As attorneys we understand the concept of trust, whether it is appropriately maintaining clients’ funds in a trust account or being a trusted competent advisor for our clients. The same concept applies to the information that we hold about and for our clients. The terms to describe this can be data privacy, information privacy, or many other buzzwords.
However, the underlying theme is that clients entrusted us with their information, and we need to safeguard it. While this certainly is a professional obligation, it is increasingly becoming a legal requirement as well. There is an ever-increasing number of state and federal laws addressing different aspects of data privacy.
The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Technology drafted this outline of select laws as a primer in the area and launching point for further understanding. This outline includes some laws that regulate the privacy and security of information that attorneys and their clients handle. The companion Quick Start Guide to Data Privacy Laws was developed to answer basic questions on the application of privacy laws to the practice of law, such as what is privacy, who needs to think about privacy issues, and where to start learning more.
The Florida Bar takes no position on whether these guides are complete or accurate. A lawyer should seek legal advice for any questions or concerns about the application of privacy and security laws. This guide is for familiarization with select laws and is not intended as legal advice.
I. Selected Federal Privacy Laws
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
- Federal Trade Commission Act
- FTC Identity Theft Rule
- Federal Information Security Modernization Act
- Stored Communications Act
- Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)
II. Selected State Privacy Laws:
- Florida Information Protection Act
- Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act
- Student and Parental Rights and Educational Choices statute