The Less-Than-Private Privacy Lawyer

The Less-Than-Private Privacy Lawyer

Lisa Sotto is the go-to lawyer on privacy issues.  At least that’s what Computerworld magazine have said – and the Department of Homeland Security presumably agree too because Ms Sotto chairs their Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

She is managing partner at Hunton & Williams’ New York office and has advised on some of the world’s largest data breaches – an area that is increasingly involving corporates and corporate law firms’ interest as the Sony hack and the recent hacking attack on US government employees – allegedly from China – further aroused the intense interest of government and business alike.

Lisa Sotto, 52, is less than sensitive about her own privacy, she told Crains Business.

 “I’m actually one of the least privacy-sensitive people I know,” she said. Years in the trenches have taught her how difficult it is to guard personal information.

That said, Ms. Sotto regularly checks her credit score, scours her bank statements and never uses debit cards. She also uses a credit-monitoring service to ensure that the Social Security numbers of her three children aren’t stolen–a theft that could take years to discover.

Ms. Sotto came to her corner of the financial world a decade ago, after years working as an environmental lawyer. Spearheading Superfund cases was rewarding, but she was intrigued by the then-nascent field of mopping up messes for companies whose computer networks have been compromised. She has assembled a team of 25 lawyers specializing in finding experts to conduct forensic investigations into when and where breaches took place and what was stolen.

With cyberattacks making the news practically every week, Ms. Sotto has gotten busier. Though computers have clearly made life better in lots of ways, more people than ever can crack into these electronic vaults and uncover personal data.

“A Secret Service agent once told me to think of your data as needles in haystacks,” she said. “You just hope the bad guys don’t find your needle.”

Crains Business

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