An Overview of Data Privacy and Protection Laws for Manufacturers

Pullman & Comley, LLC
Contact

Pullman & Comley, LLC

For many manufacturers, data privacy and protection laws may seem like legal concerns that apply to other, more consumer-facing companies.  While that may be largely true, given the ubiquitous nature of data, no business can truly escape considering how data privacy and protection laws may apply to them.  

Data Breach Notification Laws

Data breach notification laws require businesses to notify affected individuals as well as the State Attorney General’s Office and in certain instances, the media, when unencrypted sensitive data may have been accessed by unauthorized persons. For example, in Connecticut’s data breach notification law, sensitive data includes Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, credit card numbers or financial account information in combination with any required security code or password. In addition, to providing the required notices, Connecticut also requires that the business provide the affected individuals 2 years’ worth of credit monitoring services.  As a result, a recent IBM Security Study found that the average cost for data breach response per record lost was $150.

Even if your business is strictly B2B, sensitive data can be squirreled away in various and surprising ways in your systems. Your business likely has the Social Security numbers of your employees for tax reporting. Does your business ever collect Social Security numbers in connection with credit checks? Does your business collect passport information in connection with taking your best customers on a retreat?

Before a ransomware hacker compromises your systems, you should inventory where sensitive data exists and encrypt data that you need to keep and eliminate anything that is extraneous.  If you have not purchased a cyberliability policy, this may be a good time to consider doing so. 

Data Protection Laws

If your organization or sales efforts are international in scope, baseline data protection laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) are unavoidable. These laws require businesses to not only post a privacy policy, but also to justify the reasons for collection of any personal data (not just sensitive information) and provide the “data subject” numerous rights regarding the use, retention and disclosure of his/her information. In addition, data transfers between entities (such as between a customer and its vendors) and between countries (especially transfers to the U.S.) must be properly documented.  Fines for violation of the GDPR can be as high as 4% of global revenue. 

While the United States does not yet have a similar federal privacy law to the GDPR, numerous states have started to adopt their own versions of a “baseline” privacy law. These states currently include California, Virginia and Colorado. Connecticut almost passed its own GDPR-like law at the close of the last legislative session in June.

[View source.]

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.

© Pullman & Comley, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pullman & Comley, LLC
Contact
more
less

Pullman & Comley, LLC on:

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:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.