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Kirk Nahra Discusses 2015 Outlook for Privacy Regulation and Litigation

Law360
January 6, 2015

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, weighed in with Law360 about the outlook for privacy issues in 2015.

Lawmakers and regulators are likely to focus on the increasing amount of health care data—such as information collected through wearable fitness devices—that is not covered by federal privacy laws, Mr. Nahra told Law360 in a January 2 article.

“There is a growing consensus that the regulation gap needs to be filled, but not any consensus on how to fill that gap,” he said.  “So I would expect in 2015 that there will be a lot of noise on this topic in the form of hearings and white papers while policymakers try to figure out this issue.”

On the privacy and security litigation front, LabMD Inc.’s challenge of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to regulate data security is among the important cases to watch in 2015, Mr. Nahra said in a separate Law360 article.  LabMD has challenged the FTC’s determination that the cancer-screening company is subject to FTC enforcement concerning its data security practices.

Mr. Nahra noted that companies such as LabMD already are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Office for Civil Rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  “So if the FTC wins, that means that companies in the health care field will have a second agency to worry about,” he said.