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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.
Posts by Usama Kahf

Governor Gavin Newsom just signed into law two amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that will have a direct impact on employers doing business in the state. The new amendments, signed on October 11, 2019 and taking effect on January 1, 2020, require covered businesses meeting a certain revenue threshold or other criteria to implement policies and procedures that provide consumers – which includes employees – certain privacy rights not previously available under existing law.

Thanks to recent negotiations among state lawmakers, it appears that California employers may get a temporary reprieve on some of the more sweeping data privacy requirements that were set to take effect in just a few short months.

The California Senate narrowly passed a bill earlier this week that would allow businesses to be sued for data breaches without proof of any injury. As this bill moves to the Assembly, there is already talk among legislators about amending it to include a safe harbor provision. But will any safe harbor address opponents’ concerns?

SB 1121, which is making its way through the California Legislature, would allow businesses to be sued for data breaches even when no one was actually injured. This includes being sued for failing to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures as well as for failing to properly notify affected individuals of a breach of their personal information. Opponents of this bill are calling it a “job killer”.

No! It is a common misconception among the general public that someone always has to pay when there is a data breach. It is understandable that individuals affected by a data breach will be upset, distraught, and even angry. In light of recent large-scale data breaches, it is safe to say we have all been there, with our personal information that we entrusted to particular companies or employers now out there in the hands of cyber thieves.

Effective immediately, federal contractors will need to comply with privacy training rules intended to ensure that their workforces protect personally identifiable information. As of January 19, 2017, federal contractors will need to follow a five-step plan to comply with the new rules issued by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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