Natasha Kohne
  • Partner
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
United States of America
Natasha Kohne

Natasha Kohne

  • Partner
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
United States of America

Living and working in San Francisco, the world’s leading tech economy, it was easy to see how data fuels digital technologies. Having worked overseas for many years, I witnessed different tech hubs around the world emerge and how data was integral to the progress of these developments.

Some highlights from my career thus far include leading an office and working overseas in the UAE, one of the most globally connected countries in the world. It broadened my perspective as a lawyer in the data field and allowed me to better tackle new and emerging regulatory areas in data privacy and cybersecurity.

Without a doubt, the biggest challenges in the field are the rapid pace of new and evolving regulations emerging globally, the volume of data and cross-border restrictions, the need for more talent and resources in the data field and the practical application of new regulations to businesses in transformation.

To adapt to these challenges, organisations must remain flexible, creative and nimble in order to quickly pivot and adapt to impactful changes in the data field.

We are closely following AI, autonomous systems, advanced mobility, quantum computing, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and blockchain. How governments and regulators balance incentivising innovation and transformation of industries with more regulation remains to be seen.

Data privacy and cybersecurity are areas of the law that require a multi-disciplinary team and a consensus-driven approach to produce results. Most of my career has been spent leading and working with diverse teams in the data field that requires the ability to engage with people from all around the world with different skill sets and disciplines.

The data field has changed for women professionals over the last decade given the need for top talent and resources in the data field. Opportunities for women continue to open up in emerging tech fields that require data expertise in contrast to traditional, entrenched areas that sometimes have a high barrier to entry.

A piece of advice I would give aspiring data lawyers and professionals: Do not be afraid to roll up your sleeves and learn new areas in technology. Tech is transforming virtually every industry and feeling more comfortable diving into unfamiliar territory is necessary to advance.

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