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Employment Privacy Blog

News, commentary, and legal updates from attorneys in the Data Security and Workplace Privacy Practice Group at Fisher Phillips.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all manner of business procedures over the course of this past year, but one area you may not immediately recognize that needs to be immediately addressed relates to mandatory privacy notifications under California state law – perhaps even if you don’t have employees in the state. If you have not yet adjusted your business practices as it relates to COVID-19, you need to add this important assignment to your end-of-the-year to-do list.

Tags: CCPA

Several federal agencies have teamed up to warn healthcare employers of the increased threat they face as a result of malicious cybercriminals aiming to take advantage of the pandemic to wreak havoc on their operations. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a joint advisory based on “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.” The October 28 Advisory warns that malicious cyberactors are targeting this sector with malware, which can lead to ransomware attacks, data theft, and a disruption of healthcare services. What do healthcare employers need to know about this danger and what can be done to prevent such an attack?

The California Attorney General just proposed a third set of modifications to the regulations implementing the state’s landmark privacy law. The regulations for the California Consumer Privacy Act (the CCPA) had previously gone into effect in August 2020, but the proposed modifications unveiled on October 12 would change and clarify certain requirements related to notice provisions and methods for opting in and opting out of the sale of personal information and verifying authorized agents.

Governor Newsom just signed legislation that will extend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) exemption for employee, job applicant, and independent contractor data for an additional year – until January 1, 2022. However, this legislation will become effective only if a ballot measure on the November ballot (Proposition 24), which contains a longer extension, does not pass.

Tags: CCPA

Over the years, Congress has put forth various legislative proposals regarding data privacy.  None of the past legislation received the support necessary to enable passage of a comprehensive national data privacy law. However, data collection and analysis is becoming a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19 as companies and governments have sought to come up with effective and socially distant ways to keep close tabs on people’s health status and movements.  These methods often involve using technology to collect vital but potentially sensitive health and location information. 

As states begin to reopen and businesses that were shuttered for some time plan for a return to work, many employers are faced with the challenge of determining how best to create a safe work environment for employees. In order to enforce social distancing requirements and ensure that employees maintain a safe distance from one another in the workplace, some employers have considered the use of wearable technology. 

In 2018, the California legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which went into effect on January 1, 2020 but was amended six times before it even took effect. Concerned that amendments have weakened the CCPA and that consumers still do not understand how their personal information is being used by businesses, proponents of the CCPA have proposed a ballot initiative for the November 2020 ballot titled the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”)—colloquially known as CCPA 2.0.

Tags: CCPA

Over the years, Fisher Phillips has covered the proliferation of blockchain technology extensively. From streamlining the hiring process to its ability to enforce workplace policies, the benefits are numerous. This is particularly true for employers grappling with how to securely store employee health information in a post-pandemic workplace (more on that in a minute). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, or kind of know what I’m talking about, but still don’t quite “get it,” let’s begin by answering that initial question: what is blockchain?

For the second year in a row, the Washington legislature failed to pass an ambitious consumer privacy protection bill into law.

As people across the world react to the rapid spread of COVID-19, a new threat is emerging; individuals and employers face a risk from hackers trying to take advantage of the demand for information. Hackers have begun using fake government reports, health fact sheets, and tracking maps to deliver malware and harvest personal or sensitive data from people seeking out information on the coronavirus. 

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