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,...
Privacy offices around the world have been inundated with data breach enforcement actions that distract from ensuring basic consumer privacy principles are being upheld, global data protection chiefs said Sept. 29.
Recent large-scale data breaches involving credit reporting service Equifax Inc., and pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., are just a few examples highlighting the rise in cyberattacks.
“I do worry we are going to be swamped” investigating cybersecurity incidents, U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said Sept. 29 at the 39th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference in Hong Kong. The increasing number of cyberattacks, and the media coverage they generate, could “diminish and take focus from the rest of the data protection principles,” she said.
But privacy offices may also find data breach cases attractive to pursue.
Cybersecurity investigations and resulting fines can be a “easy win” for privacy offices, Fred Cate, senior policy adviser to the Hunton & Williams LLP Centre for Information Policy Leadership and a professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, told Bloomberg BNA.
Still, cybersecurity safeguards are only one enforcement area that regulators should be focused on, Cate said. If they are burdened by large numbers of data breach investigations, they could overlook companies that don’t respect privacy principles by, for instance, not minimizing data collection or not being transparent about data processing, he said.
Data privacy chiefs at the conference also expressed the need to coordinate more with other agencies and regulators to ease investigatory burdens— and so companies are not faced with the need to respond to multiple groups in the aftermath of a cyberattack.
A cyberattack involving health data, for example, could lead to inquiries by data protection commissioners, cybersecurity agencies, and health regulators, Denham said. “For a private entity, if you’ve got three agencies landing on your doorstep in case of a cyber attack, that’s troubling.”
Often times, cyberattack investigations are “extraordinarily resource-intensive,” Timothy Pilgrim, Australia’s information commissioner, said. However, the rise in cyberattacks has brought data supervisors into contact with law enforcement and security agencies to effectuate investigations, he said.
For example, the recent Equifax data breach that exposed the credit reporting records of over 143 million U.S. consumers and many in the U.K. and Canada showed the willingness of data protection regulators to work together, Denham said. The U.K. privacy office worked with the U.K. National Cyber Security Center and the U.S. Trade Commission, in addition to other financial regulators and law enforcement agencies, she said.
“The takeaway message for us is we better get our co-regulatory and coordinating efforts together,” Denham said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gardner in Hong Kong at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)