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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.

UK Data Protection Rules remain despite Brexit vote

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued final regulations regarding employer wellness programs under GINA and the ADA.

On May 4, 2016, the White House released a report entitled “Big Data: A Report on Algorithmic Systems, Opportunity, and Civil Rights” to herald its focus on discrimination in “big data” assisted personnel screening algorithms.  While the statement was too vague to inform the public of any new enforcement policy or the degree of sophistication with which such a policy might be enforced or even what institution will bear the burden of remedying the perceived issues, it is clear that the intended scope is expansive.

Tags: Big Data

In February 2016, President Barack Obama directed his Administration to implement a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) that “takes near-term actions and puts in place a long-term strategy to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security.”  (Fact Sheet: Cybersecurity National Action Plan, 2/9/2016)  As part of that plan, the President highlighted the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign, a global cybersecurity awareness campaign appealing for individuals to play a more significant role in Internet and network security.

Another new phishing scheme has tricked numerous employers into disclosing highly sensitive, employee information. In the wake of tax season, spoofing emails were sent to payroll and human resource personnel at various companies. The emails, appearing to be requests from upper level company officials, including in some instances the companies’ CEOs, requested employee W-2 tax forms that contain Social Security numbers and other personally ...

In what might be a cautionary tale of the privacy risks for organizations who do business in buying and selling information, last Friday, a Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan, whose true name is Terry Bollea, $115 Million in damages against Gawker.com and its former owner, Albert J. Daulerio, for the website’s portrayal of him having sexual relations with a woman not his wife. Bollea sued Gawker after the website published a recording of him having sex.

Just a few days after the Major League Baseball season opens next month, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa will attend a sentencing hearing where he faces to up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and payment of restitution to the Houston Astros. Correa pleaded guilty earlier this year to criminal charges brought against him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. Trade secret lawyers, baseball fans, and "Moneyball" enthusiasts are familiar with the allegations. Correa used the password of a former Cardinals employee now working for the Astros to access the Astros' scouting database and obtain confidential player evaluation data.

The average American worker has nearly a library worth of data existing digitally. What if employers could use such information to lower the cost of employee health care? A growing number of businesses are asking that very question and have begun using employee data to identify health risks in their workforce.

In trying to stem the rising cost of health care companies like Wal-Mart are using “health care analytics companies,” otherwise known as ...

A few weeks ago Los Angeles-based hospital Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center fell victim to cyber criminals who infiltrated and disabled the hospital’s computer network through the use of ransomware. The malware reportedly locked access to certain computer systems and prevented hospital staff from sharing communications electronically.

The hospital opted to pay the ransom in the form of 40 Bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $17,000 ...

In one of the last Executive Orders of his final term, President Obama on Tuesday established the “Federal Privacy Council”—an “interagency forum to improve the Government privacy practices of agencies and entities acting on their behalf.” Included in the roster of members are the senior agency officials at every major federal agency, including but not limited to the Department of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior ...

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