Nicholas Farnsworth

Managing Associate

Boston


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Privacy and cybersecurity underpins the innovative strategies of businesses across all sectors and introduces both legal and operational concerns. As a member of Orrick's internationally recognized Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation team, Nick Farnsworth advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity matters, including compliance, risk management and incident response.

Nick's practice focuses on guiding clients through the existing patchwork of state, federal and international privacy and cybersecurity laws. His practice includes advising clients on Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CAN-SPAM, state breach notification laws and state privacy and cybersecurity laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act. Nick also advises clients on the impact of international laws from a U.S. perspective, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Nick assists clients from a broad range of industries and sectors in assessing their current privacy and cybersecurity practices. He regularly assists clients in developing global privacy and cybersecurity programs to practically implement the principles and obligations underlying various legal regimes, as well as assessing proposed marketing/advertising, transactional and business strategies from a privacy and cybersecurity perspective. Nick also advises clients on the assessment of suspected incidents/breaches and any associated notification obligations, as well as the privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with proposed transactions and ventures.

In addition, Nick has an active pro bono practice, which has included representing clients in immigration and innocence matters and assisting small businesses with their legal needs.

To make the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) more accessible, Nick was a member of the team that developed Orrick's CCPA Readiness Assessment Tool. The tool provides companies an opportunity to test their preparedness for compliance with the CCPA as a first step to constructing their strategic compliance roadmap.

Posts by: Nicholas Farnsworth

California Attorney General Releases Updated Drafts of Proposed CCPA Regulations

On February 7 and again on February 10, 2020, the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released an updated draft of proposed regulations pursuant to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”).  The updated drafts feature significant changes, clarifications and reversals of policy from the original proposal.

The updated draft regulations—available here (clean) and here (redline to the original October 2019 Draft)—reflect input gathered during the public comment period and series of public hearings which concluded on December 6, 2019. The first draft of the proposed regulations, the public comments and the transcripts and audio of the public hearings are available on the Attorney General’s CCPA webpage.  The Attorney General also updated the online cache of documents and other information relied upon in preparing the revised draft regulations here.

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The CCPA Is in Effect and It Is Not Too Late to Get Started in 2020

Happy New Year! At long last, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) went into effect yesterday, January 1, 2020. For those who have not yet heard, the CCPA establishes a comprehensive legal framework to govern the collection and use of personal information, both online and offline, and provides unprecedented privacy rights to California consumers, in effect becoming the de facto national standard for U.S. privacy law. The law introduces new legal risks and considerations for companies that collect information from California consumers, due to the law’s expansive scope, broad definition of personal information, increased disclosure obligations, enhanced consumer rights, potential for statutory fines and, in the event of a security incident, the potential for consumer class action litigation. READ MORE

California Governor Signs CCPA and Breach Notification Statute Amendments into Law

With the January 1, 2020 effective date of the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”) rapidly approaching, all eyes have been on the California legislature’s consideration of a robust suite of amendments that would clarify ambiguities and address discrepancies underlying the prominent privacy statute. On October 11, 2019, six CCPA amendments were signed into law by the California Governor, as well as an amendment to the state’s breach notification statute. The rest of the CCPA amendments have either failed or will have to wait until next year for further consideration.

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Up for Interpretation: Proposed CCPA AG Regulations Open for Public Comment

On October 10, 2019, the California Attorney General added to the complexity of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) by releasing long-awaited proposed regulations that provide guidance on various elements of the CCPA. The text of the proposed regulations is available here and the California Attorney General has made other documents and information relating to the proposed regulations available here. The comment period for the proposed regulations will close on December 6, 2019. Interested parties may review and provide written comments addressing the proposed regulations prior to that date or attend one of four scheduled public hearings on the proposed regulations to be held on December 2-5, 2019. READ MORE

Orrick Webinar: Last-Minute Amendments – Changes to California’s New Privacy Law Ahead of the Effective Date

Webinar | October 30, 2019

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Please join Heather Sussman, Emily Tabatabai, and Nick Farnsworth for the Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation practice’s webinar “Last-Minute Amendments- Changes to California’s New Privacy Law Ahead of the Effective Date.”

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State Legislatures Continue to Update Breach Notification Laws

While the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) has inspired many states to consider their own consumer privacy bills, including Nevada which recently enacted a new law, not to be lost in the CCPA-focused frenzy is the fact that states continue to revise their data breach notification statutes. In recent weeks, the new Massachusetts breach notification amendment has gone into effect, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, and Washington have enacted their own breach notification amendments, and Illinois has proposed a bill that is poised to become law in the near term. READ MORE

2019 IAPP Global Privacy Summit: Lessons from GDPR, Plans for CCPA and the Future of U.S. Privacy Law

At the beginning of this month, more than 4,000 privacy professionals from around the globe gathered in Washington, D.C. for the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Global Privacy Summit 2019. The conference focused on lessons learned from the first year of GDPR enforcement in Europe, the expansion of European-style rights to more jurisdictions around the world, plans for addressing new obligations imposed by the CCPA in California, and the future of privacy law in the United States including whether federal legislature is likely or desired – especially in light of the CCPA and similar proposed legislation in states throughout the nation. READ MORE

State Legislators Joining the Consumer Privacy Protection Party: Introduced CCPA-Like Bills

In 2018, the California legislature made headlines with its game-changing data protection law: the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Other state legislators across the country appear to be hot on its heels as a flurry of CCPA-like bills have been introduced across the United States. While it is too early to predict which of these bills, if any, will be enacted, this increased focus on privacy in the state legislatures is clearly a sign that the privacy landscape—and consequent compliance challenges for companies—is going to get more complicated. READ MORE

Roller Coaster Start to the New Year for Biometrics: Rosenbach v. Six Flags and Emerging Biometric Laws

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Illinois heightens the risks faced by companies collecting biometric information by holding that an individual who is the subject of a violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act—but who suffered no separate harm from the violation—is an “aggrieved party” with a cause of action under the statute. Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., No. 123186 (Ill. Jan. 25, 2019). This decision will only further embolden plaintiffs’ lawyers to bring biometric privacy suits, and the risk to companies collecting biometric information will likely increase as newly enacted and proposed legislation comes into effect. In this post, we discuss what happened, what is on the horizon, and some steps to consider. READ MORE