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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #26

28 Nov 2017

Welcome to our November edition of the International Newsletter 2017 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.​

Christmas and New Year 2017

In the lead up to the Christmas and New Year holiday period, our opening hours will change on the following days:

* Friday 08 December 2017 8.30AM - 3.00PM GMT

* Friday 22 December 2017 8.30AM - 3.00PM GMT

We will be closed on the following days:

* Monday 25 December 2017

* Tuesday 26 December 2017

* Wednesday 27 December 2017

* Thursday 28 December 2017

* Friday 29 December 2017

* Monday 1 January 2017

Normal opening hours will resume on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your valued support during 2017 and hope you have a joyful festive season!

 

INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT CHANGES

Please find below an update for the International checks that have had a change of  process, requirements or forms. If you would like us to send you the current documentation for any of the listed checks please contact us by emailing service@verifile.co.uk.

BANGLADESH ​
Criminality
A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements. This check is now charged per name, per region due to process changes.

CANADA
Criminal

Canadian Police have now introduced a new Criminal Record Verification form. In addition, the “Declaration of a Criminal Record” form must now be completed with each order. We have updated our instructions accordingly. The old forms will still be accepted till 30 November 2017.

CHILE
Criminality
A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements.

COSTA RICA
Criminal
A new instruction is now in place along with a new special consent letter that must be hand signed and delivered to Verifile via post.

GUATEMALA
Criminal Litigation
A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements.

HONDURAS
Criminal
A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements.

JORDAN
Criminal

A new instruction and application form is now in place to reflect simplified requirements.

MEXICO
Criminal
A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements. This check is now charged per name.

QATAR
Criminality

A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements. A separate order is no longer needed for each address.

TURKEY
Credit

A new instruction is now in place, however, this does not affect the requirements for Turkish Citizens. Credit checks on Turkish citizens are still available, however it is no longer possible to run these checks on non-Turkish citizens. This is due to limitation imposed by the Turkish authorities.

VENEZUELA
Criminal Litigation

A new instruction is now in place to reflect simplified requirements.

 

In this issue of the International Newsletter:

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST  
SOUTH AFRICA

- Man Accused of Submittingi Fake Matric Certificate Appointed Acting Crime Intelligence Boss

ASIA PACIFIC  

- GDPR Matchup: Australia’s Privacy Act 1988

- Workplace Alcohol and Drug Tests Not Working

HONG KONG

- Hong Kong: Hiring Slightly Up in Q4 2017

INDIA

- India’s Employment Outlook

- Nagaraju M, CEO of Bengaluru-Based Realty Start-Up Rentprop4u, in an Exclusive Interview with Realty Fact

PAKISTAN

- Pakistani Man Sentenced To 21 Months in Prison In Axact Diploma Mill Scam

SOUTH KOREA

- HR Country Report: South Korea’s Graduates Without a Cause

EUROPE

- GDPR Challenges and Consequences: Ignore at Your Own Peril

- Top Thoughts for GDPR Third-Party Management

- Germany Publishes English Version of its National GDPR Implementation

- Luxembourg Legislative Proposal Implementing and Complementing the GDPR

POLAND

- Preparation for the GDPR Underway in Poland

ROMANIA

- Draft Law to Implement EU Data Protection Rules in Romania

TURKEY

- Year One of Turkey’s Data Protection Law and the Path Ahead

UNITED KINGDOM

- Five Things You Need to Know About GDP

- UK ICO Offers Guidance on Privacy Notices Under the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act

- Uber Decision Shows Importance of Vetting Procedures, Say Experts

- Data Protection Bill 2017: Implications for Employers on First Reading GDPR

- National Risk Assessment for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

- Important Changes to Legislation

NORTH AMERICA  
CANADA

- All of Us Can Be Harmed: Investigation Reveals Hundreds of Canadians have Phoney Degrees

- Ottawa Plans to Fine Companies that Fail to Report Data Breaches

- Do You Know the Rules for Random Drug Tests?

- Major Employer Wins Drug Testing Battle

- The Latest from the Fair Work Commission on Drug and Alcohol Policy Breaches

JAMAICA

- Records of 245 Jamaicans Expunged April to June

SOUTH AMERICA  
ARGENTINA

- GDPRMatchup: Argentina’s Draft Data Protection Act

UNITED STATES

- EU Commission Releases Report on First Annual Review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework

- Federal Judge Rules State Sex Offender Registry is Unconstitutional

- Implications of Marijuana Legalization and Opioid Use to the Workplace and the Workers’ Compensation System

- New HHS Guidelines for Drug Testing Panels Effective 10/1/17

- Seventh Circuit Finds No Standing When Background Check Disclosures Contain Extraneous Information

- Blumenthal Nordrehaug and Bhowmik File a Class Action Lawsuit Against Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc. For Allegedly Violating the California Labor Code and the FCRA

- Pepsi Class Action Says Background Checks Violate Federal Law

Africa Middle East

South Africa 2

MAN ACCUSED OF SUBMITTING FAKE MATRIC CERTIFICATE APPOINTED ACTING CRIME INTELLIGENCE BOSS

A former bodyguard of President Jacob Zuma who was accused of submitting a fake matric

certificate to the South African Police Service (SAPS) has been appointed as the acting head of crime intelligence. In a statement, Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said King Bhoyi Ngcobo brings to the position a “wealth of policing experience.” Ngcobo was previously Head of VIP Protection Services, and was one of President Jacob Zuma’s most trusted bodyguards for more than 20 years. In February, City Press reported that Ngcobo was promoted to Head of VIP Protection Services, despite not having the required NQF Level 6. In addition to his protection services role, Ngcobo is a former crime intelligence officer.

Read more

Asia Pacific

Australia

GDPR MATCHUP: AUSTRALIA’S PRIVACY ACT 1988

How does Australia’s Privacy Act 1988 compare with the GDPR? The Privacy Act is the foundation of Australia’s national privacy regulatory regime, and is intended to provide a basis for nationally consistent privacy regulation, facilitate the free flow of information outside of Australia while ensuring that individual privacy is respected, provide a complaint mechanism, and to implement Australia’s international privacy obligations. Differences between the Privacy Act and the GDPR can be seen in open and transparent management of personal information; anonymity and pseudonymity; collection of solicited personal information; dealing with unsolicited personal information; notification of the collection of personal information; use or disclosure of personal information; direct marketing; cross-border disclosure of personal information; access and correction of personal information; and more.

Read more


WORKPLACE ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTS NOT WORKING

According to psychologist Dr. Nicole Lee, a wellness approach is much more effective at reducing

alcohol and drug use than testing in the workplace because it can pick up on other factors that may affect a person's ability to work, such as stress, anxiety, depression, health problems and fatigue. Being aware of workplace difficulties like insufficient training, poor job security and inadequate equipment is important, too, since these can lead to substance abuse problems. Better results have been noted after developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing, rather than the traditional drug testing policy, Lee said.

Read more

Hong Kong

HONG KONG: HIRING SLIGHTLY UP IN Q4 2017

According to the 2017 Q4 results of the Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey, Hong Kong employers report upbeat hiring plans. With seasonal variations taken into account, Hong Kong’s Net Employment Outlook is up 17%. Hiring prospects are the strongest reported in six years, improving two percentage points when compared with the previous quarter and five percentage points from one year ago. Twenty percent of the employers surveyed forecast an increase in staffing levels in Q4 2017. Lancy Chui, Senior Vice President of Manpower Group, said, “The marketplace is showing signs of entering into a digitization era across different industries, transforming itself to be higher tech and data driven, stepping up to the increased global competitiveness by the development of financial technology. We are seeing employers bring in talents in the areas of data analysis, cloud computing, and apps development positions within the services sector.”

Read more

India

INDIA’S EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

Reports point out to a slowdown in India’s employment outlook. New analysis highlights how employment has been on a downward spiral after starting off well in 2016. The situation is signaling worrying signs for the country. And large numbers of people are still unemployed. According to the International Labour Organization, the number of unemployed in India is expected to increase by 1 lakh in 2017, and an additional 2 lakh in 2018. Yet, a recent report in the Indian Express noted that less than one tenth of the 30.67 lakh youth who had received or were undergoing training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) have obtained job placement offers. Whether it is because they aren’t employable enough, or it is simply a case of not enough jobs in the market – the issue requires immediate attention.

Read more

NAGARAJU M, CEO OF BENGALURU-BASED REALTY START-UP RENTPROP4U, IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH REALTY FAC

In an interview with Kumar Saurabh, editor in chief, Realty Fact Q, Nagaraju M, CEO of Bengaluru-based realty start-up Rentprop4u, discusses why he entered the retail estate sector at a young age, how he came up with the idea of Rentprop4u, how the concept is different from the competition, how the company is funded, the problems in the marketplace that he’s solving, and more. Nagaraju M believes that Rentprop4u simplifies the entire process of residential property management, including conducting background checks and sharing police verification reports with the owners before allowing the tenants to occupy a property. He intends to soon replicate the model in other Indian cities and then expand globally.

Read more

Pakistan

PAKISTANI MAN SENTENCED TO 21 MONTHS IN PRISON IN AXACT DIPLOMA MILL SCAM

Umair Hamid was sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in an international diploma mill scheme operated through the Pakistani company Axact. Hamid pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to documents in the case, Hamid helped run a massive diploma mill through his employer, Axact, a leading information technology provider. Hamid and his co-conspirators allegedly deceived individuals across the world, including the United States, into enrolling in supposed high schools, colleges, and universities. Consumers paid upfront fees, believing that in return they would be enrolled in educational courses and eventually, receive legitimate degrees. Instead, consumers allegedly received no instruction and worthless diplomas. Hamid served most recently as Axact’s Assistant Vice President of International Relations.

Read more

South Korea

HR COUNTRY REPORT: SOUTH KOREA’S GRADUATES WITHOUT A CAUSE

At nearly three times the nation’s overall jobless rate, South Korea’s 11.3% youth unemployment

is at a critical point. Despite that number being relatively low compared to other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, where youth joblessness hovers between the 22% and 16% marks, the situation in South Korea is troublesome because numbers there have been worsening every year since 2012. Compared to its neighbor Japan, which has seen youth unemployment fall consistently since 2010, South Korea has seen those numbers average 9.3% in 2016, up almost two percentage points from four years earlier. The government has acknowledged that these are desperate times for all citizens, not just millennials and Generation Z.

Read more

Europe

 

GDPR CHALLENGES AND CONSEQUENCES: IGNORE AT YOUR OWN PERIL

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) not only redefines the scope of European Union (EU) data, but it also forces organizations worldwide to ensure compliance. Effective in May, the GDPR adds another level of intricacy to the issue of critical information asset management and aims to establish the same data protection level for all EU residents. Government-appointed bodies have been established in most counties that have powers to inspect, enforce and penalize the processing of personal data. It is advisable for organizations to complete GDPR regulations before the deadline in order to allow time for requesting and responding to third-party assurances.

Read more

Top Thoughts for GDPR Third-Party Management

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect in May 2018 and while global organizations are required to demonstrate compliance of their security and privacy practices, it goes beyond just the internal organization: the GDPR also extends to the third-party vendors of GDPR-applicable companies.

While you are working diligently to help ensure your own organization is compliant with GDPR, your organization is explicitly responsible for the readiness and conduct of the third parties that store or process your EU citizen’s personal information.

We see that there are three priorities for third-party management: understanding the different roles defined in GDPR; key contract elements to consider for GDPR processors; and assessing the applicable processors for compliance.

Read more

Germany

 

GERMANY PUBLISHES ENGLISH VERSION OF ITS NATIONAL GDPR IMPLEMENTATION ACT

The German Ministry of Interior Affairs has published an English translation of the new Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), which will provide for the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new BDSG replaces a 40-year-old national predecessor and is the first step toward adapting national German member State law to the provisions of the GDPR. Effective in May 2018, the changes include specific processing situations, data protection officers, video surveillance, documentation, and aggravated compliance controls, among other key highlights. It will be important for companies to determine how the changes may affect their specific business model and data processing.

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Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL IMPLEMENTING AND COMPLEMENTING THE GDPR

The Member States in Luxembourg have numerous options when it comes to implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and recently submitted a new bill to parliament that seeks to abolish the Act of Aug. 2, 2002 on the Protection of Persons with regard to the Processing of Personal Data. The bill designates the current data protection authority – the CNPD – as the competent authority for enforcement of the GDPR and increases the number of effective members from three to four. It also focuses on investigation and enforcement, and an internal separation between investigation and decision-making powers. Clarification is offered regarding the GDPR’s fines and includes administrative fees to public authorities, and penalties to compel compliance with CNPD decisions. Specific provisions for journalistic-, research- and healthcare-related data processing also will apply.

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Poland

PREPARATION FOR THE GDPR UNDERWAY IN POLAND

Late March, the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs published a partial draft of the new act on data protection. This is a clear signal that the Polish government has launched preparations for the GDPR. The draft is not a comprehensive regulation, since it only addresses certain issues as Data Protection Officer; good practices on data security; interim decisions; inspections; accreditation; financial penalties; and DPA’s guidelines. Yet, while entrepreneurs are preparing to implement changes to ensure their compliance with the GDPR, the Polish government is simultaneously seeking to adapt the current Polish legal framework. The new draft legal provisions are in public consultation, and it is assumed that other legal acts containing specific data protection provisions might also be amended.

Read more

Romania

DRAFT LAW TO IMPLEMENT EU DATA PROTECTION RULES IN ROMANIA

The Romanian government has published a “Draft Law” that will implement the mandatory provisions of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation into local legislation. Changes focus on the independence and powers of the Romanian Data Protection Authority (Romanian DPA); the procedural steps to be taken during investigations and the method of cooperation during cross-border investigations; the sanctioning of data protection legislation branches; and the procedure for complaints filed by data subjects with the Romanian DPA.

Read more

Turkey

YEAR ONE OF TURKEY’S DATA PROTECTION LAW AND THE PATH AHEAD

After a more than 30-year journey, Turkey has managed to put into force its data protection act, which was engaged with the Schengen-free regime conditions by European Union (EU). Privacy is new to Turkey, where binding secondary laws regulating the telecommunication sector wasn’t enough to spread the privacy understanding to the other sectors. It is important that data inventory, data flow life cycle and underlying logical and physical architectures are well defined. These can be implemented by clearly defining systems and applications; proper management of data classification and inventory; and overall management of the data life cycle.

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United Kingdom

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforceable in the UK from May 2018, updating the way businesses must handle personal data, including what they hold on employees. How is this going to affect HR professionals in the UK? HR magazine reports on the impacts, including how it’s an update from previous legislation; why your firm may need a DPO (data protection officer) in your team; the penalties for non-compliance; how it will be applied after Brexit; and why employers should act now to prepare, versus waiting for the implementation in May 2018.

Read more

STAFF APPOINTMENTS RISE AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER SAYS REPORTS ON JOBS

A second month of a rise in permanent placements in engineering, as well as temporary/contract staff billings in hotel and catering, among other categories, have indicated that UK employers have made it past the initial impact of Brexit. According to the latest Markit/REC’s “Report on Jobs” the rate of decline to fill permanent roles eased to the slowest in almost three years, while average salaries for permanent job placements rose in September, rising fastest in the Midlands.

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UK ICO OFFERS GUIDANCE ON PRIVACY NOTICES UNDER THE GDPR AND THE UK DATA PROTECTION ACT

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office recently updated its code of practice for privacy notices in an effort to help companies comply with the "good practice" recommendations in the Code. The ICO has recommended that businesses inquire and test before launching any privacy notice language, as well as construct a layered notice; being cognizant of third party transfers and remaining compliant with the GDPR. In addition, the ICO encourages businesses to use a combination technique when presenting privacy information, including front page notice of unexpected use; a just-in-time notice, separate opt-in boxes for different uses; dashboards; and icons, symbols and videos.

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UBER DECISION SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF VETTING PROCEDURES, SAY EXPERTS

Uber recently had its licence to operate in London pulled by Transport for London (TfL) after it was found to “fail to report alleged criminal offences carried out by its drivers and a lax attitude towards background checks and obtaining medical certificates.” In early September, it was found that up to 13,000 Uber drivers had insufficient background checks and some were obtaining falsified medical certificates. The company has the right to appeal and can continue to operate until it has exhausted the appeals process. As a result, 40,000 drivers could lose their jobs.

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DATA PROTECTION BILL 2017: IMPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS ON FIRST READING

We recently reported on the EU's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"). The government has now released the draft Data Protection Bill ("Bill") which is our first glimpse of what will eventually evolve into the Data Protection Act 2018. The Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 13 September 2017 and will come into force in the UK at the same time as the GDPR, on 25 May 2018.

The Bill does not contain major surprises from an employer's perspective but, consistent with the themes from the GDPR, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of policy documents and record-keeping. The Bill retains the eye-watering maximum fines for non-compliance of up to EUR 20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover.

Read more (if password screen comes up hit cancel)

To see the highlights of the Bill read the full Data Protection Bill

NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING

On 26 October 2017, the Treasury published an update to the National Risk Assessment (NRA) of money laundering and terrorist financing. 

The NRA is the Government’s assessment of the key Money Laundering (ML) and terrorist financing threats facing the UK including the susceptibility of the sectors to money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Key findings from the report include: 

  • the criminal exploitation of banks, professional and financial services and cash remain the greatest areas of money laundering risk to the UK
  • cash remains the preferred method for terrorists to move funds through and out of the country
  • a wide-ranging set of reforms by the government, like introducing the ability to investigate suspicious asset trails and to crack down on illicit finance over recent years are starting to take effect 

We encourage firms to review the document alongside other guidance such as the FC Guide for Firms and JMLSG with a view to understanding how the risks identified could have an impact on them.

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO LEGISLATION

Over the next two years, a number of changes are coming into effect that will collectively enhance the integrity of UK financial services to make markets work well.

The aims of the legislation include improving the functioning of financial markets, strengthening security, facilitating innovation and reducing harm to consumers.

Several changes will take effect in early 2018. These are:

January:

  • EU Benchmarks Regulation
  • Revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II)
  • Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

February:

  • Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)

The implementation date of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) is to be confirmed, and we will keep firms updated.

A large number of firms will be affected by multiple changes. Visit the FCA’s dedicated webpage to see links to each piece of legislation and find assistance on what might affect your firm and when your firm needs to act by.

North America

Canada 2


ALL OF US CAN BE HARMED: INVESTIGATION REVEALS HUNDREDS OF CANADIANS HAVE PHONEY DEGREES

Marketplace has revealed that fake diplomas are a billion-dollar industry, with more than 800 Canadians purchasing a fake degree through Pakistan-based IT firm Axact. Former FBI agent Allen Ezell investigated diploma mills for decades and estimates that half of new PhDs issued each year in the Unites States are fake. The effects are twofold: First, devaluing legitimate degrees and second, putting the public at risk when they are in the hands of professionals who lack the proper skills and expertise. An undercover operation revealed that the total cost to receive three PhDs, transcripts and a record of attendance papers is just $1,550. There are more than 100 fake online schools and accreditation bodies connected to Axact.

Read more

OTTAWA PLANS TO FINE COMPANIES THAT FAIL TO REPORT DATA BREACHES

The federal government in Canada has proposed fines for those Canadian companies that try to hide data breaches. Under new regulations, it would be mandatory for companies to report to authorities and notify their individuals if their data has been breached. The mandatory reporting will help provide protection against further companies that could lead to fraud, identity theft, humiliation, loss of employment or other forms of harm. Risk Based Security Inc. revealed that Canada had the third-largest number of data breaches in the first six months of the year. Alberta currently is the only province required by law to report data breaches.

Read more

DO YOU KNOW THE RULES FOR RANDOM DRUG TESTS?

Implementing a random drug testing policy isn’t an easy decision for any employer, and organizations must be sure the measure is absolutely necessary. Erin Kuzz, a leading lawyer, explains how HR can ensure compliance and avoid any potential complaints. While most employers will have safety and well-being in mind when implementing a policy, Kuzz highlights the requirements that an employer must meet to implement a random drug or alcohol test, in addition to a number of common mistakes which can render policies unfair or unlawful. She also discusses the potential risks for employers that are considering such a policy or haven’t tested their own for compliance.

Read more

MAJOR EMPLOYER WINS DRUG TESTING BATTLE

Energy giant Suncor Energy has won another victory in a years-long legal battle over random drug and alcohol testing at its northeastern Alberta oil sites. Suncor began randomly testing staff in safety-sensitive jobs in 2012, but Unifor, the union representing many of those workers, called it an infringement of privacy. The majority of an arbitration tribunal ruled in favor of Unifor in 2014, but last year Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Justice Blair Nixon defeated that decision. Unifor appealed Nixon's ruling, but three judges with the Alberta Court of Appeal have unanimously dismissed the union’s challenge. The judges highlighted why safety is such a concern, as Suncor’s facilities operate 24/7/365, and its employees work 12-hour shifts operating some of the biggest and most complicated industrial equipment in the world, thus requiring the need for drug testing to reduce accidents and improve safety.

Read more

THE LATEST FROM THE FAIR WORK COMMISSION ON DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY BREACHES

Coles Group Supply Chain Pty Ltd. recently dismissed an employee who tested positive to cannabis, breaching the Fair Work Commission’s zero tolerance policy on illicit drugs. It is recommended that employers consider a zero tolerance policy that is framed in the language of test results, rather than impairment; make no references to windows of detection; make the compliance to drug and alcohol policies clear to all employees; consistently enforce the policy; and consider the employee’s personal circumstances.

Read more

Jamaica

RECORDS OF 245 JAMAICANS EXPUNGED APRIL TO JUNE

The criminal records of 245 Jamaicans were expunged from April to June this year, with a total of 570 records expunged this year to date. The expungement process, under the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act, helps individuals who committed minor offenses and who have since obeyed the law in reintegrating into society. Having convictions removed from records can increase an individual’s earning capacity, as employment in certain industries, such as education, tourism, security, and transportation require a clean police record. Under the Act, minor offenses can be cleared from a record after a specified period of rehabilitation, from between five and 20 years from the date of the termination or imprisonment, or payment of a fine. The process includes completing an application to the ministry in writing and paying a $3,000 fee.

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South America

Argentina

GDPR MATCHUP: ARGENTINA’S DRAFT DATA PROTECTION ACT

The most comprehensive statutory regulation regarding the protection of personal data in Argentina is the Personal Data Protection Law (Data Protection Law), which is enforced by the Data Protection Authority (DPA). The general principle is that any treatment of personal data must be specifically consented to by the data subject. Such consent must be given freely, based upon the information previously provided to the data subject (informed) and expressed in writing or by equivalent means, depending on each case. Overall, currently Argentina has in place a robust data protection regulation that is in the process of being updated based on technological advances and adapting it to the new international context, particularly to EU regulations. At the same time, legislative efforts to regulate cybercrime have been made.

Read more

United States

EU COMMISSION RELEASES REPORT ON FIRST ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE EU-U.S. PRIVACY SHIELD FRAMEWORK

The EU Commission’s report and accompanying working document on the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework states that the framework continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data that is transferred from the EU to the U.S. It also indicates that U.S. authorities have the necessary procedures to ensure the proper functioning of the Privacy Shield, including providing new redress possibilities for EU individuals and instituting appropriate safeguards regarding government access to personal data. The Report states that Privacy Shield-related complaint-handling and enforcement procedures have been properly established. The Report provides recommendations to help ensure the proper functioning of the Privacy Shield. The Report will now be sent to be sent to the European Parliament, the Council, the Article 29 Working Party, and U.S. authorities. The Commission will then work with U.S. authorities to implement its recommendations.

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Federal Judge Rules State Sex Offender Registry is Unconstitutional

A judge in Colorado has ruled that listing offenders’ personal information, such as names and addresses, gives the public the power to punish beyond what the court has deemed appropriate. He also ruled that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violates the 14th Amendment process of rights. The judge has argued than an individual assessment should be considered for each case. The Attorney General’s Office could appeal the ruling to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Implications of Marijuana Legalization and Opioid Use to the Workplace and the Workers’ Compensation System

At a recent Workers’ Compensation Education Conference, the senior vice president at PRIUM talked about the impact opioid and heroin use is having on the workers’ compensation system. Within this system, there is a growing acceptance that marijuana – a federally illegal controlled substance – could be an acceptable medical treatment, leading to payers reimbursing for cannabis in at least six states. Financially prudent from a business standpoint, medicinal marijuana could be necessary in the treatment of injured workers. Businesses should begin working marijuana into risk management programs and evaluating policies regarding testing in preparation for the growing acceptance of its medicinal use.

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New HHS Guidelines for Drug Testing Panels Effective 10/1/17

In January, the Department of Health and Human Services revised Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs that will become effective on the 1st of October. Those organizations that comply with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) standards must now comply with new panel standards. If specific drug panels are identified in the current policy, updated policy language should also be considered. Some key points of the guidelines include expanded federal urine workplace drug testing to include Schedule II opioids, a lower pH cutoff from 3 to 4 to identify an adulterated specimen, the removal of methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) for confirmatory testing and the addition of methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyst.

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Seventh Circuit Finds No Standing When Background Check Disclosures Contain Extraneous Information

In August, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals claimed that a plaintiff who alleges extraneous information in a background check disclosure form lacks the necessary Article III standing to maintain a lawsuit. Cory Groshek submitted 562 applications, seeking employment with various employers, including Tim Warner Cable, Inc., and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. He claims the disclosure he signed at the two businesses violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act because it included a liability release and other extraneous information. The Seventh Court concluded that Groshek’s claims were removed from any concrete harm or appreciable risk of harm. Groshek v Time Warner Cable, Inc., No. 16-2711 is a good reminder that employers should review their background check forms and procedures to ensure compliance with FCRA regulations.

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Blumenthal Nordrehaug and Bhowmik File a Class Action Lawsuit Against Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc. For Allegedly Violating the California Labor Code and the FCRA

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhowmik filed a proposed class action complaint against Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc., for allegedly failing to provide California employees with the legally required thirty-minute uninterrupted meal periods after five hours of work. The company also failed to pay all overtime to their California employees and reportedly violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the conducting of background checks on their employees. Marriott could face fines of up to $1,000 for each applicant for which a consumer report was obtained without valid authorization.

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Pepsi Class Action Says Background Checks Violate Federal Law

Altareek Grice has alleged in a class action lawsuit against Pepsi that the company obtained a consumer report from him without his knowledge or permission when he applied for a job at a bottling plant. He claims Pepsi failed to meet Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulations when it didn’t use proper disclosures during the background check. Violations of the FCRA could lead to up $1,000 in fines. Grice represents a nationwide class of individuals that applied for positions with Pepsi and is limited to those who sought employment within the past two years. This could include more than 1,000 members.

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