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

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

Apple Plays the Long (Privacy) Game

You may have seen yesterday that Apple took another step in its recent efforts to become the public’s favorite privacy-protecting tech giant.  At WWDC, the company’s annual developer conference, CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new “Sign In with Apple” feature, a user authentication platform.  Like the secure sign-on (SSO) platforms designed by Google and Facebook,… Read More

Getting Bad Advice

The Internet is a risky place for “expertise.”  Because it is both a platform and a megaphone, it creates its own multiplier effect for whatever you put into it.  If the arguments of the last few years have proven anything, it’s that even a poorly concocted lie spreads far faster than a well-explained truth, largely… Read More

The Dangers of a Biometric Future

Biometric data is information at its most sensitive.  Not only do health and physical characteristics carry with them the very concept of our personhood and humanity, they are also often immutable and, therefore, permanently identify us.  I can change my email address or my password, and I can even get a new legal name if… Read More

The Undefended Principles of a Free Internet

For most of us who remember a time before widespread access to the Internet (it was mostly Donald Duck games on your Commodore), going online was a decidedly American-feeling affair.  One could be forgiven the thought, given that the largest internet service provider for years was….America Online.  And, largely, that tracked the history and development… Read More

Curb Your (AI)nthusiasm

The Boston Dynamics “dogs” have become something of an inside joke around here: any time we want to suggest that an idea, project, or new technology might have worrisome long-term implications, the robotic canines come up in conversation.  Much of it has to do with their somewhat surreal, uncanny valley look, something familiar enough to… Read More

Employee Monitors and Big Brother at Work

Although we consistently discuss the importance of managing data about customers or partners, it’s crucial to pay attention to a key demographic of your intrinsic datasets – employees.  Your team generates an enormous volume of data simply by showing up to the office (HR data, payment information, personal login details and passwords, etc), and the… Read More

We are All Baby Shark (in Data Tracking)

Data is amazing. You know that already. You’re told it every moment of every day. We are literally told or shown by ESPN, our kids report cards, our treadmills, our wristwatch, our Alexa, our Google, our Siri, our phones, and our apps that data is here and has the answer. In some cases this is… Read More

The Seven Deadly (Data Privacy) Sins

One of the questions we hear most frequently is “what are we doing wrong?”  We almost always try to flip that question around into “what can we do better,” because we’re big believers in the notion that providing goals, rather than chastising, creates the right kind of mindset about data privacy and managing a data… Read More

Is “Creepy” A Subjective Measure?

Speaking last week on an industry panel, I advised the audience of digital marketing professionals to “Stop doing creepy things with your data and your customers’ data.” To which I was told by the moderator, “Well, ‘creepy’ is a little subjective, though, isn’t it?” “You know it when you see it,” I replied. About five… Read More

Through the Glass Darkly

Privacy is an interesting concept, one that both intrigues and baffles us, teasing us with seemingly unanswerable questions.  What does it mean to have privacy, or is it even a commodity capable of possession?  Is it simply the “right to be let alone,” as Warren and Brandeis wrote in their famous Harvard Law Review Article… Read More

Data Security for Dummi…I Mean, for Lawyers

Today we’ll talk about something near and dear to my heart: data security for lawyers. I recognize that this is not a topic that many lawyers want to discuss, or one that they feel comfortable discussing.  But the reality is that data security is an important part of being a lawyer, even if it’s not… Read More