Karen Lee
  • Mayer Brown
Hong Kong
Karen Lee

Karen Lee

  • Mayer Brown
Hong Kong

What do you do?

I advise clients on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance issues on both a local and regional level, as well as handling large-scale transactions to assist clients in implementing their digital strategies through technology outsourcing, software development and licensing contracts. I help clients weave data privacy considerations into the adoption of cutting edge technology, and assist with minimising, preparing for and handling any cybersecurity breaches.

Why data?

In this digital age, the nature and value of data and the use of technology is forever changing. I was excited about the opportunity to be involved in a fast-paced dynamic environment, with the law trying to keep pace with new developments.

What’s keeping you busy?

I have been helping clients adopt a privacy by design approach when launching digital products, and advising on the utilisation of facial recognition technology for data analytics purposes. I am also working on projects involving the development of new technology (such as wearable healthtech), which inevitably includes data privacy considerations.

What mentors or other influential figures have helped you get where you are today?

I have been lucky to be mentored by two strong women throughout my career – my current supervisor (Gabriela Kennedy of Mayer Brown), and a partner at my previous firm (Gigi Cheah).

If you could change one data-related law, how and why would you change it?

Data localisation requirements have been popping up throughout Asia over the last few years, which feels contrary to the way businesses are currently operating in a cloud environment.

How has covid-19 affected what you do?

The impact covid-19 has had on clients has trickled down to affect the type of instructions I am receiving. Many of them relate to cybersecurity (due to the increase of cyberattacks) and the adoption of new technology (such as the acquisition of IP subsisting in live streaming technology in order for the client to further monetise it).

What’s the next big thing – what data opportunities are companies now looking at?

How to utilise data collected through AI and biometric technology in order to improve operations.

What’s keeping companies worried at the moment – what are some key data risks?

Companies are concerned with minimising cybersecurity risks and planning on how to deal with fallout when a cyberattack occurs. Compliance with China’s Cybersecurity Law and the potential implications of Hong Kong’s National Security Law also remain hot topics.

What do you do to relax?

I love to travel (and cannot wait to do so again post-covid), read, play games, try new things, and spend quality time with my family and friends.

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