Archive for April, 2015

FTC continues to pursue false Safe-Harbor claims

April 22, 2015 Leave a comment

U.S.-EU-Safe-Harbor-Framework-certification-markTwo more U.S. companies this month alone agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (“FTC) allegations that they falsely claimed to be in compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework.

The FTC’s complaint against one company alleges that the company misled consumers about its dispute resolution procedures. Specifically, on the company’s website they misrepresented that U.S.-EU Safe Harbor disputes would be settled by an “arbitration administration agency” with the costs of such arbitration to be split evenly between the parties; however, its Safe Harbor certification stated that it would resolve disputes through the European Data Protection Authorities, which according to the Safe Harbor requirements is permitted and should not be at the cost to a consumer and does not require in-person hearings.

The complaint also alleged that the company falsely represented that it was a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy program even though it was not a current licensee of the program.

These cases clearly demonstrate, the FTC has made a strong commitment to enforcing lapsed self-certifications as well as mis-leading or flat out violations of the Safe Harbor Agreement. It also serves as a reminder that these certifications must be renewed on an annual basis and finally organizations must employ privacy professionals who know and understand these requirements and how the impact their businesses. Further violations could result in both criminal and civil sanctions as well as debarment of exporting/transferring data out of the EU.

Aletheia Consulting Group provides expert cost-effective global advisory solutions for multinational organization human resource, compliance, privacy, and security risk management resource needs. Our primary focus is on companies that have overseas operations that seek to navigate the sometimes challenging sea of international risk management involving the people, processes, technology and organization.

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British Columbia Government Sets New Policy Guidelines for Police Information Checks

criminal-record-checkEmployers regularly request police information checks on job applicants and up until January 2015 the policy guidelines were revised. This is not to be confused with what is known as CPIC checks which are criminal record checks accomplished through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police authorities. It was common for police information checks to include information about mental health issues to include suicide attempts. These checks also included information about “adverse police contact” despite the fact that the individual may never have been charged or convicted of any offense.

The revised policy guidelines now differentiate between police information checks to individuals who are applying to work with “vulnerable” persons as opposed to any other position of employment.

It’s important to note that similar to the rules and regulations governing access and dissemination to CPIC checks the new policy guidelines have not been legislated but rather the expectation that law enforcement authorities in British Columbia will now conduct their information checks in accordance with the new policy guidelines.

Aletheia Consulting Group is the leading Global Background Check Consulting firm. We focus solely on providing industry leading independent third-party best practice advice to global organizations no matter where in the world your organization may operate. Helping you make the right decisions.

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