Privacy continues to be one of the hottest practice areas in the law. A Bay Area General Counsel who recently changed jobs—and did 40 interviews in the process—told me that, more than anything else, companies are looking to hire experts on privacy. Privacy violations pose very large potential liabilities to corporations. So far, few major privacy cases have been tried; but several have been settled for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Both consumer groups and industry groups have been clamoring for federal legislation to bring some certainty and uniformity to the field. The proposed American Data Privacy and Protection Act, or ADPPA—which was recently reported out of a House committee on an overwhelmingly positive bipartisan vote—has gotten further than any previous effort. In a grand bargain, the bill includes a private right of action, but would also preempt most state laws. While it’s yet unclear whether or not this particular bill will be enacted, it seems certain that something similar will become law soon.
My colleagues at Quinn Emanuel have written up a thorough discussion of the bill and elements of a federal privacy law which, at this point, appears to be inevitable. To gain their full analysis and learn more about the subject, read more here.