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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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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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Privacy and Information Security Alert: California Attorney General Announces Principles of Mobile Privacy; Mobile Platform Developers are Onboard

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, California’s Attorney General, along with the six leading mobile application platform developers, released a “Joint Statement of Principles” pertaining to privacy in the mobile space. The Joint Statement, adopted by Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and RIM, espoused four core principles of mobile privacy. While the Joint Statement does not take the form of a binding agreement and purports to impose no obligations on the platform developers beyond those already imposed by law, it is anticipated that these privacy principles will soon be adopted in full, amongst the six major platforms and beyond:

  • Where required by applicable law, mobile applications that collect personal data from their users must conspicuously post a privacy policy or some statement describing the privacy practices of the application. The policy or statement must provide clear and complete information regarding how the application and the application developer handle the personal data collected.
  • Mobile platform developers will implement an optional data field that will allow application developers, in submitting their applications, to provide a privacy policy or statement regarding the privacy practices of the application. Where developers provide such information in the submission process, the platform developers will then provide consumers with access to each policy or statement through the platform’s online application store or marketplace.
  • Platform developers will each implement a method for application users to report to the platform developers any non-compliance by apps with their stated privacy policies, terms of service, or other applicable laws.
  • Platform developers will each implement a process for responding to reported instances of application developers’ non-compliance with privacy policies and/or applicable law.

The platform developers additionally agreed in the Joint Statement to continue to work the Attorney General toward developing best practices for protecting consumer privacy in the mobile application space and beyond. The group will convene again with the Attorney General within six months to continue their evaluation and assess progress in the industry.

The Attorney General’s Joint Statement, while optimistic in tone, sends a message to the mobile application and mobile device industries that the Attorney General’s office is engaged with consumer privacy issues and expects companies to comply with California privacy law. The California Online Privacy Protection Act requires an operator of a commercial website or online service that collects personally identifiable information of Californians to conspicuously post a privacy policy describing (1) the personal information it gathers, (2) how the information may be shared, (3) available processes by which users can review and modify their stored information, and (4) the process by which the operator notifies consumers of material changes to its privacy policy. See Cal. Bus. & Corp. Code § 22575 et seq. According to some reports, 95% of application developers do not have privacy policies, even though many applications collect information about their users that could be construed as personal information. Application developers should review their information collection practices and consider whether they are disclosing those practices in their privacy policies.

Within hours of the release of the California Attorney General’s Joint Statement, the White House outlined its proposed “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” in a new report entitled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Economy.” Amongst the many topics covered by the White House’s lengthy report is consumer privacy in the mobile space.

For the full text of the White House’s Consumer Privacy Report, see here. For the full text of the California Attorney General’s Joint Statement of Principles, see here. For more information or guidance regarding either of these recent developments, please contact David Marty or Jennifer Stanley.

Authors

Jener Stanley is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Fenwick & West LLP. Her practice concentrates on structuring, drafting and negotiating complex commercial transactions relating to intellectual property. Ms. Stanley is also a member of the firm’s transactional privacy and data security practice, assisting clients to confront and manage the international risks associated with handling consumer and employee information. She can be reached at jstanley@fenwick.com or 415.875.2429.

David Marty is an associate in the Litigation Group at Fenwick & West LLP. Mr. Marty is also a member of the firm’s Privacy and Information Security Group. His practice focuses on data privacy and copyright issues. Before attending law school, Mr. Marty worked as a Senior Technical Project Manager at a New York-based software startup. He can be reached at dmarty@fenwick.com or 650.335.7288.