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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

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New York Office
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+86 21 8017 1200


Privacy Alert: California Attorney General Issues Privacy Guidelines for Websites

In the wake of numerous high-profile breaches of user privacy and complaints about sites that track the online activity of users, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has released a 28-page set of recommendations for how website operators communicate about their privacy, information collection and data-sharing practices.

While not carrying the force of law, the guidelines spelled out in Making Your Privacy Protections Public are recommended best practices that expand on California’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (CalOPPA). That Act was amended in 2013 specifically to address the issue of online tracking, which enables websites to personalize user experience, deliver targeted advertising, and make other uses of the data.

The policies are intended to reform the common practice among website operators to post lengthy privacy policies that “often fail to address data-handling practices of concern to consumers or offer them meaningful choices about the collection and use of their data.”

Here are highlights of the recommendations:

  • Availability: Make your privacy policy conspicuously available, such as a “privacy” link on your home page that is in larger type than surrounding text.
  • Readability: Use plain, straightforward language and avoid technical or legal jargon. Use a format that makes the policy more easily readable by consumers.
  • Online Tracking/Do Not Track: Make it easy for consumers to find your policy regarding online tracking by labeling it. The report gives examples such as “How We Respond to Do Not Track Signals,” “Online Tracking” or “California Do Not Track Disclosures.”
  • Tracking Disclosure: Describe how you respond to a browser’s Do Not Track (DNT) signal or to other such mechanisms.
  • Third Party Tracking: State whether other parties are or may be collecting the personally identifiable information of consumers while they are on your site or service.
  • Data Use and Sharing: Explain your uses of personally identifiable information beyond what is necessary to fulfill a customer transaction or for the basic functionality of an online service.
  • Third Party Policies: Provide a link to the privacy policies of third parties with whom you share personally identifiable information.
  • Consumer Choice: Describe the choices a consumer has regarding the collection, use and sharing of their personal information.
  • Contact Information: Tell your customers whom they can contact with questions or concerns about your privacy policies and practices.

The recommendations also note that “personally identifiable information” includes passively collected information, like device identifiers and geo-location data.

The new guidelines expand on and consolidate previously published recommendations from the Attorney General’s Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit in the publications Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem, and the California Office of Privacy Protection’s Recommended Practices on California Information-Sharing Disclosures and Privacy Policy Statements.

In addition to the guidelines, the document also includes Sections 22575-22579 of California’s Business and Professions Code, which specifically address the obligations of website operators to protect the privacy of user data.