PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

Silencing #MeToo: How NDAs and Litigation Stifle Victims, Innovators, and Critics — An Interview with Orly Lobel

 

Countless women have been coming forward to say #MeToo and share their traumatic stories of sexual harassment and assault. But there are many stories we’re not hearing. These stories are being silenced by extremely broad nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), some made at the outset of employment and others when settling litigation over sexual harassment. They stop victims from talking. They also silence other employees who witness sexual harassment of co-workers. NDAs were a powerful device used by Harvey Weinstein to hush up what he was doing.

In her new book, You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side, Professor Orly Lobel tells a fascinating story about the Barbie versus Bratz litigation, which went on for about a decade. Her book is a page turner — told as a story that could readily be a movie. The book succeeds brilliantly as a gripping tale. But it goes beyond great storytelling to explore many important issues related to business, employment, and intellectual property: the enormous power of corporate employers, the weaponized use of intellectual property to stifle innovation, the dismal failure of business ethics, the troubling use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to maintain dominance and power, and the punishing litigation process.Continue Reading

Preparing for GDPR: A Year to Batten Down the Hatches

GDPR Cartoon by Daniel J Solove

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect on May 25, 2018.  The GDPR strengthens privacy protections in the EU and includes a number of additional rights and responsibilities.

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Privacy Training for Data Privacy Day

Data Prviacy Data Privacy Awareness Training Courses 01

Data Privacy Day Logo 01

For Data Privacy Day this year, I’m happy to make available for the day two new short privacy training programs I created in collaboration with Intel.  Ordinarily, I require a login to view my training programs, but for this day, I have put them outside the wall for anyone to see.  So click on the programs below to watch them — I’ll keep them up through the weekend.  Then, they’ll go behind the wall, so you’ll need to request an evaluation login to see them afterwards.

NOTE: These programs are now no longer publicly available.  To see them, please contact us.

The first program is a short 2-minute awareness video about Data Retention.

The second program is an 8.5 minute program called Defining Personal Information.  It seeks to explain how to identify personal information, which is a tricky issue because what counts as personal information is not static and is contextual and contingent in some cases.

These programs were created for Intel with their collaboration.  Intel graciously allowed me to add generic versions of these programs to my training course library.   And in support of Data Privacy Day, Intel was encouraging of my making them publicly available.

I. Data Retention

Privacy Awareness Training Module - Data Retention

II. Defining Personal Information

Privacy Awareness Training Module - Defining Personal Information

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GDPR Cartoon: Taking Privacy Seriously

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I created this cartoon to illustrate the fact that despite the increasing risk that privacy violations pose to an organization, many organizations are not increasing the funding and resources devoted to privacy.  More work gets thrown onto the shoulders of under-resourced privacy departments.

It is time that the C-Suite (upper management) wakes up to the reality that privacy is a significant risk and an issue of great importance to the organization.  Looming on the horizon is the enforcement of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will begin in 2018.  It’s never too early for organizations to start preparing.  GDPR imposes huge potential fines for non-compliant organizations — up to 4% of global turnover in many cases.  For more information, see the FAQ page I created about the GDPR and privacy awareness training.

Of course, the C-Suite may be quick to say that privacy is very important, but what matters most are the actions they take.  Privacy office budgets and sizes should be going up by a lot these days.

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Privacy Shield Training

Privacy Shield Training Course

I have produced a new Privacy Shield training course that provides a short introduction to the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework.  Privacy Shield is an arrangement reached between the EU and US for companies to transfer data about EU citizens to the US.  Privacy Shield replaces the Safe Harbor Arrangement, which was invalidated in 2015 in the case of Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner.

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