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Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a...more

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a...more

Attorneys Are Not So Special After All: The FOIA and the Need for Specific Agenda Items

Generally, Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] requires that a public agency preparing an agenda/posting for a meeting ensure that each agenda item is specific enough to apprise the public of the action...more

Reading the Section 5(a) Tea Leaves: What the end of 2015 may suggest about the FTC priorities in 2016

The end of 2015 represented a mixed bag for the Federal Trade Commission on privacy enforcement. In November, the FTC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge dismissed the FTC’s complaint against LabMD for a possible data breach of...more

All You Need to Know About LabMD’s Big Win in/over the FTC

We have been meaning for a while to write about LabMD’s epic data privacy fight against the FTC. We’re sure you have read about the action, and particularly about the administrative order dismissing the government’s...more

FTC Appeals ALJ Ruling Dismissing Its Claims Against LabMD

The legal wrangling between the Federal Trade Commission and LabMD, Inc. over data security continues. On December 22, 2015, the FTC filed its appeal brief challenging Chief Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) D. Michael...more

Re-Thinking “Substantial Injury”: The FTC’s Potential New Need for Victims

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge dismissed the Commission’s long-running data security case against LabMD because it failed to prove that there was an actual or reasonably imminent...more

Data Retention Questions Referred to the European Court for Clarification

Mass surveillance has been under scrutiny yet again since the UK Court of Appeal, on 20 November 2015, asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to clarify whether it intended to “lay down mandatory requirements...more

SCC to Weigh In On the Solicitor-Client Privilege Dispute Between Courts, Privacy Commissioners

As outlined in our April 2015 Blakes Bulletin: Privilege Rules: Solicitor-Client Privilege Held Sacrosanct by Alberta Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal (on October 29, 2015) the...more

Administrative Law Judge Dismisses FTC’s Complaint Against LabMD In Data Breach Case, Citing Lack Of Consumer Harm

On November 13, 2015, the Chief Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) dismissed an Administrative Complaint against LabMD, Inc. (“LabMD”) regarding its data security practices. In a 92-page...more

ALJ Rules Against FTC in LabMD Data Security Action: Sets High Bar for Proving Consumer Harm

Last June we wrote about the FTC’s enforcement action against LabMD, a medical testing laboratory, which was forced to wind down its business because of the costs associated with challenging the FTC since 2013. Using its...more

FTC Case Against LabMD Dismissed Due to Lack of Harm

This past Friday the 13th was not a lucky day for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dismissed the FTC’s data security enforcement proceeding against LabMD on the grounds that the FTC failed...more

ALJ Dismisses FTC’s Data Security Suit Against LabMD for Failure to Prove ‘Substantial Injury’ to Consumers

In a landmark decision, an administrative law judge dismissed the FTC’s long-running data security lawsuit against Atlanta-based cancer screening laboratory, LabMD Inc., following an alleged data breach. Chief Administrative...more

California Appellate Court Addresses Release of City Attorney’s Private E-mails

An appellate court ordered a trial court judge to reconsider his order that e-mails to and from the San Diego city attorney’s personal account be released publicly. The League of California Cities argued that e-mails between...more

FTC v. Wyndham: The Third Circuit Recognizes FTC Authority to Regulate Commercial Cyber Security Practices

In 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruling in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation agreed to hear an immediate appeal on two issues: “whether the FTC has authority to regulate cybersecurity under...more

Work-Related Text Messages on Personal Cell Phones Are Public Records Says WA Supreme Court

From Washington, D.C. to Washington state, the manner in which government officials and employees create and store business records is making headlines. The latest development is a unanimous decision of the Washington Supreme...more

Responding to Subpoenas and Other Requests for Personal Health Information: Take Them at Face Value

Healthcare providers and other HIPAA covered entities receive requests for protected health information (“PHI”) from a variety of sources on a daily basis. Such requests can range from informal requests made during the course...more

Attorney-Privileged Documents Mistakenly Released Under PRA Still Exempt

California Appellate Court Rules in Case Likely to be Decided by State Supreme Court - A public agency that inadvertently released attorney-client privileged documents to the public did not waive its right for those...more

Addressing Public Information Act Concerns in Dealings with the Government

When dealing with a governmental entity it is important to account for the possibility that information shared with that entity may be subject to disclosure under state and/or federal open records acts (e.g., the federal...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Privacy Rights for Los Angeles Hotel Operators

In a win for privacy advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a City of Los Angeles municipal ordinance permitting warrantless police searches of hotel registries is unconstitutional. The subject ordinance (Los Angeles...more

City of Los Angeles v. Patel — US Supreme Court voids LA ordinance requiring hotel operators to turn over guest records on demand

US Supreme Court voids Los Angeles ordinance requiring hotel operators to turn over guest records on demand. In a 5-4 opinion rendered on June 22, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that a Los Angeles municipal...more

European Court of Justice Dismisses Case Regarding Confidential Treatment of Information Submitted to EFSA

On June 3, 2015, the General Court of the European Court of Justice issued a ruling in Luxembourg Pamol (Cyprus) Ltd. and Luxembourg Industries Ltd. (Luxembourg) vs. European Commission regarding the publication of...more

Privilege Rules: Solicitor-Client Privilege Held Sacrosanct by Alberta Court of Appeal

In the Alberta Court of Appeal’s ruling this month in University of Calgary v. JR, the court held that the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) does not have the statutory authority under the Freedom of...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Affirms Sanctity of Solicitor-Client Privilege under FOIPPA

In University of Calgary v JR, 2015 ABCA 118, the Alberta Court of Appeal strongly affirmed the central importance of solicitor-client privilege to the proper functioning of the legal system. At issue was whether the Freedom...more

Attorney Billing Invoices Privileged From Disclosure Under PRA

California Court of Appeal Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Exemption Covers Billing Invoices - Billing invoices sent by an attorney to a client are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, a...more

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