I asked Overbrook Research to carry out the survey again this year. Overbrook performs professional research for national political candidates, and The Wall Street Journal and other national media outlets have featured its work. The privacy professionals participating in the survey (there were 146 respondents this time -- people in large corporations and government agencies who have data privacy responsibilities, based primarily in North America but also Europe) could choose up to three firms as their top picks, muting the effect of a bias that could result if a respondent was in the midst of communicating with one of the firms during the polling period. I weighted more heavily the responses of those survey participants who chose three firms compared to those who chose two or one.
Table 2: Best privacy adviser -- individual
|Lisa Sotto||Hunton & Williams||Attorney|
|Andrew Serwin||Foley & Lardner||Attorney|
|Rebecca Herold||Rebecca Herold & Associates||Consultant|
|Shai Samet||Samet Privacy||Consultant|
|Miriam Wugmeister||Morrison & Foerster||Attorney|
|Peggy Eisenhauer||Privacy & Information Management Services||Attorney|
|Daniel Solove||George Washington University||Professor|
|Martin Abrams||Hunton & Williams||Consultant|
|Christopher Kuner||Hunton & Williams||Attorney|
|Eduardo Ustaran||Field Fisher Waterhouse||Attorney|
|Ann Cavoukian||Government of Ontario||Regulator|
|Christopher Wolf||Hogan Lovells||Attorney|
|Richard Purcell||Corporate Privacy Group||Consultant|
|Jules Polotensky||Future of Privacy Forum||Attorney|
|Kirk Nahra||Wiley Rein||Attorney|
|Jennifer Stoddart||Government of Canada||Regulator|
|KC Turan||Dun & Bradstreet||CPO|
|Richard Thomas||Hunton & Williams||Attorney|
|Robert Rothman||Privacy Associates International||Consultant|
|Stanley Crosley||Privacy & Information Management Services||Attorney|
|Alan Westin||Columbia University||Professor|
|Ariane Mole||Bird & Bird||Attorney|
|Christopher Millard||University of London||Professor|
|Francois Gilbert||IT Law Group||Attorney|
|Nuala O'Connor Kelly||GE||CPO|
What do these experts foresee in the privacy arena in 2011?
"Online behavioral advertising, cloud computing and smart grid were front-burner issues in 2010," said Lisa Sotto, head of the privacy practice at Hunton & Williams. "Those issues will continue to hold the spotlight in 2011."
Sotto added that new privacy laws around the world and innovative uses of data will "guarantee the need for experts who think about privacy issues 24/7."
Eduardo Ustaran, a partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse in London, points out that in Europe, for example, 2011 brings a new e-privacy regime across member states and firm proposals for a new EU data protection directive. Jonathan Armstrong of Duane Morris LLP sees a "repeat of the issues around whistleblowing, but magnified. The bounty provisions of Dodd-Frank legislation and the U.K.'s Bribery Act 2010 mean significant changes for any global business."
Kirk Nahra, a partner with Wiley Rein in Washington, D.C., said that where businesses need most help "is in managing the wide range of overlapping and often inconsistent laws, as well as understanding best practices across a variety of industries." He added, "It is the growing complexity and volume of these laws and regulations that's creating the compliance problems, rather than the substance of the privacy standards themselves."