Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. She currently serves as general counsel to the Rhode Island Quality Institute. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. She counsels clients on state and federal data privacy and security investigations and data breaches. Prior to joining the firm, Linn was a partner at Nixon Peabody, where she served as leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection Group. She also served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.

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Financial Industry Getting Hammered with Cyber-Attacks

Cybersecurity company Carbon Black recently issued a report of the results of a survey of chief information security officers (CISOs) of financial organizations, which showed that the financial industry is getting hammered by more frequent and sophisticated cyber-attacks. Carbon Black partnered with Optiv to survey banks and financial institutions around the world. According to the … Continue Reading

Be Aware of Your Company’s Online Profile

It is amazing how much information about a company and its executives and employees can be gleaned from spending a little time on the web. Marketing teams of companies are focused on capturing the mentions of the company in traditional media outlets in order to promote it through social media. They also are focused on … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #179 – Your Children’s Online Activity

Parents have historically struggled with how to address their children’s online activity. Parenting styles differ, but most parents understand that monitoring and supervising their children’s online activity is important and necessary. There is a federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, (aka, COPPA) that applies to the online activities of children under the age … Continue Reading

Hack of Email Provider Destroys Servers and Two Decades of Data

We predicted last year that hackers would become more malicious in the future, not only stealing and selling data for nefarious purposes, but actually destroying data and even systems. That reality hit email provider VFEmail last week, and on February 12, founder Rick Romero tweeted “Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. It will likely not return. … Continue Reading

HIPAA Data Breach Reports Due to OCR by 2/28/19

The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) breach notification regulations require covered entities to self-report the unauthorized access, use or disclosure of unprotected protected health information (PHI) to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). If the data breach involves more than 500 individuals, the notification must be made to the OCR immediately. If the … Continue Reading

Fortnite Players Sue for Alleged Exposure of Payment Information for Vbucks

Players of the popular Fortnite video game have filed a proposed class action suit against the video game’s owner, Epic Games Inc. (“Epic”) alleging that Epic failed to protect players’ accounts, allowing hackers access to their payment details in a 2018 data breach. According to the suit, the players gave Epic their payment information in … Continue Reading

Anti-Money Laundering Contacts at Financial Institutions Hit with Targeted Phishing Attack

To illustrate just how creative phishing campaigns have become, on January 30, 2019, it was reported by multiple credit unions that Bank Secrecy Act officers at credit unions around the country received emails that appeared to be from Bank Secrecy Officers at other credit unions. The emails were addressed to the actual Bank Secrecy officers … Continue Reading

Cottage Health Settles with OCR for $3M

We previously reported that Cottage Health, a health care entity operating several hospitals in California, settled with the State of California for $3 million in regard to a security incident that occurred in 2013. On February 7, 2019, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release that it settled HIPAA violations in December … Continue Reading

US-CERT Issues Advisory About Vulnerabilities in Patient Monitors

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Team (US-CERT) recently issued an advisory outlining three vulnerabilities of Drager Infinity Delta patient monitoring devices. The vulnerabilities affect all versions of the Drager models—Delta, Delta XL, Kappa, and infinity Explorer C700—patient monitoring devices. According to the alert, the three security flaws include: Exposure … Continue Reading

Community Health System Agrees to Settlement of $4.5 Million for 2014 Data Breach

Community Health System, located in Tennessee, has agreed to settle claims made against it arising from a 2014 data breach for $4.5 million. The data breach, believed to be caused by Chinese hackers, compromised the names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers of 4.5 million patients of the hospital system, which … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #176 – Sharing Your Genetic Information With Private Companies

I had very interesting conversations with both of my classes in the last week over the sharing of genetic information in the context of learning about the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). GINA generally prohibits employers and insurers from using genetic information to discriminate in employment or insurance underwriting. People mistaken believe that GINA protects … Continue Reading

Data Privacy & Security Considerations in Mergers & Acquisitions Due Diligence

It has long been standard practice to include data privacy and security due diligence in mergers and acquisitions for technology companies. Over the last several years, there has been an increase in data breaches which are costly and damaging to a company’s brand, and therefore, we have seen an uptick in companies including detailed requests … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #175 – Data Privacy Day

Ok it’s not as great as your birthday, but it comes once a year—Data Privacy Day, which was celebrated worldwide this week on January 28, 2019. In honor of Data Privacy Day 2019, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a map of the world showing which countries protect the online privacy … Continue Reading

Google Fined $57M by French Data Protection Authority for Alleged Violations of GDPR

France’s data protection authority (DPA) (CNIL) recently announced that it has fined Google $57 million for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is the first fine by a European DPA of an American company for alleged violations of the sweeping EU privacy law. According to the CNIL, Google did not tell consumers … Continue Reading
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