The Feds Are Coming (Or Not)

I think Facebook could probably characterize 2019 year-to-date as “less than fantastic.”  The ongoing fallout from Cambridge Analytica in the UK, massive consumer distrust, the internal strife between what appears to be Team Zuck versus Team Cheryl, and now the looming multibillion-dollar fine that FTC seems to be preparing. It’s enough to make you drink.… Read More

As Transparent as Mud

Transparency is one of the principles driving recent developments in data privacy and data security.  We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how important it is to be open with consumers and data subjects, to give them a clear idea of how their data is used, and why.  The primary reason for this is to… Read More

GDPR Fines, Data Privacy Day, and Other Hot Takes

It’s Data Protection Day, the happiest day of the year!  A year ago, we were talking about the changes that GDPR would bring, and how to gear up operations to ensure that you didn’t violate the law or mislead your customers.  The premise was simple: transparency is a fundamental precept under GDPR (and US law),… Read More

It’s 3am. Does the Dark Web Know Where You Are? (Yes.)

In a move likely driven by federal pressure and calls for an investigation, AT&T yesterday announced that it will no longer sell its customers’ location data to third parties, including data aggregators who, in turn, sell the information to others.  The public response has been to say “It’s about time” immediately after saying “Hold on,… Read More

Predictions, Lists, and Complete Wild Guesses

Now that it’s January and everyone is finally returning to the reality where things don’t always taste like peppermint or eggnog (or both, which is just….no), it’s a good time to think about how you’re going to approach 2019.  This time of year is rife with predictions and, more often, guesses about what privacy, tech,… Read More

Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships

We are proud to announce the release of our book, Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships.  This book, which outlines our approach to establishing partnerships, sharing data, and protecting data assets, is a single-source guide for what we believe the most important aspects of data management programs are.  We could not be… Read More

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