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Legal Report Resources July 2015

Data breaches. Afederal judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by Target customers against the retailer following a data breach that compromised millions of consumers’ credit and debit card information along with personal identifying information. 

Financial crime. Utah enacted a law that will create the United States’ first public white collar crime offender registry website. The state attorney general is tasked with creating the Utah White Collar Crime Offender Registry, which will include names and recent photographs of offenders since late 2005, along with their date of birth, height, weight, and eye and hair color. 

Bribery. Thermal-imaging company FLIR Systems settled bribery charges filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that said the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by financing a “world tour” of personal travel for government officials in the Middle East.

Privacy. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation that would change the provisions under which the government can require providers to disclose the contents of electronic communications. The bill (S. 356) would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to prohibit providers of remote computing services or electronic communication services to the public from knowingly divulging to the government the contents of any communication in electronic storage or maintained by the provider.

Liability. The House of Representatives passed a bill that gives companies legal liability protections when sharing cyber threat data with the U.S. Department of Homeland. The bill (H.R. 1731) extends protections to non-federal entities that conduct network awareness, share indicators or defensive measures, or fail to act based on shared information with DHS. It also exempts non-federal entities from antitrust laws for cybersecurity purposes if they share cyber threat indicators or defensive measures, or share assistance related to the prevention, investigation, or mitigation of cybersecurity risks or incidents.

Trafficking. The UK Parliament’s House of Commons is considering amendments to a bill that would require businesses with a certain level of turnover to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement. If passed, provisions within the Modern Slavery Bill would require all businesses over a certain size to disclose what steps they have taken to ensure their business and supply chains are slavery free.

Sick Leave. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill (A.B. 1522) into law that will require private employers in the state to provide paid sick leave. The new law will allow employees to accrue at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked and use up to three days of paid sick leave each year after their 90th day of employment. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

Censorship. India’s Supreme Court struck down a section of a law that allowed authorities to jail individuals for offensive online posts. The court said the wording in the section was so vague that “virtually any opinion on any subject would be covered by it…if it is so to withstand the test of constitutionality, the chilling effect on free speech would be total.”

Data breaches. AT&T will settle with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for $25 million to resolve an investigation into three data breaches at call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. According to the FCC’s investigation, the data breaches occurred when call center employees accessed customer records without authorization and provided information to unauthorized third parties who appear to have been trafficking in stolen cell phones.