Pennsylvania Court’s ‘Cest la Vie’ View of Data Breach Damages

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently held in Dittman v. UPMC, that employees cannot sue employers after a data breach involving the employer’s computer systems even if the employee’s sensitive, personal information such as names, birth dates, social security numbers, tax information, addresses, salaries, and bank information…

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The Unwitting Cybersecurity Trap: The Risks of Relying on Technology Consultants

Considering the increasing number of data breaches, “hacking” episodes, and cybersecurity incidents over the past few years, businesses are finally starting to take cybersecurity and data security seriously. Businesses also realize that responsibility for data security is shifting from the IT staff to the Board and senior leadership.* However,…

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Is PCI Compliance Enough?

CIO Magazine recently ran an insightful article about PCI compliance. The article emphasizes that PCI “compliance” is a credit card industry minimum set of standards to protect data and to minimize data breaches. However, as the numerous data breaches…

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Texas Bar Opinion 642 and Today’s Legal Profession

In May 2014, the Texas Bar Association’s Professional Ethics Committee released Opinion 642 barring law firms from using the title “officer” or “principal” in non-lawyer job titles such as Chief Information Officer. Shockingly, the opinion unleashed a howl of protest from lawyers—even…

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Cybersecurity Basics for Pennsylvania Law Firms

Most Pennsylvania law firms either misunderstand cybersecurity [computer and network security] or significantly underestimate the threat of data breaches at law firms. Successful “hacks” can result in the loss of client confidential data or even losses of escrow funds. Considering the November 2013 updates to the…

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Recent Interviews by Kiplinger, PBS NewsHour, and California Lawyer

Several national publications recently interviewed Attorney Shannon Brown about emerging technology-law topics such as drone aircraft and cloud computing. Kiplinger and PBS NewsHour interviewed Attorney Shannon Brown about drone aircraft and UAVs. Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft) pose a number of risks to communities and individuals from…

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The Next Battleground for Data Breaches…Shareholder Lawsuits?

Companies ill-prepared for data breaches and failing to take reasonable steps to secure data and computer systems face increasing and serious risks to the business. Specifically, companies, officers, and boards must start taking data and computer-systems security seriously or risk shareholder lawsuits. Shareholder Lawsuits for Data Breaches In two…

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Attorney Brown Quoted on PBS NewsHour Regarding Drones

PBS NewsHour  quoted Attorney Shannon Brown in a recent article discussing the commercial use of drones. The article addressed the March 6, 2014, NTSB administrative law decision, FAA v. Pirker. The controversial decision dismissed a $10,000 fine levied against a…

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Not So Fast…Commercial Drone Legality Still Remains Unclear

On 6 March 2014, in FAA v. Pirker, a NTSB Administrative Law Judge dismissed the first complaint brought by the FAA against the operator of a commercial drone for reckless operation of an aircraft. While some claim that this opinion means that the commercial drones are absolutely legal, serious…

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Presentation on eDiscovery for Small Law Firms

On September 25, 2013, Attorney Shannon Brown presented a CLE on eDiscovery technologies available for small law firms and solo law practices at the Berks County Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. The CLE covered the state of the profession relating to emerging eDiscovery technologies with particular focus on eDiscovery options for small law firms.

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Attorney Brown Completes Malware Course

Not many lawyers engage in malware analysis and issues. But malware poses a formidable and emerging challenge for companies, businesses, organizations, and individuals who face cybersecurity threats, cybercrime,  cyber-espionage, identity theft, and data breaches. Attorney Shannon Brown recently completed a six week, online, graduate-level course in malware entitled Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story. The course covered current and emerging trends in malware including traditional malware, mobile device malware, and sophisticated malware obfuscation techniques. The course also provided lessons in detecting malware (malare is far more sophisticated than most realize) and decompiling malware using decompilation tools and machine code analysis (Attorney Brown has a significant background in computer programming and systems analysis aiding in this exercise).

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Send in the Drones—Flying in the Face of Danger?

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS—the current, official FAA designation), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones. All describe remote-controlled aerial vehicles of various configurations and various sizes. Current FAA regulations and FAA guidance prohibit the commercial use of UASs without a FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate–Experimental Category (SAC-EC). Considerable controversy surrounds the use of drones and privacy, financial liability, regulatory authority, and Constitutional issues remain.

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Recent Continuing Education Programs

Attorney Brown recently attended three, continuing education/webinar programs. February 16, 2011—Filing an Unclaimed Property Report in Pennsylvania; February 24, 2011—Smart Security Solutions for Cloud Computing; and March 1, 2011—DUI Practice for General Practitioners. The Filing an Unclaimed Property Report in Pennsylvania program summarized the unclaimed property reporting rules for…

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