Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...
France’s privacy regulator fined Hertz France SAS 40,000 euros ($46,920) over a 2016 data breach involving 35,357 users of the car rental company’s website, the office announced July 27.
The privacy office’s enforcement committee July 18 held that Hertz failed to meet its data security obligations. The enforcement audit of the company’s website determined that a computer coding error by a subcontractor exposed personal data, including names, addresses, and driver’s license numbers, for customers signed up for a discount promotion.
This is the first time that the French privacy regulator (CNIL) has imposed a financial penalty for a data breach. CNIL gained new monetary penalty authority under a 2016 update to the country’s framework data protection statute, the privacy office said. Before the update, the maximum penalty for a data breach would have been a warning, the office said. It can now issue fines of up to 3 million euros ($3.5 million), depending on the seriousness and circumstances of a violation.
Even as companies face the possibility of enforcement fines because of data breaches, cooperation with the privacy office and willingness to make things right can reduce the amount of such fines.
Hertz France was fined 40,000 euros ($46,920) because it quickly took remedial action and was cooperative throughout the audit and correction of the breach, CNIL said.
Gabriel Voisin, an international privacy and data protection partner at Bird & Bird LLP in London, told Bloomberg BNA July 28 that the fine “is a strong signal for organizations that they must make sure that they have implemented appropriate security measures” to protect users’ personal data.
Hertz told Bloomberg BNA in an emailed statement July 28 that the company “takes the security of its customer data extremely seriously.” The company took “took immediate, corrective action” once notified of the problem, Hertz said. “No harm resulted to any individual, as the potential breach was never exploited,” according to Hertz.
Hertz France SAS is a private company under the umbrella of publicly-traded Hertz Global Holdings Inc., according to Bloomberg data.
Voisin said another recent CNIL ruling illustrates that Hertz just had the “bad luck” to have its breach discovered after the new law took effect.
Car-sharing website OuiCar faced a similar subcontractor coding error that left personal data of hundreds of thousands of users exposed for almost three years. But July 20 it received only a warning because the breach was discovered and investigated before the amended law with fining power for CNIL took effect.
Full text of CNIL's order is available, in French, at http://src.bna.com/rb7.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)