Data Protection Committee Issues Report On Privacy Law Issues

Published: November 1, 2023

Liisa Thomas Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP Chicago, Illinois, USA Data Protection Committee

The Data Protection Committee has published a report on issues regarding privacy laws. Drafted by the Education and Awareness Subcommittee, the report outlines privacy law issues that brand professionals should know about when working with clients.

Recognizing that brand professionals often deal with matters that include privacy and cybersecurity issues, the report, Privacy Law Issues for Trademark Lawyers, provides tools in six areas:

  1. Data as an asset;
  2. Data protection;
  3. Privacy, cybersecurity, and brand use guidelines;
  4. Privacy issue–spotting in advertising reviews;
  5. WHOIS limitations; and
  6. Privacy and data security issues in litigation.

First, brand professionals should keep in mind that in many organizations, data is considered an asset. The report outlines considerations to keep in mind when evaluating data this way. These include understanding the types of personal information involved and how this data will be used. Other considerations include knowing the information’s origin and if it will be shared with others.

The report also provides insight on data security obligations that brand professionals should keep in mind to support their privacy colleagues. These include brands having “appropriate” security measures in place and putting data protection provisions in agreements with third parties. Brand professionals can also help their clients and colleagues alike understand the negative impact on public goodwill if breach notification requirements are triggered.

Third, the report provides information about handling privacy and cybersecurity issues in franchise arrangements. This includes understanding what personal information the franchisee can collect and ensuring that franchisees use appropriate security measures to protect that information.

Many brand professionals support brands in ad reviews, something the report recognizes. In this area, the report provides a checklist of items to consider when analyzing ads—for example, ensuring compliance if the ad campaign uses digital tracking technologies or involves biometric identifiers.

Fifth, the report outlines steps to take when trying to determine URL registration information in the age of ownership anonymity. These include requests to the registrar and legal measures (infringement lawsuits, for example).

Finally, the report provides a list of privacy-related issues that litigators should consider during discovery. These include instances when the other side may resist disclosing information and strategies to address those concerns.

Privacy and cybersecurity are important issues for brand owners. This new report gives brand professionals useful tools to use when assisting their clients with intellectual property matters that involve privacy and cybersecurity issues.

Read the full report.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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