Shook Partner Leads Team Defining “Legal Test” in Data Security

Led by Shook Partner William Sampson, the Sedona Working Group on Privacy and Data Security Liability has released a Commentary which helps define “reasonable security” practices in data privacy. The Sedona Conference, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institute dedicated to the advanced study of law and policy, recently tackled the legal definition in data and privacy security law. A review published in The National Law Review praised the findings of the Commentary writing, “The paper is brilliant at articulating the problems raised by trying to find a ‘reasonable’ set of standards for companies to meet for legal compliance.” 

“The Sedona Conference’s charge to us was important. Every business and organization has its own challenges for protecting personal information, and they need a flexible, workable standard for determining whether their security is reasonable,” said Shook partner William Sampson. “Our Drafting Team included some of the most experienced, most thoughtful, and most committed lawyers, judges, and IT consultants in the country; it was a special pleasure to be a part of it. We believe our Commentary can be important to the development of the law in this area.”

The Commentary focuses on why the legal test is necessary, the cost/benefit analysis of litigation and what the legal test does not address. The Commentary “proposes a reasonable security test that is designed to be consistent with models for determining ‘reasonableness’ that have been used in various other contexts by courts, in legislative and regulatory oversight, and in information security control frameworks.”

“There is very little guidance on what qualifies as ‘reasonable’ security or how to even make that measurement,” said Al Saikali, who leads Shook’s Privacy and Data Security Group. “This paper offers an innovative and thoughtful approach.”  

You can download a free copy of the Commentary here.

The Sedona Conference will present a webinar on October 27, 2020. Public comment will be accepted on the Commentary through mid-November, and then the Sedona Conference will make any final additions that may affect the outcome.