The Uber Playbook: 5 Best Practices for Protecting Data Privacy

by JD Supra Perspectives
Contact

There’s no time like the present to be ready for an investigation or litigation...

The battle between Uber and Lyft to gain ground in the ride-sharing services market has taken a new turn. As recently reported by The Verge (and since denied by Uber as “patently false”), Uber allegedly engaged in marketing tactics to undermine Lyft by siphoning drivers to the Uber platform, supplying independent contractors (“brand ambassadors”) with burner iPhones and credit cards for bogus ride orders, subsequent cancellations and recruiting efforts. According to The Verge, an email outlined the process for recruiting Lyft drivers, linking to a form asking for recruiter name and email address, driver name, identification number, email, license plate number and vehicle year; a private group was also formed on the messaging app GroupMe for recruiters to post Lyft driver profiles and to check whether their Lyft driver had already been pitched.

Troves of data associated with Uber’s alleged marketing program now reside in the custody of third parties, including credit card, wireless carrier, mobile group messaging, and employment agency companies. Much of this information is personally identifiable information.

In the case of litigation or an investigation, some of this information arguably may be relevant—but some of it is protected from disclosure by federal and state privacy laws. Because recent cyberattacks have drawn attention to the perils of failing to protect sensitive information, many organizations are reviewing their current policies and procedures with the goal of bolstering their data security protocols.

Handling sensitive information, however, is particularly risky in electronic discovery. For example, organizations may inadvertently collect it as part of their collection effort, and send that data off to an e-discovery vendor or law firm (which may not have rigorous security protections in place) without taking safety measures to control the disclosure of sensitive data. As a result, discovery efforts can quickly run amok with privacy laws.

Below are five steps organizations can take to comply with data privacy laws and mitigate risks associated with disclosing sensitive data:

1. Develop an information governance strategy.

An information governance program is the foundation for governing data privacy and security policies that protect confidential information about employees, consumers, vendors and other third parties, as well as ensuring that retention procedures are adhered to.

Organizations should evaluate analytical tools and other technology that can easily locate, retrieve and categorize documents according to the value of their content and their business risk, including sensitive information.

The first step is to assess your organization’s data and data management practices to identify areas of potential risk or non-compliance. Key areas should include regulatory compliance, data security and privacy, records management, archiving, file sharing, end-user productivity and cloud-based technologies. As part of this effort, for organizations that store large volumes of protected information, data privacy “heat maps” can track data sources that pose the highest data privacy risks.

Second, a vision must be created on how to address short- and long-term goals and gaps. This vision — and its day-to-day implementation and management — should be clearly communicated to employees, vendors and other stakeholders. Many companies, for example, allow employees to use iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices for business purposes. In addition to governing how devices are used, organizations need to educate employees on how their data is monitored, secured and protected (and any prohibited use cases).

Finally, organizations should evaluate analytical tools and other technology that can easily locate, retrieve and categorize documents according to the value of their content and their business risk, including sensitive information.

2. Implement audit security procedures.

Regular compliance audits, along with audits of documented retention policies, can identify weaknesses in security procedures and areas for rectification. The audit should also compare existing procedures against the current legal and regulatory framework to identify and address discrepancies, and retention policies should be audited and updated.

3. Understand how data is managed in the cloud.

Organizations are increasingly outsourcing business functions to third-party cloud providers; as such, they should conduct due diligence on their providers’ security policies that govern data storage, access and retention, as well as understand their disaster recovery and security breach procedures.

4. Be litigation-ready.

There’s no time like the present to be ready for an investigation or litigation. Being discovery-ready entails the following: integrating your company’s records management approach and retention policies with e-discovery requirements; understanding where types and sources of data are maintained within the organization (and the cloud); implementing processes for monitoring and enforcing legal hold strategies; having defensible collection strategies in place; and training employees on what they need to know to help meet e-discovery obligations and avoid unnecessary risk.

5. Use advanced technology.

Use of advanced technology can help organizations minimize the risk of inadvertently disclosing sensitive information. For example, in the case of litigation, advanced e-discovery functionality, such as automated redaction features, enable corporate counsel and their law firms to search across voluminous data sets for user-provided terms (such as email addresses) and automatically redact those terms from the document. Inverse redaction tools allow users to select the content they wish to keep in a document and redact all remaining text. These tools can be utilized in conjunction with advanced data detection techniques that flag sensitive information contained in a document, such as Social Security and account numbers. Advanced technology can also enable organizations to proactively monitor, search for and manage sensitive data across a variety of data sources in real-time, helping to identify and mitigate potential issues on an ongoing basis.

The risks are significant if managing sensitive data is not part of a proactive plan — the consequences can include penalties, sanctions and reputational damage. Organizations that combine a proactive compliance strategy with technological innovation will improve the chances of detecting sensitive information before it is too late.

*

[Image credit: The Next Web]

Written by:

JD Supra Perspectives
Contact
more
less

JD Supra Perspectives 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.