Press Release

Morrison & Foerster Attorneys Author Book on International Privacy Laws


NEW YORK/LONDON (July 15, 2009) - Several lawyers in Morrison & Foerster's Privacy and Data Security Practice Group have authored the Global Employee Privacy and Data Security Law, a revised and updated edition to their book Employee Privacy: Guide to U.S. and International Law.  The new version is published by BNA, a leading legal and business publisher. The book helps multinational companies navigate the growing maze of laws and regulations surrounding the gathering, storing and transferring of confidential employee data.

This latest project for Morrison & Foerster's renowned Privacy Group is led by practice chair Miriam Wugmeister along with partner Christine Lyon.  Ms. Wugmeister and Ms. Lyon regularly counsel multinational clients in the handling of private employee data including the creation of compliance strategies and internal governance policies. 

Robert L. Rothman, privacy consultant and former Chief Privacy Officer for General Motors Corporation, called the new book, "A must-have for international privacy and HR executives and the privacy professionals and attorneys that support them."  Vincent Serpico, Chief Privacy Officer of American International Group, agreed, noting the volume is "a comprehensive, practical guide for professionals dealing with international employee privacy matters. An indispensable reference guide."

The updated book arrives as workplace privacy issues continue to vex businesses and employees, and as legislative regimes in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere seek to strengthen privacy laws and compliance, while beefing up enforcement and penalties for organizations that violate data security protections.  The new comprehensive volume addresses the complex, and sometimes contradictory, privacy laws of more than 65 countries that now maintain regulations covering the proper use and management of employee information and personal data.  Jurisdictions covered include the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Finland, China, Hong Kong, and Japan as well as Mexico, Brazil, Australia and other important markets.

"The goal of our all-new edition of Global Employee Privacy and Data Security Law is to make it easier for all those charged with workplace privacy matters to get quick answers on relevant laws and regulations in jurisdictions around the world," said Ms. Wugmeister. "Used in conjunction with Morrison & Foerster's Privacy Library, practitioners get the benefit of a comprehensive privacy manual that's been constructed to suit their needs as well as the flexibility and speed of online information that's been reviewed and edited by a qualified professional."

Individual chapters examine top-of-mind issues and workplace behavior, noting the conflicts and differences among the jurisdictions and how these can be resolved.  Topics covered in detail include:

  • Background checks and investigations
  • Email and internet monitoring/video and physical surveillance
  • Employees' off-duty conduct
  • Confidentiality of health information
  • Medical examinations and drug testing of applicants and employees
  • Personnel records
  • Use of government identifiers and social security numbers
  • Security breach notification requirements, and
  • Maintaining an information security program.

Global Employee Privacy and Data Security Lawis one of several resources Morrison & Foerster offers to support organizations with their privacy compliance efforts. Other resources include:

  • Privacy Library: Morrison & Foerster's Privacy Library is a free online resource, providing links to privacy laws, regulations, reports, multilateral agreements, and government authorities for more than 90 countries around the world, including the United States.  The Privacy Library is the most comprehensive collection of privacy laws and regulations ever assembled, the result of years of research and experience working with clients around the world.
  • Summit Privacy: Summit Privacy Resources is a subsidiary of Morrison & Foerster that sells annual subscriptions to an enormous database that assists organizations to determine local compliance requirements in jurisdictions around the world, spot potential compliance issues, simplify the development of global privacy approaches, and more.
  • "The Law of Financial Privacy":  Now in its third edition and published by A.S. Pratt & Sons, this treatise on privacy and information practices is authored by L. Richard Fischer.  The book covers the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Financial Privacy Act, Bank Secrecy Act, and Internal Revenue Code requirements and includes discussions of state financial privacy laws, use of technology, and use and protection of confidential information.



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