Law \ Legal

GCs Dive Into Data Lakes To Prevent Legal Issues


big-data-7644537_1920They say a lawyer’s job is never done, but now look! GCs are swimming into data lakes to ensure companies don’t drown in legal issues!

Actually, data lakes are an excellent way for organizations to store large amounts of data in their original format. This makes it easier for companies to process data from many different sources and use it for data mining, machine learning, analytics, and other uses.

In-house legal teams must prepare to dive deep into data lakes to identify legal concerns and ensure organizations comply with applicable laws and regulations. Here are five legal issues GCs should know and best management practices. 

Legal Issues Floating Around In Data Lakes

Privacy. Data lakes are subject to the same privacy laws and regulations as other databases. Consider privacy principles such as purpose limitation, fairness, transparency, privacy by default, and privacy by design. Ensure you can find, produce, and delete personal information.  

Copyright. If the data lake contains copyrighted material, it is essential to ensure that it is appropriately licensed and that any use of the material is within the bounds of copyright law. That means you must be able to track where and how data is used.

Antitrust. If the data lake contains information about competitors or pricing information, it is crucial to ensure it is not used in a way that could violate antitrust laws.

Security. Data security laws vary but generally require protecting data stored in data lakes. This could include implementing data encryption protocols for data at rest and in transit, limiting access to the data lake, and regularly monitoring for any suspicious activity. 

Accuracy. Data lakes can contain large amounts of data from multiple sources, making it difficult to ensure that all data is accurate and up-to-date, especially if data sources constantly change. 

Best Practices To Avoid Drowning In Data Lakes Legal Issues

Consider setting up a data privacy framework and a training program to ensure sensitive data is handled and protected correctly. Spell out privacy rules and requirements, including:  

  • data security and data retention policies 
  • a policy and system for data backup and recovery
  • a procedure for handling requests for access to the data lake
  • an approach for monitoring and responding to customer data requests
  • timely breach response and notification processes 

Conduct regular internal compliance audits and monitor changes in laws and regulations to identify potential risks and stay ahead of compliance requirements.

This is an excellent opportunity to leverage technology to automate data management processes and ensure accurate and timely reporting. Lawyers will have to lean on several tools to swim ahead of legal issues with data lakes. 

Have you been affected by legal issues with data lakes? What solutions do you use to solve these issues?

Olga MackOlga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board SeatFundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and  Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.

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