United States: Five Key Amendments To The Illinois Personal Information Protection Act And Their Implications For Health Care Providers, Medical Device Companies, And Digital Health Companies

On May 6, 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 1260 amending the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") in response to the increasing threat of electronic personal information being compromised. In the fall of 2015, Gov. Rauner had vetoed the proposed amendments to PIPA after taking issue with certain elements that he viewed as departing from similar laws in other states, and which could place burdensome costs on businesses and hurt Illinois' economic competitiveness.1 PIPA's amendments take effect on January 1, 2017, and will make Illinois one of the most progressive states for the regulation of breach reporting and the protection of electronic personal information. As such, health care providers, medical device companies, and digital health companies that collect, maintain, disclose, or "otherwise deal[s] with nonpublic" electronic personal information should be aware of, and be prepared to comply with, the amended PIPA.2

Five Key Amendments to PIPA

  1. Expansion of the Personal Information Definition: The definition of "Personal Information" was significantly expanded to include the individual's first name or first initial and last name and any one of the following: (i) Medical information (including any information regarding an individual's medical history, mental or physical condition, diagnosis, or medical treatment by a healthcare professional, including such information provided by such individual to a website or mobile application); (ii) Health insurance information (including a policy or subscriber number, any other unique identifier, and any related medical information in an application, claims history, or appeals record); and (iii) unique biometric data (including fingerprints, retina or iris images, or other unique physical representation or digital representation of biometric data).

    The definition of "Personal Information" was further expanded to include a user name or email address in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account.
  2. Erosion of Encryption Exception: The definition of "Personal Information" previously only captured computerized data that was unencrypted. However, the amended PIPA's definition of "Personal Information" includes encrypted or redacted data where the keys to unencrypt or unredact or otherwise read the name or data elements are available.
  3. Expanded Notice Obligations: The amendments to PIPA added an additional notice requirement for the data breach of Personal Information that consists of a user name or email address in addition to a password or security question answer that can allow access to an online account. Such notice must inform the person that his or her information has been breached and that he or she thus should change his or her user name, password, security question or answer, as applicable, or take protective steps to safeguard other online accounts using the same log-in information.
  4. Data Security Requirements: Any data collector that owns, maintains, stores, or licenses records that contain Personal Information concerning an Illinois resident must implement and maintain reasonable security measures to protect those records from unauthorized access, acquisition, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.

    In the event such data collector discloses Personal Information to a third party pursuant to a contract, such contract must contain provisions requiring such third party to implement and maintain similar reasonable security measures.
  5. Interaction with HIPAA and GLBA: A data collector that has implemented security standards in compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ("GLBA") is now deemed to comply with the above security requirements. Furthermore, any covered entity or business associate subject to HIPAA that complies with the privacy and security standards for the protection of electronic health information will be considered to be in compliance with the requirements of PIPA, provided that if the covered entity or business associate must notify the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services (the "Secretary") of such data breach, it must also notify the Illinois Attorney within five days of notifying the Secretary.

Implications for Health Care Providers, Medical Device Companies, and Digital Health Companies

The obligation to notify the Illinois Attorney General within five days of providing notice to the Secretary is significant since we understand that the Illinois Attorney General, who also has the authority to enforce HIPAA, intends to continue focusing on data privacy and security enforcement in the coming years. As a result, health care providers, medical device companies, and digital health companies should ensure that all Personal Information in their possession is subject to the same HIPAA protections and security standards regardless of whether such Personal Information is also deemed to be protected health information under HIPAA. Given the increase in enforcement and potential for increased fines and penalties, covered entities and business associates should consider whether to automatically report a security incident without the benefit of undertaking a risk assessment to determine whether such incident actually rises to the level of a breach, or whether in fact there is a low probability of compromise of the data, in which case such incident would not rise to the level of a reportable breach.

To the extent health care providers, medical device companies, and digital health companies take the position that they are not covered entities or business associates under HIPAA, and, given the expanded definition of "Personal Information," including the addition of the broad "Medical information," companies should take inventory of the data elements collected from individuals and determine whether such data is nevertheless subject to PIPA. Companies that deal with such electronic information will need to implement reasonable security measures to protect the Personal Information, and must also have contracts in place requiring third parties who receive Personal Information to safeguard such information with reasonable security measures. It is unclear what the Illinois Attorney General will expect regarding the implementation of "reasonable security measures" by data collectors, but the Illinois Attorney General may look to GLBA, PCI, FCRA and HIPAA standards, and/or utilize its 2012 guidance, Information Security and Security Breach Notification Guidance.3


1. For example, the previous proposed amendments included consumer marketing information and geolocation information as protected personal information and required a 30-day Attorney General notice requirement. See Gov. Bruce Rauner, Letter to the Illinois Senate, Aug. 21, 2015, available here.

2. PIPA at 815 ILCS 530/5, Section 5.

3. Illinois Attorney General, Information Security and Security Breach Notification Guidance, Jan. 27, 2012. Such 2012 guidance has detailed recommendations for i) physical and electronic safeguards, including PCI standards for transmission of payment information and employee training; ii) information security program standards based upon GLBA and FCRA guidance; iii) steps for responding to data breaches; and iv) satisfying notification requirements in the event of a breach of Personal Information. However, we have not seen an indication from the Illinois Attorney General to date whether data collectors should use the 2012 guidance or wait for new guidance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.