United States: NYDFS: "First-In-The-Nation" Cybersecurity Proposal

Last Updated: September 22 2016
Article by Mark Krotoski, Charles Horn and Sarah V. Riddell

New "first-in-the-nation" cybersecurity rules in the pipeline for banks, insurers, and financial services companies regulated in New York could prove costly for companies, but will they improve cybersecurity?

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has proposed cybersecurity rules that would require banks, insurers, and other NYDFS-regulated financial services companies to adhere to stringent cybersecurity requirements mandating firms to test their systems, establish plans to respond to cybersecurity events, and annually certify compliance with the cybersecurity requirements, among other mandates. Comments on the proposed rules are due in 45 days.

Do the proposed rules signal a new trend to regulate cybersecurity? Will other states and regulators consider similar mandatory cybersecurity requirements? This LawFlash will discuss the genesis of the proposed rules and offer observations on how the rules could impact companies and affect the regulatory landscape in this space.

Background

On September 13, the NYDFS issued what was described as "a new first-in-the-nation regulation" titled "Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies" (Proposal).1

The Proposal had been foreshadowed by the agency's recent examination and focus on cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity has been at the forefront of NYDFS's regulatory initiatives for some time. NYDFS issued its first report on cybersecurity in the banking sector in May 2014,2 a second cybersecurity report on the insurance sector in February 2015,3 and a third report on the use of third-party service providers in the banking sector in April 2015.4 Over the past several years, NYDFS has surveyed close to 200 regulated banking institutions and insurance companies and has met with cybersecurity experts. Findings from its surveys and other due diligence informed the Proposal, which largely follows the areas identified in the NYDFS's November 2015 letter to federal financial services regulatory agencies (Letter to Regulators).5 The Letter to Regulators invited comment on the NYDFS regulatory framework and noted the "demonstrated need for robust regulatory action in the cyber security space" and that "the Department is now considering a new cyber security regulation for financial institutions."

Overview of the NYDFS Cybersecurity Proposal

Important Dates

Comments on the Proposal are due by November 12, 2016. The Proposal, unless modified, would become effective on January 1, 2017, with a 180-day grace period for compliance. Thus, banking, insurance, and financial services firms subject to the Proposal (Covered Entities) would be required to have a cybersecurity program and other requirements in place by June 30, 2017, and Covered Entities would begin filing the annual compliance certification (described below) on January 15, 2018.

Core Functions of Cybersecurity Program

The Proposal would require each Covered Entity to establish a cybersecurity program that

  • identifies internal and external cyber risks;
  • uses defensive infrastructure to protect the Covered Entity's Information Systems6 and Nonpublic Information stored on such systems from unauthorized access, use, or other malicious acts;
  • detects "Cybersecurity Events," defined as "any act or attempt, successful or unsuccessful, to gain unauthorized access to, disrupt, or misuse an Information System or information stored on such Information System";
  • responds to identified Cybersecurity Events to mitigate any adverse effects;
  • recovers from Cybersecurity Events (the Proposal does not mandate a specific recovery time objective); and
  • fulfills all regulatory reporting obligations.7

As part of a Covered Entity's cybersecurity program, a Covered Entity would be required to establish a cybersecurity policy that addresses 14 areas,8 including customer data privacy, vendor and third-party service provider management, risk assessment,9 and incident response, among others. A Covered Entity's board of directors would need to review (and a senior officer approve) the cybersecurity policy at least annually and as frequently as necessary to address the cybersecurity risks posed to the Covered Entity.10 The Proposal includes "minimum" requirements for quarterly vulnerability assessments and annual penetration testing,11 among other requirements for incident response plans, encryption,12 access permissions, and authentication methods typically found in cybersecurity best practices.

We have highlighted the more notable features of the Proposal below.

Chief Information Security Officer and Other Personnel

A Covered Entity would be responsible for designating a qualified individual to serve as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to oversee and implement the cybersecurity program and enforce the cybersecurity policy. The Proposal would permit a Covered Entity to use a third-party service provider to comply with this requirement, but the Covered Entity would retain responsibility for compliance and would need to designate a senior member of its personnel to oversee the third-party service provider.

New regulatory obligations are imposed on the CISO.13 The Proposal requires a bi-annual report to the Covered Entity's board of directors, which differs from the proposal in the Letter to the Regulators, which would have required a CISO to submit an annual report to NYDFS that assessed the Covered Entity's cybersecurity program and the cybersecurity risks to the Covered Entity, and that was reviewed by the board of directors before submission to NYDFS.

Under the Proposal, the CISO's bi-annual report to the Covered Entity's board of directors must

  • assess the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the Covered Entity's Information Systems;
  • detail exceptions to the Covered Entity's cybersecurity policies and procedures;
  • identify cyber risks to the Covered Entity;
  • assess the effectiveness of the cybersecurity program;
  • propose steps to remediate inadequacies identified in the cybersecurity program; and
  • summarize all material Cybersecurity Events that affected the Covered Entity during the time period covered by the report.

In addition, the CISO would be required on an annual basis to review, assess, and update the Covered Entity's guidelines, procedures, and standards (requirements under the Proposal) for secure development practices of in-house applications.

Under the Proposal, all personnel would be subject to regular cybersecurity awareness training, updated to reflect the risks identified in a Covered Entity's annual risk assessment.14 Cybersecurity personnel would be required to attend regular updates and training sessions and to take steps to stay current with regard to changing cybersecurity threats and countermeasures.

Third-Party Service Providers: Evaluation and "Preferred Provisions"

The Letter to Regulators discussed minimum "preferred provisions" that should be included in agreements with third-party service providers. Consistent with that observation, the Proposal requires that a Covered Entity's cybersecurity policy cover third parties. The cybersecurity policy would need to establish minimum preferred provisions to be included in contracts with third-party service providers. In addition, the Proposal would require a Covered Entity to identify third parties with access to Information Systems or Nonpublic Information, establish minimum cybersecurity practices each third party must satisfy, evaluate the adequacy of each third party's cybersecurity practices, and annually assess each third party's continued adequacy of its cybersecurity practices.

With one significant difference from the Letter to the Regulators, the Proposal would require a Covered Entity to establish preferred provisions for contracts with third-party service providers,15 to the extent applicable, provisions regarding

  • the use of multi-factor authentication to limit access to sensitive systems and Nonpublic Information;
  • the use of encryption to protect Nonpublic Information in transit and at rest;
  • prompt notice to the Covered Entity in the event of a cybersecurity incident;
  • identification of protection services provided to customers materially impacted by a Cybersecurity Event resulting from the third party's negligence or willful misconduct (this provision appears to replace the requirement in the Letter to Regulators that a third party indemnify the Covered Entity in the event of a cybersecurity incident that results in loss);
  • the right of the Covered Entity or its agents to perform cybersecurity audits of the third-party vendor; and
  • representations and warranties by the third party that the service or product provided to the Covered Entity is free of viruses, "trap doors," "time bombs," and other mechanisms that would impair the security of the Covered Entity's Information Systems or Nonpublic Information.

Annual Compliance Certification

As described above, the Proposal would require the board of directors to annually review the Covered Entity's cybersecurity program and provide a Certification of Compliance with the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulations.16 Specifically, the board of directors would need to review documents, reports, certifications, and opinions of officers, employees, representatives, outside vendors, and other individuals or entities, as necessary. The chairperson of the board or senior officer would be required to certify that the Covered Entity's cybersecurity program complies with NYDFS regulations. NYDFS provides a template certification in the Proposal.

Notification to NYDFS

A Covered Entity must notify the NYDFS Superintendent within 72 hours of becoming aware of a Cybersecurity Event that has a reasonable likelihood of materially affecting the normal operation of the Covered Entity or Nonpublic Information.17 In addition, a Covered Entity must notify the NYDFS Superintendent when it notifies other government or self-regulatory organizations of a Cybersecurity Event and when a Cybersecurity Event involves "the actual or potential unauthorized tampering with, or access to or use of, Nonpublic Information."

Audit Trail

The Proposal subjects Covered Entities to strict audit trail requirements.18 Under the Proposal, an Audit Trail must track and maintain data for complete and accurate reconstruction of all financial transactions and accounting necessary to enable the Covered Entity to detect and respond to a Cybersecurity Event, as well as log all privileged access to "critical systems," which are not defined under the Proposal. The Audit Trail cannot be alterable or subject to tampering. Further, a Covered Entity would be required to maintain records of the Audit Trail for six years (note that the Proposal's standard record retention period is five years).19

Exclusion

Although the Proposal purports to exclude "small firms"20 from some of the Proposal's mandates, such firms will still be subject to, among other things, the requirements for a cybersecurity program, cybersecurity policy, a third-party information security oversight program, and the NYDFS cybersecurity event notification requirements.

Initial Observations

The Proposal raises a number of important operational, compliance, and risk management concerns for New York financial firms. We discuss some of these concerns below.

Costs of Compliance

NYDFS's "minimum standards" under the Proposal will come at a high cost. The numerous mandatory requirements that are in the Proposal would, if adopted, materially increase operational and compliance costs for New York financial firms, even for small firms that in fact are not exempted from many of the Proposal's more substantial requirements. A central question, however, is whether the costs of meeting these new regulatory standards will necessarily result in stronger cybersecurity, or will they divert limited resources that would be better tailored and used to address specific cyber risks? Effective cybersecurity should be flexible and tailored to the risks and needs of the program. While the Proposal cautions against "being overly prescriptive so that cybersecurity programs can match the relevant risks and keep pace with technological advances," it fails to recognize the burdens imposed by the new regulatory requirements. In turn, the mandatory regulations are likely to result in higher cybersecurity costs and not necessarily more effective cybersecurity programs.

Other Options to Foster Effective Cybersecurity

Another question concerns the mandatory nature of the new regulations. Since the Proposal recognizes the "great success" of many firms in developing cybersecurity programs, it seems that enforcement efforts could instead focus on those firms that lack effective cybersecurity practices. An "across the board" mandatory new cybersecurity regimen is inconsistent with the more flexible and tailored approach encouraged by other government agencies, including those at the federal level.

Certainly, promoting effective cybersecurity practices across firms with access to Nonpublic Information remains essential. The question is whether and why government should impose prescriptive mandatory requirements in stark contrast to more flexible standards and best practices that encourage companies to adopt strong cybersecurity programs.

As one example, currently, critical infrastructure sectors (16 including the financial services sector21) are subject to flexible cybersecurity measures pursuant to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework.22 The NIST framework was established by an Executive Order with the goal that each critical infrastructure sector would "maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties" 23—calling for a voluntary, flexible framework to achieve this goal.

In contrast, NYDFS acknowledges that many firms have already increased their cybersecurity, but that some firms that have not done so should "move swiftly and urgently" so all Covered Entities are subject to "minimum" cybersecurity standards. Instead of adopting a flexible approach based on best practice standards that can be adapted as needed, NYDFS has introduced new rigid mandates. The stringent requirements beg the question: Are mandatory measures the best approach to preventing successful cybersecurity attacks and protecting customer information? Or, rather, should governments identify best practices and standards that firms can tailor to their unique information systems and cyber risks?

Expanding Concurrent Jurisdiction and Inconsistent Standards

Most of the Covered Entities are subject to oversight by multiple regulatory authorities. The Proposal would subject Covered Entities to multiple regulatory requirements (such as notification requirements) and, in some cases, diverging standards. For instance, New York banking organizations generally are subject to regulation and supervision by multiple federal bank regulatory authorities, which in turn have adopted their own guidance on information security practices, policies, and procedures.24 Although the federal guidance in our view for the most part is not materially at odds with the substantive elements of the Proposal, New York banking organizations will be subject to more extensive prescriptive requirements than exist at the federal level, and will have to assess their compliance with the Proposal and assure that their cybersecurity programs, policies, and procedures also align with applicable federal guidance on the topic.

Notice Requirements

NYDFS broadly defines a Cybersecurity Event to include an unsuccessful attempt to gain unauthorized access to a Covered Entity's Information Systems.25 Notification to the NYDFS Superintendent is required "no later than 72 hours after becoming aware" of a Cybersecurity Event that has a reasonable likelihood of materially affecting the normal operation of the Covered Entity or Nonpublic Information.26

In most cyber incidents, it is not possible to know the scope, nature, and manner of the intrusion for some time. For this reason, notification standards recognize that some time is normally required to determine the scope of the breach. Not much may be known about the incident within the first 72 hours of a cyber event. Most notification provisions also provide for delayed notification upon the request of law enforcement. Against other notification standards, the proposed NYDFS notification standard is unrealistically short, unnecessarily broad (including unsuccessful attempts), and imprecise on when it is triggered.

Also, are unsuccessful attempts, by definition, nonmaterial? At what point would NYDFS expect a Covered Entity to report an unsuccessful attempt to gain access to its Information Systems?

NYDFS would require a Covered Entity to report upon the "potential unauthorized tampering with, or access to or use of, Nonpublic Information." Thus, because of the 72 hour notice requirement, a Covered Entity may have to report about an attempt before it can determine whether the attempt potentially tampered with or accessed Nonpublic Information. The Proposal is unclear on the kind of response Covered Entities should expect NYDFS to have in this case or, more broadly, upon any notification of a Cybersecurity Event.

Notice requirements are growing in number across state and federal statutes or regulations. One of the challenges is that they apply different standards on when notice may be given, and under what circumstances. The Proposal adds new standards to the regulatory maze of notification requirements. For this reason, we previously have suggested that one federal notification should uniformly apply.27

Annual Compliance Certification

The annual compliance certification potentially opens the board of directors and senior officer to serious liability if the certification is later found to be inaccurate or inadequate. Not only would there be the risk of direct liability to NYDFS, but a finding of an inaccurate certification could potentially expose the financial institution to private liability or collateral action by other state or federal regulatory authorities.28 Moreover, NYDFS has not provided guidance on whether a Covered Entity could explain material noncompliance matters and remediation efforts taken in response to such matters. It would not be surprising, however, if directors and senior officers were reluctant to sign these certifications.

Regulatory Inflexibility?

In the introduction to the Proposal, NYDFS provides that "minimum standards" are necessary, but not such that they are "overly prescriptive" and thereby prevent cybersecurity programs to match evolving risks. What kind of flexibility does a Covered Entity have in establishing its cybersecurity program? Will a Covered Entity's designation of a CISO or determination to accept the risk of a deficiency found through testing rather than remediate be second-guessed? The Proposal does not mandate a recovery time objective in the event of a cybersecurity incident. Practically speaking, will NYDFS be concerned if a Covered Entity is not operating as normal by the business day following an event?29

Proposal's Impact on Other Regulators

The self-described "new first-in-the-nation" cybersecurity regulation contains new mandatory standards. It is likely that other state regulators may seek to emulate and adopt these new requirements, although it is less certain whether federal financial regulators would be encouraged to do the same. The mandatory regulations will increase the costs of cybersecurity. Because many companies have and are adopting strong cybersecurity policies, a key open question is whether more effective cybersecurity will result from the adoption of mandatory requirements such as these.

Next Steps

Covered Entities that fall within the scope of the Proposal should consider commenting on the proposal and continue to monitor actions that NYDFS takes in connection with the Proposal and other cybersecurity initiatives. After the Proposal is adopted, firms should stay abreast of cybersecurity guidance issued by NYDFS and enforcement actions NYDFS takes in relation to cybersecurity programs, and update their cybersecurity programs in light of guidance that NYDFS offers, including guidance made available in enforcement actions.

Footnotes

1 Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (Sept. 13, 2016); see also Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal Of First-In-The-Nation Cybersecurity Regulation To Protect Consumers And Financial Institutions (Sept. 13, 2016).

2 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo & Superintendent Benjamin M. Lawsky, NYDFS, Report on Cyber Security in the Banking Sector (May 2014).

3 New York State Department of Financial Services Report on Cyber Security in the Insurance Sector (Feb. 2015).

4 New York State Department of Financial Services Report Update on Cyber Security in Banking Sector: Third Party Service Providers (April 2015).

5 Letter on file with the author.

6 The Proposal defines "Information System" as "a discrete set of electronic information resources organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination, or disposition of electronic information, as well as any specialized system such as industrial/process controls systems, telephone switching and private branch exchange systems, and environmental control systems."

7 Proposal, Section 500.02 (Cybersecurity Program).

8 Id. Section 500.03(a) (Cybersecurity Policy).

9 Id. Section 500.09 (Risk Assessment).

10 Id. Section 500.03(b) (Cybersecurity Policy).

11 Id. Section 500.05 (Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessments).

12 Id. Section 500.15 (Encryption of Nonpublic Information).

13 Id. Section 500.04 (Chief Information Security Officer).

14 Id. Section 500.14 (Training and Monitoring).

15 Id., Section 500.11 (Third Party Information Security Policy).

16 Id., Section 500.17(b) (Notices to Superintendent).

17 Id. Section 500.17 (Notices to Superintendent).

18 Id. Section 500.06 (Audit Trail).

19 Id. Section 500.17(b) (requiring retention of records "for examination" including "all records, schedules and data supporting th[e] certificate [of compliance] for a period of five years.").

20 A "small firm" has fewer than 1000 customers in each of the last three calendar years, less than $5,000,000 in gross annual revenue in each of the last three fiscal years, and less than $10,000,000 in year-end total assets (including assets of all affiliates).

21 Critical infrastructure sectors have been designated as critical because their assets, systems, and networks (whether physical or virtual) are considered so vital to the United States that their destruction or incapacity would have a debilitating effect on the nation's security, economic security, or public health or safety (or any combination thereof). The 16 critical infrastructure sectors include chemical; commercial facilities; communications; critical manufacturing; dams; defense industrial base; emergency services; energy; financial services; food and agriculture; government facilities; healthcare and public health; information technology; nuclear reactors, materials, and waste; transportation systems; and water and wastewater systems.

22 Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, Version 1.0, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Feb. 12, 2014).

23 Executive Order 13636, " Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity" (Feb. 12, 2013).

24 See, e.g., Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, IT Examination HandBook InfoBase.

25 Proposal, Section 500.01(d) (Cybersecurity Event Definition).

26 Id. Section 500.17 (Notices to Superintendent).

27 See, e.g., M. Krotoski, L. Wang, & J. Rosen, The Need to Repair the Complex, Cumbersome, Costly Data Breach Notification Maze, BNA's Privacy & Security Law Report, 15 PVLR 271 (Feb. 8, 2016).

28 See our prior All Things FinReg Blog posting on a CFPB enforcement action taken against a consumer payments provider involving inadequate data security practices.

29 See, e.g., 17 C.F.R. § 39.18(e)(3) (requiring a derivatives clearing organization to resume daily processing, clearing, and settlement no later than the next business day following the disruption).

This article is provided as a general informational service and it should not be construed as imparting legal advice on any specific matter.

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.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
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
Password
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
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.

Disclaimer

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.

Registration

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.

Cookies

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.

Links

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.

Mail-A-Friend

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.

Security

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.