Sonia Cissé
  • Counsel
  • Linklaters
France
Sonia Cissé

Sonia Cissé

  • Counsel
  • Linklaters
France

A highlight from my career thus far is being named counsel at Linklaters, for which I am particularly proud. Before I joined there was not much of a privacy practice in the Paris office when teams in London, Brussels, Frankfurt and Singapore, to name just a few, were very successful. My team and I worked hard to build and maintain the practice; and it was a nice recognition of our work, efforts, and commitment.

To me the most interesting with this practice is that data is everywhere! Nowadays, there is no sector that does not deal with data. As a privacy lawyer, you get involved in many very different projects – from secrecy in the banking sector to the restrictions on geolocation in the automotive sector or the obtaining of consent in the healthcare sector – and you get the chance to work with many other practices: corporate, employment, competition, financial regulation, real estate, banking and so on.

There are so many recent developments in the digital area (DSA, DMA, DGA and DA, cookies and trackers, online harms law…), that there is much to follow, but I have particular interest in the use of data in AI projects. AI is a revolutionary technology, offering great opportunities but it is also necessary to ensure that safeguards are in place to prevent bias and discrimination. Consequently, I follow closely the regulation of AI, in Europe and elsewhere.

I strongly believe in the benefit of diversity in the data field as well as in any other. Over the years, I think that we have seen a feminisation of the data field, which is a good thing. One can only be delighted to see women playing major roles in data governance, data protection and cybersecurity. As for the challenges, I’d say they are the same as in any other fields (and the same for both men and women): being recognised as both an outstanding professional and an excellent family member.

To me, the data field has changed for all privacy experts, regardless of their gender. As data is now playing an important role for all organisations, the involvement of privacy experts is more and more key to business and compliance projects than ever.

A piece of advice would you give aspiring data lawyers and professionals is to be very curious and keep yourself informed! This is a fascinating field, always evolving. From the regulations, to the authority guidelines, through court decisions, new technologies and new ways to use data, it is not always easy to keep up but it is also absolutely necessary… and so much fun!

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