UK’s Data Protection Reform Proposals Show Distinct Divergence from EU Rules

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The UK government has recently published proposals to amend UK data protection legislation with moves towards divergence from EU rules and regulation following the UK’s decision to leave the EU (“Brexit”). The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (“DPDI Bill”) proposes to make significant changes to existing UK data protection legislation, including the UK General Data protection Regulation (“UK GDPR”) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”). The proposals include some measures that will result in a significant divergence, particularly for companies operating on a pan-European basis. While some compliance obligations will be relaxed, most of the changes can best be described as “similar but different” in approach. It remains to be seen what the final text will look like when the bill is passed into law, with some of the more radical proposals already having been dropped from consideration. A crucial point of consideration for UK legislators when the DPDI Bill is making its way through the various stages of the legislative process in the Houses of Parliament will be whether this legislation remains sufficiently similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“EU GDPR”) that the UK is able to retain its adequacy status for the purposes of exports of personal data from the EU to the UK by companies operating internationally.

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Ransomware Payments Become an Even Riskier Choice Amidst the Ever-Growing Sanctions List

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In February 2022, Executive Order 14024 highlighted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened not only Ukraine but also the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Pursuant to this executive order, and in the face of national security concerns, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has instituted extensive sanctions, including both economic and trade sanctions. Also, in response to the national security concerns, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a Shields Up notice, urging companies to bolster their cybersecurity to protect themselves against the threat of a cyberattack.

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the threat of a cyberattack, specifically ransomware and NotPetya-style attacks, remains top of mind. However, as entities continue to bolster their cybersecurity and protect themselves against these attacks, they should be cognizant of the implications that OFAC sanctions may have in connection with such an attack.

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New York Department of Financial Services Announces $5 Million Penalty in Most Recent Cybersecurity Enforcement Action

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On June 23, 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced the entry of a Consent Order in connection with its most recent cybersecurity enforcement action, which included a $5 million monetary penalty against Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Costa Cruise Lines (“Carnival Companies”), for violations of NYDFS’s Cybersecurity Regulation, 23 NYCRR Part 500 (“Part 500”). In addition to the $5 million monetary penalty, the Carnival Companies also surrendered their insurance producer licenses and agreed to cease selling insurance to residents of New York.

According to the Consent Order, between 2019 and 2021, the Carnival Companies were the subject of four separate cybersecurity events, including ransomware and phishing attacks. All four of the cybersecurity events led to the exposure of nonpublic personal information (NPI) of both consumers and employees, including such information as names, addresses, birth dates, passport numbers, and in some instances, other sensitive information such as social security numbers and health information.

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Discerning Data Cyber Vulnerability Alert: Four Emerging Cyber Threats

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According to several recent media reports, malicious cyber actors have begun to utilize four new types of cyberattacks as part of their current destructive repertoire. The website www.databreachtoday.com noted that these new attacks are “significantly reshaping the threat landscape that CISOs have to deal with.”

These four new emerging cyberattacks are identified as:

  1. Defensive Evasion;
  2. Triple Extortion;
  3. Wiper Malware; and
  4. Accelerated Exploit Chain.

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Progress on Federal Privacy Legislation, but Still a Long Way to Go

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A bipartisan group of legislators in Washington, D.C., recently released a discussion draft of a federal privacy bill — the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA). This draft bill reaches compromise positions on two key issues that have been the largest obstacles to passing such legislation: state preemption and a private right of action. This discussion draft preempts most comprehensive state privacy laws and includes a narrow and limited private right of action. The compromises on these issues in the bill, however, are likely to draw criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, along with industry and privacy advocates.

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Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast: Russia, Cybersecurity & Government Contracting

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a host of challenges for the U.S. government to address, including the need to prepare for potential Russian cyberattacks and questions about how to handle Russian connections to supply chains and government contracts. In this episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, host Jason G. Weiss sits down with Faegre Drinker partners Dana Pashkoff and Jessica Abrahams to unpack the thorny issues at the nexus of Russia, cybersecurity and U.S. government activity.

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