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On July 21, 2021, in Landry’s Inc. v. The Insurance Company of the State of PA, the Fifth Circuit ruled that a carrier had a duty to defend its insured under Coverage B (personal and advertising injury) of a CGL policy for a claim arising out of a data breach. The Fifth Circuit’s treatment of the meaning of “publication” was remarkable (a word we do not choose lightly). As a result, this case may have a significant impact on Coverage B, but not for the reasons many might suspect.
Effective July 9, 2021, the City of New York’s Biometric Identifier Law went into effect. The law (i) prohibits the sale or exchange “for anything of value” of “biometric identifier information”, and (ii) requires “commercial establishments” that collect or store biometric identifier information to provide a “clear and conspicuous” notice of the collection at the establishment’s entrance to notify customers “in plain, simple language” of the collection.
Kennedys continues to deepen its bench of offerings with the addition of partner Judith A Selby to its New York office.
On the eve of a long holiday weekend, serendipitously, just before announcement of the Kaseya attack, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) issued new Ransomware Guidance for regulated companies on preventing successful ransomware attacks.
During the pandemic, ransomware has itself gone viral. Consulting group Chainalysis estimates that in 2020, ransomware attackers received around US$350 million in ransom payments, more than three times as much as in the previous year. Kennedys Special Counsel Nicholas Blackmore and Associate Martin Yarwood discuss the issues facing ransomware victims when deciding whether to pay a ransom.
The Colorado Privacy Act (“ColoPA” or “Act”) has been sent to Governor Jared Polis’s office to be signed into law, making Colorado the third state to enact comprehensive privacy legislation (coming behind California and Virginia).
Kennedys has continued its growth in the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman. This office opening is in response to client demand for a presence in Oman, and sees Kennedys become the only international insurance-focused law firm in the country.
On 7 June 2021, US Authorities led by the Justice Department announced the recovery of USD 2.3 million of the USD 4.4 million ransom paid in Bitcoin to the hackers who caused the shutdown of the Colonial Oil Pipeline in May 2021.
Tik Tok: In 60 Seconds, 4 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack that every company should know
On June 8, 2021, the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline Company, Joseph Blount, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the ransomware cyberattack suffered by his company last month at the hands of the hacker group, the Dark Side. The attack caused the company to shut down its pipeline, which delivers approximately 45% of the East Coast's fuel supply.
The Court’s decision likely will have significant impact on coverage for BIPA litigation. Additionally, the Court’s reasoning in its decision may even influence other privacy coverage matters.