Act Imposes New Information Security and Management Requirements on All Florida Businesses

by Baker Donelson
Contact

On June 20, 2014, and in the wake of several high profile data breaches, Governor Rick L. Scott signed into law the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (FIPA), which will replace Florida's existing data breach notification law, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 817.5681. FIPA has far-reaching implications for businesses in possession of Floridians' personal information, and it will require businesses to immediately focus on data security and privacy issues within their organizations. Failure to adhere to FIPA's requirements could result in a business facing an enforcement action brought by the Department of Legal of Affairs (the "Department").

Florida has maintained a law regarding notification in the case of breach for years; however, there is renewed interest after several high-profile breaches and attempts by plaintiffs' attorneys to use breaches as a new opportunity for litigation. FIPA shortens the current 45-day breach notification deadline and requires businesses to notify individuals within 30 days. FIPA will also require businesses to notify the Department of breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. And once a breach has been reported, FIPA will require a business to provide, upon request from the Department, relevant incident reports, computer forensics reports, policies and procedures, and post-breach mitigation steps. Note that this assumes that companies maintain such policies and procedures when handling personal information.

In addition to the new breach notification protocol, FIPA will require almost all businesses to take reasonable measures to protect and secure electronic data containing "personal information." Under FIPA, "personal information" is defined to include a first name or first initial and a last name in combination with any of the following data elements:

  1. a social security number;
  2. a driver's license or ID card number, passport, military ID or similar number issued on a government document used to verify identity;
  3. a financial account number or credit or debit card number in combination with any required security code, access code or password that is necessary to access a financial account;
  4. any information regarding an individual's medical history, mental or physical condition or medical treatment or diagnosis by a health care professional; or
  5. an individual's health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number and any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify an individual.

"Personal information" is also defined to include a name or email address, in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account. Notably, "personal information" does not include information that has been encrypted, secured or modified in a way that removes elements that personally identify an individual or that otherwise renders the information unusable.

Additionally, FIPA will require businesses to take reasonable measures to dispose of consumer records, in any form, that contain personal information when these records are "no longer to be retained." While no specific length of time is mandated for retention or destruction of records, FIPA requires information to be disposed of in a way by "shredding, erasing, or otherwise modifying the personal information in the records to make it unreadable or undecipherable."

FIPA grants the Department the power to enforce the statute in two ways. First, any violation of FIPA constitutes an unfair or deceptive trade practice in any action brought by the Department under Fla. Stat. Ann. § 501.207. Second, the Department can levy significant civil penalties against businesses that violate FIPA's notification requirements.

Although FIPA's obligations to secure and dispose of personal information are similar to federal requirements, these obligations will align Florida with a small minority of other states that require comprehensive information security/management programs. FIPA's effective date is July 1, 2014.  Accordingly, companies without privacy and security programs should begin making plans to become compliant with FIPA's new requirements, including documentation of certain policies and procedures. Companies with existing programs should also take the opportunity to audit their own policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Baker Donelson | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Baker Donelson
Contact
more
less

Baker Donelson on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.