Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nevada Data Security & Privacy Law (NRS 597.970)

Email privacy for lawyers has taken on a new urgency with the enactment of new state mandates for transferring client information. Charlene Brownlee writes in the Privacy and Security Law blog:

“Nevada has enacted the first data security law that mandates encryption for the transmission of customer personal information. ( NRS 597.970) The law goes into effect on October 1, 2008. While there are several laws that direct organizations in certain industries to consider using encryption and laws that make encryption a factor in decisions regarding breach notifications, no law required the encryption of personal information prior to this Nevada law.”Brownlee notes that the law is brief in that it provides the following:“A business in this State shall not transfer any personal information[1] of a customer through an electronic transmission other than a facsimile to a person outside of the secure system of the business unless the business uses encryption[2] to ensure the security of electronic transmission.”

Brownlee also notes:

“Accordingly, the law could be interpreted as applying to an organization’s transmission of “any personal information of a customer,” regardless of where the customer resides.”

Bottom-line according to Brownlee:

“Companies operating nationally should consider whether their existing policies and procedures regarding transmission of customer personal information comply with this new law. In October 2008 merely transmitting customer personal information in an unencrypted format may violate this Nevada data security law. If an organization is not doing business in Nevada, it should monitor the developments in other states where it operates. History of the enactment of the data breach statutes suggests that the other states may soon follow.”

My own firm has already delivered a solution, now being used by law firms nationwide. But there seems to be special interest by attorneys in Nevada and California. Because of mandates or necessity, I’m seeing more Lawyers use this and other solutions when corresponding over the net with other lawyers.

The email privacy issue appears particularly ripe for lawyers since they must also adhere to existing rules guiding attorney-client privilege. What’s curious is that once they actually use a solution for email privacy, they then appear confident in recommending a solution . . . but not before. The Los Angeles Bar is now offering a free trial of our service available through the following link: LACBA trial. This link will only be active for a limited period. Sorry. If you’ve missed the cut off time, visit our Legal Lockbox for a paid subscription.

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