The Recorder Publishes Akin Gump Article on What to Expect in California Data Security and Privacy in 2017

The Recorder has published the article “What to Expect in California Data Security and Privacy in 2017,” written by Akin Gump partner Natasha Kohne and staff attorney Crystal Roberts. Both are members of the firm’s cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice, which Kohne co-leads. Looking back at recent developments, the article outlines what the authors say will be “key issues and trends” to expect in the coming months with regard to data privacy and security.

Kohne and Roberts note that the California attorney general has brought several investigations and enforcement actions involving data privacy and security. There has also been formal guidance issued for businesses in various industries and new cybersecurity initiatives, “signaling a continued focus on enhancing data security and privacy for California businesses and residents.”

Other major developments last year, Kohne and Roberts write, included the 2016 Data Breach Report from the attorney general, identifying a list of safeguards that are viewed “as constituting a reasonable level of information security.” In addition, there was the release of an online tool for reporting violations of the California Online Protection Practices Act and new guidance for the education technology industry pertaining to protecting student data.

Among the steps taken by the legislature, Kohne and Roberts write, was an attempt “to expand the scope of what constitutes ‘personal information’” under the California Civil Code. They noted there are also some other privacy-related bills pending this year “regarding the use of surveillance technology by law enforcement agencies (SB 21) and the disclosure of religious affiliation information to the federal government (SB 31).”

The article concludes with a warning that anyone doing business in California or collecting information on residents in the state “should take heed of the latest guidance, recommendations, and legislative initiatives, as business requirements, expectations of regulators and investigations are likely to increase in 2017.”

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