Clara-Ann Gordon
  • Partner
  • Niederer Kraft Frey
Switzerland
Clara-Ann Gordon

Clara-Ann Gordon

  • Partner
  • Niederer Kraft Frey
Switzerland

I came to the field as data is increasingly recognised as the distinctive asset in our digital age: more and more companies are aspiring to capitalise on this new gold. Data has become an asset. Data can make companies very valuable. I think it is challenging and inspiring to navigate between, and balance, the interests of the controllers (companies) against the rights of data subjects.

A career highlight is discovering data privacy as an emerging area in the 2000s and focusing on it. Then changing law firms in order to build up a dedicated data privacy team upon the statement of a partner in my previous law firm according to which "data privacy is just hype and will disappear as fast as it came". Supporting clients in data privacy compliance and cyberattacks and working together with the clients to develop pragmatic and hands-on solutions for their business. Being asked to join the board of directors of companies due to my data privacy and data management background and experience.

In terms of current challenges in data law, digital security and data privacy go hand in hand – and the number of regulatory requirements for both will continue to increase. It's important that organisations increase their readiness for data privacy compliance, identify automated technologies to make their privacy program implementations more efficient, and embrace cloud-based storage and server solutions to handle large sets of sensitive data.

One of the key questions I’m following today is data protection compliance. Data protection issues were not a big deal in any kind of M&A transactions before the introduction of the GDPR; data protection has now become a serious compliance matter.

Currently, separate data protection due diligence is being conducted that encompasses not only document review, but also interviews with chief information officers or the heads of compliance, in order to gain insights into how the applicable data protection laws are actually complied with in everyday business practice.

An example of how gender gave me a different perspective on a data protection issue at work happened when working on several projects relating to FemTech – for instance fertility apps, IV supporting technology, etc. FemTech refers to technology that is specifically geared towards the needs of women. For many years, both technology and medicine were focused on the needs of men, and women were expected to adapt. FemTech is about more than just creating profitable products for women. It is about innovating products that fill a need for women in a way that is effective, coming from a process where women were involved in the design. I am glad that I as a female data privacy lawyer I can contribute to this great trend.

A piece of advice I would give aspiring data lawyers and professionals: If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.

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