Privacy and Social Media

Privacy and social media touch virtually every aspect of commerce and modern culture. Dorsey’s privacy and social media practice mirrors the multi-dimensional nature of the subject by integrating over a dozen of our specialty areas under a single unified group.

International in scope, our Privacy and Social Media group encompasses not only the core areas of privacy, data protection and breach, social media, and intellectual property, but also sector-specific expertise. Our clients range from Fortune 100 public companies to private companies in a range of industries and across jurisdictions including the U.S. and the European Union (EU). Six Dorsey attorneys are Certified Information Privacy Professionals. One of our partners serves on the CIPP/US Exam Development Board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, another Co-chairs the IAPP’s Minneapolis KnowledgeNet, and one of our partners recently served for four years on the Web 2.0 Working Group of the International Trademark Association’s Internet Committee. Several Dorsey attorneys write and speak nationally in the privacy and social media areas.

Examples of our specific experience in these areas include:

Data incident and breach investigation and response. Dorsey provided analysis of, and assisted clients with investigating and managing the response to, data incidents involving both computerized and non-computerized data. This included (i) disclosing data breaches under state data breach notification laws and the federal HIPAA / HITECH and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts to affected persons, state attorney generals, regulators, credit reporting agencies and others, (ii) working with law enforcement and government authorities and (iii) analyzing disclosure obligations under federal securities laws for public companies. Dorsey also advised on data incidents that extended beyond U.S. borders in collaboration with our established network of foreign counsel.

Litigation. Dorsey successfully assisted a financial services company in two separate matters, obtaining temporary restraining orders and then permanent injunctions against former financial advisors to secure the return of confidential client information.

Enforcement. Dorsey helped clients protect and enforce their trademark and copyright rights on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites and mobile app marketplaces. Dorsey helped protect its clients from liability related to user-generated content on social networks.

Compliance. Dorsey assessed numerous companies’ compliance with U.S., Canadian and EU privacy laws, and prepared and reviewed comprehensive privacy programs to include website privacy, social media, mobile app policies, and record retention policies. We regularly counsel clients on how best to meet the requirements of Massachusetts’ far-reaching privacy obligations, HIPAA / HITECH (serving as general counsel to a public-private Health Information Exchange formed to facilitate the exchange of health information electronically), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the EU Data Protection Directive. Dorsey drafted a complex set of website terms of use for a website active in 21 countries with significant user-generated content issues.

Transactions. Dorsey conducted privacy due diligence and drafted agreement provisions in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. The U.S. and U.K. offices of Dorsey collaborated on acquisition agreement provisions regarding compliance with U.S., Canadian and EU privacy laws.

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