Expecting the Unexpected: Technology Law Issues for Every Small Business – Part 3

October 14, 2019

This is the final installment of a three-part series outlining the topics of discussion from our presentation to the Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 10.

Last week, Brandon Harter and I had the pleasure of presenting to a full house of Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce members at the Quarryville Library. Thank you to all who attended and we enjoyed a friendly competition and lively discussion of various ways that technology law impacts every small business in 2019.

If you were unable to attend or if you’d like a brief summary of what was discussed, here’s additional information on three of the discussion topics from the event:

Assessing Data Breach Risk Is a Team Approach

The starting point for assessing your data breach risk is usually an IT professional, but your technology attorney and insurance broker are also important members of the team.

The IT professional addresses the risk on a fundamental, technological level – what is your setup, and how can you better protect against unauthorized access?

Your insurance broker can assess your current insurance coverage under your commercial general liability policy, and determine whether excess coverages, such as cyber liability policies, are necessary to protect your interests based on your business.

Finally, your technology attorney can make sure that you are covered from an internal policy and procedure perspective such as employee handbooks and employment and contractor agreements, as well as external-facing documents like customer and vendor contracts, website terms and conditions, privacy policies, and other documentation.

Learn more about data security and your small business on the Lancaster Law Blog here: Doing Business in 2019? You Should Be Thinking About Data Security

Use of Employee and Customer Photos for Business Purposes

State law controls when you can use a person’s name or likeness for commercial purposes. In Pennsylvania, the advice for how to make sure you don’t have an issue is to make sure that your employees or customers, as the case may be, provide written consent to use photos of them before you post an image on social media or otherwise in your marketing materials.

Learn more about the use of employee and customer photos on the Lancaster Law Blog here: When Can You Use Photos of Customers or Employees for Business Purposes?

Recent Scam and Fraud Schemes

Have you been “contacted by the IRS” recently? We’ve seen an uptick in impersonation scams, including from scammers claiming to be from the IRS and other governmental agencies. The first method of contact for issues with the IRS is almost always through the mail.

We have also seen scams which include duplicating an existing business’ invoices and then sending it to a customer. When the customer “pays the bill”, they actually have sent the funds to the scammer. This leaves the business in a difficult customer service position, because their customer may have believed that the invoice was legitimate, but the business did not receive payment.

If you have a question about a request for personal information, account information, or a request for payment that seems a little off, we would encourage you to either reach out to the organization through independent contact information or run it by your attorney.

Learn more about scam risks for small businesses on the Lancaster Law Blog here: A Company’s a Company, No Matter How Small – Being Mindful of Technology Risks As a Small Business

Thank you for following along with this series. If you have any technology-related legal questions that you are interested in learning more about on the Lancaster Law Blog or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs. Matt is one of the founding members of the RKG Tech Law Group.