We All Care About Data Security, Except When We Don’t

It should be clear by now that we are most comfortable expressing our thoughts in the form of movie quotes, falling as we do into that demographic of Americans who believe that if you can’t say it with a gif from an 80s movie, you don’t need to say it at all. Really, it works… Read More

Data Privacy Legislation and the “Brunhilde Effect”

One day before the midterm elections, and we’re fully into the silly season of data-related legislation in the United States, with prospective members of Congress setting forth their approach to managing privacy and security with a variety of proposals that are….let’s call them “interesting.”  I say “interesting” because it’s intriguing to see that candidates treat… Read More

Key Takeaways from the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

Last week, I attended the 40th ICDPPC in Brussels, which is the global meeting of all privacy and data security regulators.  The theme of the conference was “Debating Ethics,” and it was a deep dive into the interplay between digital commerce, regulation, and human dignity.  There were representatives from around the globe, of course, but… Read More

E22: How to Build Your Corporate Data Privacy Team (Podcast)

Step one: don’t delegate it to the intern in the IT department. Building a solid Privacy Team inside of your company can be challenging, particularly when no one understands why you are doing it. In this episode of “Are You DataSmart?”, the Ward brothers outline proven approaches to building a Data Privacy Team and how… Read More

Small-Medium Sized Business Data Myths – Part One

We were fortunate to present at the B2SMBi Conference last week, which gathers small and medium sized businesses (“SMB”) and the service providers that allow them to grow and function at scale.  It was a great event, with everyone from micro-startups to Google in attendance, and it provided great insights into the concerns SMBs and… Read More

Data Quality, or “Garbage in, Garbage Out”

Another week, another series of massive data breaches.  Of the few we heard about in the last seven days, none are as concerning as Facebook’s breach involving more than 50 million user accounts.  Those are the kinds of numbers that, depending upon how the breach occurred, could incur a massive penalty at the hands of… Read More

E21: Will Changes to CaCPA Water Down the Privacy Law (Podcast)

The ballot initiative was pulled, the law was passed. But will the California Consumer Privacy Act (CaCPA) move forward to be one of the most significant steps in data privacy law or will the law be watered down through the revision process. This is a big test to see how California handles data privacy and… Read More

E20: Artificial Intelligence vs Data Minimization & GDPR (Podcast)

The opportunities for Artificial Intelligence to transform humanity are enormous. We are seriously excited. However, there are issues with amassing the amount of data necessary for these machine learning based solutions. To become “intelligent” (whether artificially or not) requires immense data and knowledge, and the ability to recall that knowledge. Data Minimization, as a concept,… Read More

There Definitely Won’t be a Federal Data Privacy Law. (Maybe. We’ll See.)

“There’s no way the federal government is going to create a federal privacy law.”  “It’s just not going to happen.”  “Not a chance, no way, forget it.”  “There isn’t a political will in Washington to get it done, and so we can all just assume that it’ll all be only the states issuing regulations for… Read More

GDPR Three Month Checkup (And Three Issues to Watch)

It’s been just about three months since the GPDR went into effect, it’s what makes sense for many people right now to be wondering just how the whole process is going. After all, it was all anyone in the media wanted to talk about for months leading up to May 25. Now? There doesn’t seem… Read More

The Carpenter Decision

The Supreme Court has issued this year’s most important ruling on privacy in Carpenter v. United States. It is a major development in privacy law, laying the foundation for an interpretation of the Fourth Amendment that protects against generalized government surveillance by electronic means. Together with United States v. Jones, it brings Fourth Amendment jurisprudence into the… Read More

Privacy is Everybody’s Business (Or Needs to Be)

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks since GDPR came into effect, and it seems that many people are learning about privacy rights for the first time. Plenty of them are making data subject access or deletion requests, including against the biggest players in the market. Even though there were years’ worth of stories about data… Read More

Why the LabMD Case is So Important

Yesterday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited ruling in a case called LabMD v. FTC.  Followers of the case will tell you that it has been, to put it mildly, an interesting saga, and it hits on the biggest data related issues of the past fifteen years.  The ruling has serious implications for… Read More

Lessons from Facebook and Fortnite

The news just has not been kind to Facebook the last three months. First the Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks, then the company runs those wrong-footed commercials (“Sorry for selling access to your data and, you know, for stuff like Brexit“), and now comes the revelation that the apologies needed to go much deeper. Despite an… Read More

The Three Pillars of GDPR – Consistency (No. 3)

And so, at long last, the GDPR is the law, and we leave behind the relatively lower standards under the Data Protection Directive.  The Directive, which has been on the books for more than two decades, now passes into obsolescence, like beepers or, in Miami, traffic laws.  Now, we’ll all start to learn what the… Read More

The Three Pillars of GDPR – Security (No. 2)

There are 72 hours to go until GDPR Day (#privmas), and you can almost feel CISOs hoping that, if there’s going to be a breach, it happens today and not on Monday.  We noted once before that Andrea Jelinek, chair of the (very important) Article 29 Working Party deadpanned that “there will be a two… Read More

The Three Pillars of GDPR – Transparency (No. 1)

Two years ago, when the European Commission approved the GDPR and set an effective date for May 25, 2018, I thought “that is such a long time to wait.”  It was a choice out of keeping with American legislative methods, where Congress passes a law and maybe gives an effective date of the following January 1, but… Read More

GDPR Countdown – Two Weeks to Go

As we roll into the final two weeks of our countdown, we’re going to take something of a step back and look at issues more broadly. Yesterday, we discussed Google’s AI, and how we’re all going to be living in the Duplex, as it were. I am (clearly) pretty hung up on this, and have… Read More