10/28/2011 - A bill (H.R. 1981) designed to thwart producers and consumers of online child pornography has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The House of Representatives has not announced whether it will consider the measure.
06/24/2011 - Many privacy policies could benefit by becoming more concise, legible, and tailored to the privacy-related needs of customers and other relevant readers, according to an analyst at this week’s Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit.
04/23/2011 - The Illinois Court of Appeals has ruled that a public school and a printing company had no duty to safeguard the personal information of school employees and complied with data breach laws. In the case, the school contracted with the printing company to send a notice to former school employees. The employees were erroneously sent a list containing the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, marital status, medical and dental insurers, and insurance plan information for all of the employees. The school sent a letter to the employees asking them to return the list or destroy it. The school also offered the employees one year of credit protection. The employees sued, but the court dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the school and printing company were not guilty of negligence because they had no legal duty to protect the information except under data breach laws, which they complied with.
03/30/2011 - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a background screening program used by a government agency does not violate employee privacy rights. In the case, 28 employees of the California Institute of Technology, under contract to do work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), claim that the government’s screening policy is too intrusive. The policy was implemented in 2004 under a government homeland security directive.
03/30/2011 - An employee’s e-mails to her attorney are not privileged because she sent them over the company’s e-mail system, a California appellate court has ruled (.pdf). The employee had no expectation of privacy, ruled the court, because the company had clearly noted that e-mails were not private and could be inspected at any time.
02/28/2011 - The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that the state may withhold the birth dates of employees. In the case, reporters from The Dallas Morning News sued the state when it refused to release employee birth dates, citing a rise in identity theft and a need to protect employee privacy. The newspaper argued that other courts have ruled that the birth dates of state employees are public records.