Eureka – Privacy Discovered in California?

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is a ballot initiative that has gained more than enough signatures to appear on the November 6, 2018 general election ballot. If approved by the voters, the Act will greatly expand privacy rights in California. It will apply to larger companies that do business in California as well as entities that collect substantial amounts of Personal Information from California residents. California has in the past led the US in various trends and regulations, good and bad. Freeways, Beach Boys, hippies, hipsters, car culture, bikers, early Burning Man, the music industry, and Hollywood helped define US culture. Well-known regulations and restrictions on air quality such as CARB (CA Air Resources Board), on “chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity” such as Proposition 65, and on offshore drilling have been very influential. Facebook, Google, Apple, AirBnB, Tesla, and yes, Theranos are all California companies. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder In 1976, a wealthy acquaintance in the Bel Air hills invited me for drinks to survey the skyline overlooking Los Angeles at dusk from his poolside perch. Like the successful Mr. McGuire in The Graduate urging Ben to steer his career towards the …

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GDPR Privacy by Default – Will the US Senate Follow Europe?

On May 25th, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced a Senate resolution calling for U.S. companies and institutions covered by the European Union’s (EU) new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to provide Americans with privacy protections included in the European law. The 5 page Resolution summarizes the GDPR as requiring: that data processors have a legal basis for processing the data of users; and that opt-in, freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous consent from users is a primary legal basis. The Resolution is not a bill and has not yet been debated or adopted. However, it was symbolically introduced on the very same day that European GDPR became law. Many US enterprises are impacted by the new EU law, because they control or process the personal data of people in the EU. Some US companies have announced full compliance with the GDPR for all people worldwide. Others have geofenced and blocked EU data subjects. Others, like the Washington Post, have erected a supposedly compliant paywall to provide GDPR-compliant and ad-free access to the EU countries. The Markey Resolution “encourages entities” already covered by the impact of the …

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The GDPR is Coming

  Does GDPR Apply in the US? Yes. GDPR (European Union General Data Protection Regulation) is a comprehensive new law protecting the data privacy of EU citizens. GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018.  It consists of 99 articles and will have sweeping impact on U.S. enterprises. It requires that all personal data be handled according to the GDPR Data Protection Principles. These includes the famous “right to be forgotten,” as well as transparency, data portability, breach notification, information security, etc. If you have a public facing website that collects user data and operates in EU countries, it is not too late to get advice. Watch this space as we roll out solutions for enterprises that are not ready.