@soofilc.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/08/15/3443277/capitol-alert-california-revenge.html#storylink=cpy

 

Delta Sued by State of California for Violating Consumer Privacy Rights

Delta Sued by State of California for Violating Consumer Privacy Rights

Delta’s “Fly Delta” App Collects Consumer Info with Disclosure of Privacy Policy

Airline giant Delta has been sued by the state of California for violating consumer privacy rights, specifically, for collecting a wealth of private consumer information through its mobile app, “Fly Delta,” without providing consumers with any kind of clear privacy policy about how that information will be used. Continue reading

Supreme Court Shelters U.S. Federal Gov’t Violations of Credit Card Privacy Laws: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Supreme Court Shelters U.S. Federal Govt Violations of Credit Card Privacy Laws: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Credit-Card Privacy Claim Against U.S. Federal Government

In its first opinion of the new term, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a class action brought against the federal government for violating privacy / identity theft protection laws by printing credit card numbers and expiration dates on receipts, determining that the federal government is not liable for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Continue reading

When HIV Status is Disclosed to Others: Privacy Concerns and What to Do Next

When HIV Status is Disclosed to Others: Privacy Concerns and What to Do Next

When HIV Status is Disclosed

Despite the advances that have been made promoting diversity among people of different races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientation, there still exists an unfortunate stigma against those with HIV.  One big issue that comes up often for those with HIV is the inadvertent disclosure of HIV status by health professionals, hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other practitioners who have access to this information. Continue reading

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