Message from the Chair
Tanya L. Forsheit
Welcome to the very first edition of our LACBA Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Section newsletter!
When we launched this Section in mid-2019, it was already a crazy time to be a practitioner in the privacy and cybersecurity space. The California Consumer Privacy Act was newly enacted and subject to potential change pre-enforcement, and businesses were under siege from threats to the security of their corporate assets, including data, ranging from hacktivists to nation states. We are fortunate here in Los Angeles County to have a wealth of knowledge and support from lawyers practicing in this broad area from across the ecosystem: outside counsel from large and small firms representing corporate interests; in-house counsel; prosecutors; regulators from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; academics; consumer and employment lawyers; lawyers working in the public interest; and law students already learning from local law school curricula focused on these areas, hoping to join these ranks. All have a home here.
We never could have imagined that the practice space would be rendered even more complex by the global COVID-19 pandemic that took hold in the first quarter of 2020. Now the very fact that lawyers are (mostly) stuck at home, working remotely, raises novel privacy and data security issues for our clients and for the lawyers themselves. Terms like telemedicine, social distancing, and contact tracing are now in the common vernacular, and the law in this country is ill-fitted to address the use of technology to address our new circumstances and tackle these challenges. It falls to lawyers in this practice area – believe it or not – to help guide the way. I know that we are up to the task.
This newsletter is one important vehicle through which we can educate and inform the legal community and help arm our colleagues with the tools they need to practice data privacy and cybersecurity law or, it turns out, just practice law of any kind, from the comfort and safety of their homes in these troubling times.
I want to thank our Section Second Vice Chair, Natasha Amlani, who brought this newsletter to life, and for her many contributions to the Section in its first year.
I also want to thank all the other Section Officers – Andrew Lachman (First Vice Chair), Scott Koller (Sector Vice Chair – Large Firm), Jennie Wang VonCannon (Sector Vice Chair – Small Firm), Ryan White (Sector Vice Chair – Academic/Government), Derek Dunaway (Sector Vice Chairperson – In-House), and Lyric Kaplan (Secretary) – and all the Executive Committee members at large, for their extraordinary contributions in making this Section a reality and for their passion about the practice of law in this space.
Enjoy this first issue, and we hope you will join our ranks and/or consider contributing a piece for a future edition.
Happy reading, and be safe and well,
Chair, Privacy and Cybersecurity
Tanya L. Forsheit