Sulina Gabale is a Partner and founding member of the Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation practice, named Privacy & Data Security Law Firm of the Year by Chambers USA in 2019.
As innovation pushes the limits of technology, those ideas challenge the boundaries of what is considered “personally identifiable information.” Sulina answers the question - how can we create tomorrow’s technology with yesterday’s privacy and consumer protection laws? Sulina works closely with innovators at all levels of a business – executives, engineers, marketing and product, HR and customer service teams – to gain a true understanding of their goals and the data they’re collecting, using and sharing. She places herself in her client’s shoes as well as in consumers’ mindset to devise creative privacy-by-design solutions, ensuring her client’s business and data innovation strategies withstand multi-national rules, government regulations, industry standards and consumer scrutiny.
With experience in both data privacy and consumer protection, Sulina utilizes a comprehensive approach to counsel clients on a myriad of issues affecting consumers and businesses. She routinely guides companies of all sizes through the existing patchwork of laws, self-regulatory standards and industry practice impacting data privacy and security. She advises clients subject to regulatory investigations and litigation involving a spectrum of federal and state laws, including:
- California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
- Biometric privacy laws such as the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and other
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and related state student data privacy laws
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act)
- Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA)
Sulina advises companies of all sizes on the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies and services, including ad-tech, AI and machine learning, biometric tools, social media, robotics and IoT devices, marketing and promotions and more. Sulina began her legal career focusing on consumer protection. She continues to counsel clients on marketing and promotional issues, including interest-based ads; sweepstakes and promotions; automatic renewal and subscriptions; advertising substantiation; influencer programs and social media; SMS text messaging and telemarketing (including matters involving the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)); and other state and federal consumer protection laws.
Sulina’s practice is industry-agnostic. She has represented clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s, non-profits, academic institutions and city governments across a range of industries from fashion and ecommerce, financial services, retail, food and beverage and technology services. Prior to law school, Sulina worked in the highly interactive fields of journalism, entertainment and digital media. This well-rounded background helps her connect with clients on a personal level, and ensure her advice integrates legal solutions with business practicality.
Before joining Orrick, Sulina was a member of the Privacy & Data Security Group; Entertainment & Media Group; and IP, Information & Innovation Group at Reed Smith, LLP in New York and Washington, D.C.
Rising Interest Rates Likely to Lead to Increased Scrutiny of Variable Rate Loan Marketing
On March 21, 2018 the Federal Reserve lifted its federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, the highest level since 2008. The Fed also significantly boosted its economic forecast and hinted that it may be more aggressive in its plan to continue to raise rates, signaling that the market should prepare for higher interest rates. For consumers with variable rate loan products, the rise in interest rates will result in the first substantial increase in loan payments in more than 10 years.
If history is our guide, the increase in interest rates will lead to an increase in consumer complaints of deceptive marketing for variable rate loan products. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) takes such complaints seriously and has a history of investigations and enforcement actions based on deceptive marketing of financial products. For newer lenders who entered the lending marketplace after 2008, this may be the first time their variable rate marketing is scrutinized by the FTC. It’s a good time for all lenders to perform a “check-up” of variable rate marketing campaigns for compliance with the FTC’s rules and regulations and avoid allegations of deceptive or misleading ad copy.
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