Navigating the Seas of Data Privacy: Insights from LegalWeek Conference 2024

Navigating the Seas of Data Privacy: Insights from Legalweek Conference 2024 FROM Shane jansz

As I begin my 25-hour journey back home to Australia, I reflect on the week at Legalweek 2024. I haven’t been to one since 2019 – due to Covid obviously, but it felt a lot of like a reunion, catching up with many friends that I’ve met over years in the industry. The conference brought together legal professionals from around the globe to meet over 150 exhibitors. While not everyone had a data privacy offering, I saw a common theme amongst those that did; AI.  

In a world where data is king, the hot topic was how everyone was utilizing AI to help shed light on the challenges that organizations face in identifying, removing, or safeguarding sensitive information.  

I had a smorgasbord of choices when it came to which session to attend and listen to experts in the field of data privacy (more than 15 sessions), information governance and AI (more than 30 sessions). However, I was left questioning, and concerned that those that rely purely on Generative AI and OpenAI are going to be left behind in the years to come. Only time will tell whether their solutions will be suitable for the challenges that lay ahead. 

My four key takeaways from the week:  

1: Emerging Global Privacy Regulations 

My first session kicked off with a deep dive into the ever-evolving landscape of global privacy regulations. Experts emphasized the significance of staying abreast of changes, including the impact of recent legislation on data protection and the growing importance of cross-border compliance. The panelists addressed the complex challenges organizations face in maintaining compliance with multiple data protection laws, such as CCPA, GDPR and other evolving global regulations. The consensus was clear: a proactive and adaptable approach is crucial for navigating the intricate web of regulations, ensuring organizations don't fall afoul of data protection authorities. Bringing in many parts of the business early into the conversation was also crucial to success. 

2: Privacy by Design 

A recurring theme throughout the conference was the concept of "Privacy by Design." Experts highlighted the importance of embedding privacy considerations into the early stages of the workflow, which helps to reduce the volume of data therefore reducing unnecessary review costs downstream. This proactive approach not only enhances compliance but also fosters consumer trust in an era where data breaches can lead to severe reputational damage. Again, having transparency and explanability is paramount. 

3: Technology and Privacy 

In an age where data privacy continues to dominate discussions centered on the symbiotic relationship between technology, people and process, we must focus on the role technology has to both help and hinder privacy. Conversations throughout the week focused on innovative solutions, such as AI-driven privacy tools and automation technologies, that empower organizations to protect sensitive information without stifling technological advancements, and without increasing review costs. 

4: The Role of Legal Professionals and Service Providers 

Speakers underscored the pivotal role that legal professionals and service providers play in guiding organizations through the legal intricacies of data privacy. From crafting robust privacy policies to providing counselling on incident response plans and continuously training staff; these safeguards are instrumental in equipping organizations against the rising tide of data breaches.  
Ultimately Legalweek 2024 provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities related to data privacy. As organizations grapple with an ever-changing legal landscape, the insights shared at the conference serve as a compass, guiding us as we navigate the seas of data privacy and ensuring a secure and compliant future for businesses worldwide. It was clear to me, that AI offers exciting opportunity, more to the left-side of the EDRM workflow, to reduce the volume and noise of data (by reducing the ROT - redundant, obsolete and trivial data) prior to putting human eyes onto any documents. Just as a lighthouse guides ships through treacherous waters, technology that offers transparency and explainability when it comes to Data Privacy and eDiscovery will lead the legal profession through a new era of accountability and trust. It will revolutionize how data is managed, mitigating risks associated with privacy breaches and ensuring compliance with evolving regulations.  

I look forward to seeing how AI evolves in the data privacy space and understanding whether GenAI is truly the silver bullet for data privacy challenges.  

Shane Jansz
Head of Customer Solutions