Canadian Lawyer

May 2023

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 44 of 67 43 FEATURE PRIVACY AND DATA In-house counsel are feeling the pressure of managing data. Julie Sobowale examines how they can keep their organizations safe The exponential growth of data risks A JUNIOR employee used his access to US military databases to download and share top military secrets with his friends in a Discord private chat. Twenty-one-year-old Jack Teixeria was arrested for leaking the documents, and the investigation continues into how the young cyber transport systems specialist got access to the sensitive documents. On April 21, the American Bar Association notified nearly 1.5 million users that their username and password information had been hacked. The letter, sent by Annaliese Fleming, senior associate executive director and general counsel, outlined how an unau- thorized third party had stolen user informa- tion from the ABA's old website, updated in 2018. So far, it's unclear how the third party accessed the information. These recent data breaches are a reminder of the need for data security. The "2023 Canadian In-House Counsel Report" indicated that 50 percent of in-house counsel expect to spend more on data privacy in the next year. With new legislation, the rapid adoption of AI technology, and increased costs in cybersecu- rity insurance, in-house counsel are facing new challenges in keeping up with data security. David Mousavi knew from the beginning of his career that he wanted to work in-house. After completing a dual JD/MBA program at York University, he worked for a few years in private practice before moving in-house at the Toronto Real Estate Board. He joined NRT Technology, a global fintech company, in 2021, where he oversees data security and privacy issues as senior vice president legal, compliance, and general counsel,. "Data wasn't as valuable 10 to 15 years ago as it is today," says Mousavi. "There are new challenges because we have changed the way we use data. Now in-house counsel have to consider, 'How does my organization use data, and what are the risks to that?' These chal- lenges are progressing. Data is like toothpaste. Once it comes out, it's out, and there's no way to get it back in." For in-house counsel, the best thing to do is build relationships with your IT and privacy departments. Mousavi decided to be proactive and began having quarterly meetings with the IT department to discuss ongoing projects and safeguards. He worked with the IT department TOP PRIORITIES FOR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL Risk & compliance 50% Contract management 44% Data privacy 50% Sources: 2023 CCCA Canadian In-House Counsel Report

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