Data Breaches, Judicial Vacancies and NFL Marked Third Circuit’s Year

December 30, 2015 – In The News

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the article, “Data Breaches, Judicial Vacancies and NFL Marked Third Circuit's Year.” Full text can be found in the December 30, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

The most significant happenings in 2015 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came from a wide array of issues, including data breaches and privacy.

In August, the court ruled that the Wyndham hotel chain and its subsidiaries that were sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were on the hook for three data breaches that saw $10.6 million of fraudulent charges to consumers’ credit cards as a result.

While the case was settled, the larger impact of the ruling is that it empowered the FTC to protect consumer rights in cybersecurity matters.

According to Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney, the authority gained by the FTC as a result of the Third Circuit’s decision coupled with the lack of solid regulations governing cybersecurity means the agency will put many more companies it its crosshairs.

This could affect other companies that have suffered breaches, Vernick said, because “aside from the regulations put out by the credit card companies, for a broad swath of companies there are no regulations that you can look up” on software, firewalls and data encryption.

While industries like health care and transportation have more definitive regulations, Vernick said for most commercial entities, the FTC points to its past enforcement for guidance.

Click here to view the full article.