Anonymous Schanonymous

Everybody loves a fad. You can pinpoint someone’s generation better than carbon dating by asking them what their favorite toys and gadgets were as a kid. Tamagotchi and pogs? You were born around 1988, weren’t you? Coleco Electronic Quarterback and Garanimals? Well well, an early X-er. A fad is cultural currency and social lubricant at… Read More

Sensors, Monitors, and Bill & Ted

Any decent account of the last 30 years will certainly conclude that the high point of culture was 1990’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  History, philosophy, George Carlin, mylar tracksuits (it was the 90s) — it had everything you need.  And, with its long-awaited second sequel coming out this week, I’m sure that if William… Read More

Privacy Shield Is Gone. Now What?

For those of us who pay attention to and care about these kinds of things, the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a ruling today stating that the FTC’s Privacy Shield framework governing the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States is no longer valid. This ruling is very… Read More

A Quarantine Lesson – One Month In

I think we can all agree that March 2020 lasted approximately 11 years and that April lasted about 11 minutes.  Seriously, what happened to April?  Why did time seem to absolutely whiz by while just a few weeks earlier it felt like we were waking up on March 78th?  Perhaps it has something to do… Read More

Zoom Bombs

Zoom, the videoconferencing platform on everyone’s lips this month, has had an roller coaster of a first quarter.  As remote working became the norm for hundreds of millions, the company rapidly emerged as a favorite in the United States, where its simplicity and video quality made it stand out from competitors.  Its daily usage swelled… Read More

Privacy Essentials When Working from Home

As many people adjust to the reality of working from home, we find ourselves in a situation that we largely didn’t anticipate: seemingly everyone else doing the same thing.  In the past, a day or two here or there doing Zoom meetings or conference calls was interesting, anomalous, and largely ad hoc, so there wasn’t… Read More

Protecting Your Data, Protecting Your Business

One of the biggest concerns we have when we talk to clients about how to create data partnerships is the security and protection of data.  We don’t mean cybersecurity and the literal safeguarding of information, though that’s undoubtedly essential too.  Instead, we’re talking about ensuring that datasets are used only as appropriate, are kept within… Read More

What it Means to “Control” Data

There is an unconventional data partnership structure based around controlling the data that others have about you. Remember, most businesses gather datasets from their operations. However, each record of those datasets is usually referencing one particular entity, like a person or a business or a product. There is an entire partnership structure around the entities… Read More

Analog Thinking in a Digital Age

Okay, There’s An App For That. Why? Ho boy.  The Iowa Caucuses were…they happened.  And they happened in a way that was both completely unprecedented and utterly, exhaustingly predictable.  It’s a story line that’s becoming, frankly, a little boring: people use old process, someone decides that an app (or AI) will be better, lots of… Read More

Groundhog Day(s)

Any philosophy nerd will tell you that they’ve loved having The Good Place on TV the last few years.  It’s rare we’re able to find a safe space to talk about the Trolley Problem, or consider the Question of Evil, or hear Kierkegaard’s name pronounced (mostly) properly.  It’s a great show, and one that consistently… Read More

Innovative Data Partnerships (Part II)

We’ve already spent some time discussing the kind of partnerships where a small, innovative firm wants to partner with a larger one to create new value and drive growth.  Many times, this is how the smaller business gets its foot in the door, and (together, perhaps, with a channel agreement) first is able to get… Read More

Online Trust, Facts, and the Best Evidence Rule

When you’re a lawyer and you write about truth, you’re basically asking to be insulted because….you know….you’re a lawyer.  It’s true, some of my fellow legal professionals have occasionally had a less than intimate connection with the truth, but, in general, even the best lawyers squint their eyes and look wary when someone talks about… Read More

Understanding Reseller Channel Partnerships

On Monday, we talked about how to structure channel data partnerships, particularly in the context of affiliates.  Affiliate partnerships are a great way to ensure that your data reaches the widest possible audience, relying on the affiliate’s access to potential customers.  They are, in effect, a force multiplier for your data, broadcasting it to a… Read More

Predictions, Lists, and Complete Wild Guesses II

After a whirlwind start to this year (let’s leave the decade debates aside please), we’re finally ready to start making our 2020 predictions for privacy, data partnerships, and data strategy. This is where we lay out our view for how businesses, regulators, government, and internet users will shift the rules and change the way we… Read More

Facebook’s Privacy Game

Fads are a big part of January. Everyone wants to hashtag their efforts at keeping up their New Year’s Resolution (#NoCheeseMonth, #NoCarbMonth, #NoFunMonth), and our collective refusal to acknowledge that the holidays are over means we’re all still desperate for distractions. But nobody minds, because we all love fads — it’s why we get obsessed… Read More

Responding to a Data Crisis in Three Steps

It’s been a week, folks.  Not even a week.  And we’ve already got a looming hot war, an active cyberwar, three major data breaches, and the promise of a major fight over GDPR on the very near horizon.  Apparently, 2020 is going to be like 2019, just more so. Normally, this is the time of… Read More

2019: The Year of Meh

To me, the most meaningful meme of this year was “OK, Boomer” (Baby Yoda was a non-event, don’t @ me).  It not only perfectly captures the very real, politically potent generational conflict going on right now, but it also reflects how completely ignored Generation X is in our current culture wars. (I feel no guilt… Read More

Two Gifts You Should Think About Returning

Happy Boxing Day from everyone at Ward PLLC.  We hope that you’re all having an enjoyable, and suitably private, holiday season. For many people, today is a day of quiet, calm, reflection, relaxation, and desperately trying to find out if you can get cash refunds from Restoration Hardware for the gifts your in-laws inexplicably decided… Read More

Don’t Believe Your (Lyin’) Eyes

Like all right-thinking people, I love Marvin Gaye’s rendition of I Heard it Through the Grapevine — ironic though it may be that a privacy lawyer would enjoy a song about unauthorized release of sensitive personal data.  You’re probably hearing it in your head right now, the bassline kicking in and maybe thinking about times… Read More

Enough with the Tracking Already

You may not have read the New York Times Privacy Project yet, but if not, now is the time to do so.  They have begun a series on the nature of tracking individuals via cellphones, armed with a treasure trove of over 50 billion pings on 12 million phones.  The results are dramatic, showing just… Read More