Things No-one Noticed When the World Was Busy Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic
Things were not easy at all over the past few months, for the public, doctors, businesses, and authorities; everyone has been through some of the worst days in the initial stage of COVID-19’s worldwide outbreak. However, even though the deadly virus was spreading very quickly, taking lives and disrupting businesses and business relations, the world has got back on track partially, and so does the legal landscape; for example, new laws have been made, amendments are done, courts have addressed issues, and authorities have provided guidance, etc. Here we will discuss what notable happened while everyone was at home during the nationwide lockdown.
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Harassment Prevention Training Becomes Essential
From the beginning of 2020, the two US states, California and Illinois, have taken steps to help companies fight against workplace sexual harassment issues. As per the Illinois Human Rights Act, employers (by the end of 2020 and each year afterward) must train their employees to prevent sexual harassment. In fact, the Illinois Department of Human Rights has also provided guidance to support employers in complying with the new rules.
- Senate Bill 1343 mandates that employers (in California) must provide one hour of Sexual harassment prevention training to their employees every two years.
- The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has also published guidance to help companies better understand the legal requirements associated with harassment prevention training.
- Besides, it has also introduced online training programs that companies can encourage their employees to take part in.
GDPR Completed Two Years
On May 25th, 2020, EU General Data Protection Regulation completed two years of being into force; people are always interested in knowing about regulations as much as possible. There have been several developments at both the EU and state levels, while companies complying with GDPR requirements and regulatory authorities ensure enforcement of its provisions.
One major problem that companies have been through is ensuring their compliance with contractual provisions because the requirements differ as per the service provider classification and location—however, fundamental questions, for example, whom the GDPR rules apply to, remain the same.
Facebook Fined for Misleading Privacy Practices
In May 2020, Social media giant – Facebook is fined with 9 million Canadian dollars from the Competition Bureau of Canada after investigating several privacy practices that Facebook follows. According to the investigation, Facebook had made false or misleading claims concerning the privacy of personal information that Canadian people provide while using Facebook and Messenger.
The decision results from one of the bureau’s key enforcement priorities that focus on fighting against deceptive and misleading practices in today’s digitally-driven world. The ruling brings several implications for businesses that capture and retain consumer data; it also highlights that the act applies equally to all free and paid social networking websites/services.
Scammers Got More Opportunities
Scammers are aware that people fear the virus and can do almost anything to be on the safer side. Considering this, hackers/scammers attempted to prey on the public amid the COVID-19 crisis; for instance, they made fake websites to sell fake products or obtained their bank details by attracting them toward tempting offers.
Scammers can also pretend to be associated with a government agency working to help affected citizens during healthcare emergencies and economic downfall. Similarly, several suspicious websites, bogus links, phone calls, text messages, and emails are used to make people share their bank information easily.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost $13.4 million due to COVID-19 related fraud.
As per other reports, the United Kingdom lost $2 million due to coronavirus-associated scams/frauds.
The pandemic has given rise to fraudulent activities across the globe, especially online. Fraudsters used different methods, such as making fake online shopping websites, brand impersonation, etc. Many scammers also attempted to create fake social media profiles accounts with particular people’s name and tried to obtain money from their network.
Companies worldwide moving online was one of the primary reasons behind the increase in online frauds. Hackers/scammers have taken the crisis as an opportunity to perform their unethical deeds and earn money through the same while the entire world was busy tackling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
What Public Missed While Being Locked inside Homes?
Besides, missing out on essential updates on legal amendments and growing fraud cases, the general public missed the good old days. People came out on social media and shared how much they miss their favorite activities and food before the virus shut down everything.
Working out – People miss yoga, running, swimming, dancing, boxing, weightlifting; with fitness clubs/gyms closed in almost all states, people have had to arrange tools and equipment to exercise and workout at home. Going out – due to several restrictions, people missed going out for lunch or dinner with their loved ones; many of them managed to order food online and enjoy restaurant meals at home.
According to the latest Nielsen survey, the following are the things people missed the most amid the lockdown in the US.
- Eating out at restaurants – 62%
- Retail Shopping – 29%
- Traveling – 28%
A few months back, human life went upside down, air travel stopped, shops and offices were shut (except for essential goods and services). Consequently, small businesses extended their product categories, adding essential items to survive in the market. Several fashion manufacturing companies started making face masks; brewery mills started making hand sanitizers, etc. Everyone brainstormed at their level to stay in their industry amid the economic downturn.
Many businesses have gone online to sell, which has turned out to be useful, but as discussed above, it triggered the number of online scams. The world is getting digital; working or doing business virtually online will be the new normal. This makes it necessary to be ready to tackle challenges that may arise due to this revolutionary shift. In case you or your family member or friend finds something dubious at any point in time while talking to some customer care representative or surfing through websites, it is time to seek the advice of a counselor or professional legal service provider. When more people go online with any purpose, hackers and malicious attackers are more likely to scam people.
Therefore, before visiting a website, ensure it is genuine, and avoid clicking on suspicious ads, links you receive through emails, social media messages, etc. Also, keep yourself updated with what happens around; this will help you prevent getting fobbed online or enhance your online experience.