Survey: The best privacy advisers of 2010

This year's survey finds law firms still tops

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Much of this in the U.S. will play out in state laws. Kevin Lyles, privacy practice leader at Jones Day, anticipates that many states will follow the lead of Massachusetts in requiring companies to document their data security programs. John Corelli, president of JMC Privacy Consulting Group, sees state attorneys general stepping up random auditing for all areas of privacy compliance, along with the FTC.

Table 3: What separates the leaders from the pack

Differentiator Rank 2008 Rank
Broad and deep expertise 1 1
Practical advice 2 2
Global staff and affiliates 3 4
Timely and thorough work 4 5
They understand my business 5 3
Interdisciplinary perspective 6 7
Government connections 7 6
Accessible staff 8 8
Good value for the rates charged 9 9
Respondents were asked to choose one reason from the following menu to explain why they voted for their best privacy advisers.
Source: Minnesota Privacy Consultants

Why the best are the best

Some things never go out of style. Since I began the survey in 2006, respondents have cited "broad and deep expertise" and "practical advice" as the top two reasons they chose the firms they did. Those concerned with protecting data want the right answer, and they want it delivered in practical terms that make sense for their organization and industry.

Also, as globalization continues apace, respondents in the most recent survey gave higher priority than they have in the past to advisory firms having "global staff and affiliates." As the previous surveys showed, good advice does not usually come cheap. Of the nine possible choices offered, "good value for the rates charged" once again ranked dead last.

Jay Cline is president of Minnesota Privacy Consultants. You can reach him at cwprivacy@computerworld.com.

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