Law & Order PEPU: California’s new Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit

by Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters
Contact

Jake Romero]

In a move signaling increased enforcement of the state’s data privacy and security regulations, California’s Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has announced the creation of the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit.   The Privacy Unit will be staffed by California Department of Justice Employees, including six dedicated prosecutors, and will have broad authority to enforce federal and state laws relating to the collection, retention, disclosure and destruction of private and sensitive information, including medical, financial and government records, by individuals and public and private organizations.  Effective immediately, a number of California Justice Department programs related to identity theft enforcement and education will be absorbed by the Privacy Unit, in an effort to centralize and streamline California’s data privacy protection efforts.    For California consumers, the creation of the Privacy Unit will likely result in easier access to education materials for protecting personal data.  For businesses and organizations collecting, storing, transmitting or processing personally identifiable information, the Privacy Unit is one of many warning signs that California intends to take the enforcement of data privacy regulations seriously.

The creation of the Privacy Unit is the latest in a series of initiatives by the California Attorney General’s office intended to address growing concerns about data privacy.  In August 2011, Attorney General Harris announced the creation of the eCrime Unit, a division responsible for “investigating and prosecuting large scale identity theft and technology crimes with actual losses in excess of $50,000.  Earlier this year, the six largest companies offering platforms for mobile applications agreed to a set of principles, authored and developed by the Attorney General’s office, designed to ensure that mobile applications sold on such platforms comply with California’s Online Privacy Protection Act.  Last month, that set of mobile application privacy principles was expanded significantly when Facebook elected to sign on as well.

With the Privacy Unit in place, actions enforcing California’s data privacy regulations, which are among the strictest in the nation, are certain to increase.  “The Privacy Unit,” according to Attorney General Harris, “will police the privacy practices of individuals and organizations to hold accountable those who misuse technology to invade the privacy of others.”  Based on prior comments from Harris, such enforcement may include prosecutions under California’s Unfair Competition Law  and/or False Advertising Law, which imposes penalties of up to $500,000.   As a result, if you operate a business or organization using or accessing the personally identifiable information of others, time may be running out to ensure that you comply with California’s quickly evolving requirements.

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.

© Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters
Contact
more
less

Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters 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.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!