Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Peeping Drones and Google Glass—What’s Next? Get Your Free Guide to Privacy and Data Security

A Legal Guide to Privacy and Data Security, a new book offering guidance on a wide variety of privacy and data security laws and how those laws may impact your business, is now available from the Minnesota Department of Economic Development (DEED) and Gray Plant Mooty. The Guide, the product of a collaborative effort between DEED and Gray Plant Mooty, may help you to navigate more easily the complex and unpredictable legal landscape of privacy laws and regulations.

Google Glass, drones the size of a butterfly, secure microchips replacing magnetic stripes on credit cards, sensors the size of a grain of sand, automobiles that drive themselves, “Big Data,”  the so-called “Internet of Things”—all of these are already pushing the limits of privacy advocates, regulators, consumers, lawyers, and the businesses adopting these new technologies.

In 1890 Louis Brandeis wrote, in his seminal Harvard Law Review article entitled “The Right to Privacy,” that privacy is the “right to be left alone.”  Brandeis wrote this in response to the then-new and intrusive technology known as photography and the sensational and scandalous articles being written by journalists. 

Fast-forward to 2014.  Recently, the United States Supreme Court determined that police must obtain a warrant to search the vast amount of information on a suspect’s cellphone. In his opinion in Riley v. California, Chief Justice John Robert writes that cellphones “are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”  

So how far have we come from a time when cameras alone were seen as intrusive to the current concerns of privacy advocates over drones and Google Glass?   

Minnesota businesses of all sizes collect, store, and share personal information about individuals. While new technology and access to information allows for greater innovation and delivery of products and services, it also creates a challenge. How does a business optimize the information available and remain in compliance with the evolving and ever-changing legal landscape? How does a business not compromise consumer privacy as more and more information is shared and collected? What about privacy rights of employees and prospective employees?

High profile data breach incidents such as those experienced by Target and other national retailers exemplify the need for businesses to take a serious look at data privacy and security issues and how they fit within their business operations. 

While it is impossible to become expert in all of the laws related to data privacy and security, it is important to understand what specific privacy laws apply to your business and to implement best practices appropriate for your business.

A Legal Guide to Privacy and Data Security is available without charge from DEED or Gray Plant Mooty. Or download an electronic version here http://www.gpmlaw.com/portalresource/A_Legal_Guide_to_Privacy_and_Data_Security.pdf

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