Endless innovation and the increasing use of technology - from cloud computing to harassment and cyberbullying - have created the need for best practices and sound policies. Our attorneys regularly counsel clients in the areas of governance, management of employees' and students' use of policies and regulations regarding technology, software and other technology licensing, email retention, and more.

Governance:

Questions regarding use of e-communications, and retention of and public access to electronic documents, continue to present challenges for local governments and their staffs. Lozano Smith regularly advises clients on evolving issues, including e-communications and the Brown Act, public records, social media, email retention policies, and use of personal devices.

Business:

Our procurement expertise and transactional experience enable us to assist clients in negotiating contracts in the areas of software agreements, cell tower leases, E-rate and technology equipment leases.

Students:

New technologies find their way into classrooms on a daily basis. Lozano Smith assists clients in establishing a framework for successfully utilizing and addressing new technologies while remaining legally compliant. This includes issues related to cloud computing, electronic student records systems, student discipline related to use of technology on and off campus, and social media.

Labor & Employment:

Employee privacy and free speech rights, along with employee discipline and technology use in the school and governmental setting continue to present legal challenges. Lozano Smith counsels clients on the developments in this area, including employee use of personal devices for public business, social media, appropriate use of the internet, and bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

Training for Administrators

Our attorneys regularly speak at major conferences for CASBO, CSBA, ACSA, CASCWA and other organizations on technology legal issues. Various presentations on technology in the workplace and in schools are updated annually to address the latest real-world issues faced by districts.

Introducing the TIP Jar

By:Penelope Glover -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar Technology offers a seemingly boundless array of opportunities: It can provide targeted learning to students with diverse abilities, make instruction available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection, and aid law enforcement efforts to safeguard communities. But this virtual bounty and the constant change it imposes also creates many challenges, some obvious, others difficult to discern. Frequently, th...

Tech TIPs: Preventing Data Breaches

By: -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar Public agencies are increasingly the targets of malware and ransomware attacks. So what can you do to protect your agency? The National School Boards Association (NSBA) offered some tips in Jill Greenfield's August 2016 Inquiry & Analysis, "Protecting Personal Information: Managing and Preventing Data Security Breaches." We share those tips here with NSBA's permission. The following is an adapted version of the r...

Public Agency Notification Requirements under the Information Practices Act

By:Devon Lincoln, Ellen Denham -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar State and federal law generally require agencies to protect the privacy of students, families and employees. Statutes like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g) and Education Code section 49073 prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of student records. In recent years, the California Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civ. Code, § 1798, et seq.) was amended to address the...

Agency Case Study: Lessons from a Real-Life Cyberattack

By:Devon Lincoln, Travis Cochran -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar The Lindsay Unified School District, a K-12 school district that serves over 4,000 students in California's San Joaquin Valley, knows firsthand what a ransomware attack looks like: The district recently experienced one, when attackers infected servers through phishing emails that looked like legitimate communications. Fortunately, the district had policies and procedures in place that minimized the attack's effects...

Digital Data Security and Confidentiality: Public Agency Vulnerabilities in the Age of Ransomware

By:William Curley III, Lee Burdick -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar In the action movie thriller Taken, Liam Neeson plays a former CIA operative and distraught father on a mission to rescue his daughter from kidnappers. Imagine if Neeson came upon the kidnapping of his most valuable, confidential data and it was being held for ransom. One of his most famous movie lines might read something like this: "If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I d...

Local Education Agencies Now Prohibited from Collecting Social Security Numbers

By:Penelope Glover, Niki Nabavi Nouri -

March 2017 Number 13 Armed with the understanding that Social Security numbers are the piece of information most used by criminals perpetrating identity thefts, the California legislature has barred local education agencies from collecting them. Effective January 1, 2017, Assembly Bill (AB) 2097 modified section 56601 of the Education Code to prohibit school districts, county offices of education and charter schools from collecting or soliciting Social Security numbers or the last four...

California Public Records Act Applies to Private Accounts

By:Harold Freiman, Manuel Martinez -

March 2017 Number 11 Emails, text messages and other written communications sent to or from a public official's private account may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a highly anticipated decision published on March 2, 2017. (City of San Jose et al. v. Superior Court (March 2, 2017, No. S218066) ___ Cal.5th ___ < http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S218066.PDF>.) The court held that t...