August 02, 2018

Annual 2018: Government searches, privacy and security in digital age

As our lives become more dependent upon technology, the personal data collected by these electronic devices is a growing concern of many. The implications this data collection will be the subject of a panel discussion on Friday, Aug. 3, during the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Can’t Touch This – Or Can They? Government Searches, Privacy, and Security in a Digital Age,” sponsored by the ABA Section of Science and Technology Law, will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s East Tower, Columbus Hall KL.

Just how much data is collected about us? According to a recent article in Forbes, the answer is 2.5 quintillion bytes – and growing, as the internet of things expands. Even more surprising – 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the last two years alone.

"As we witness great advances in technology, courts are struggling with how traditional legal rules apply, particularly when troves of personal information are made readily available, said panel moderator Paul M. Rosen, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security and a partner at Crowell & Moring. “We will explore these new technologies, dive into what is changing and where the law is going in this digital age.”

The goal of the panel is to highlight the legal, privacy and constitutional concerns associated with the collection and movement of massive amounts of data, lay out the statutory and legal framework for thinking about these issues, and provide practical advice and solutions to lawyers and companies struggling to make sense of it.

Program highlights include:

  • More and more consumers are sharing private information with third parties such as wireless phone companies. What are the legal limitations of what companies can do with that information? What does the government require to access that information from such companies, and how has recent Supreme Court case law changed the legal landscape?

  • As the Department of Homeland Security increases warrantless searches of electronic devices, such as smart phones, at international borders for all persons entering and leaving the United States, what should companies be doing to protect confidential business information? Similarly, what steps should traveling attorneys be taking to safeguard privileged information?  What recourse is there, if any, if the government oversteps?

  • What’s happening to address concerns? Recent Supreme Court rulings (including Carpenter v. the United States and cases currently pending before the Court), various legislative proposals that have been introduced, and the impact of Trump administration on privacy and technology in this space will also be examined.

In addition to Rosen, panelists include Uma M. Amuluru, senior counsel, Boeing; Stephanie S. Christensen, cyber and intellectual property crimes section chief, National Security Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California; Rajesh De, partner, Mayer Brown and former general counsel at the National Security Agency; and Jonathan Gannon, assistant vice president and senior legal counsel, AT&T, and former Department of Justice National Security Division deputy unit chief.