websitePosting terms of use document on your website or mobile application defines the terms which govern your customer’s use of your website or mobile application and greatly reduce your exposure to liability when providing goods or services through a web-based application. A privacy policy describes to your consumers what information you collect, how you collect it and how you use it.  Posting a privacy policy provides notice to your customers so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to use your web-based application after considering the data you collect and how you use it.

Continue Reading Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: Your Navigation System in the Ocean of E-Commerce

Digital BusinessIn its Technology Vision 2016 report, Accenture predicts that 25% of the world’s economy will be digital by 2020.  The global consulting firm contends that we are witnessing a major technology revolution, specifically a digital revolution.  It’s a revolution of emerging “digital platforms” comprised of cloud services, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and intelligent automation.

These platforms transform and replace traditional business processes in areas such as finance & accounting, HR, marketing, procurement, supply chain and more.  To quickly leverage these digital solutions, companies increasingly look to outsource traditional in-house functions to third party providers in what are referred to as Business Process Outsouring (BPO) transactions.


Continue Reading Outsourcing, Offshoring: BPO Deals are Soaring!

Computer screensAlthough more companies are purchasing software nowadays, spending perhaps tens of thousands of dollars a year in this one area, they continue to fall into the familiar trap of immediately signing pre-printed or online “form’ license agreements designed to protect the vendor not the purchaser. Some of these “form” agreements are non-negotiable, but many can be modified upon request.  Here are five important points to address in most software agreements, from the perspective of the purchaser:

Continue Reading 5 Key Points When Purchasing Software

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which amended the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation. lockThe DTSA governs misappropriations occurring after the effective date of May 11, 2016.

Although trade secret theft has been a federal crime since 1996, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were almost always governed by state law. A corporation unable to establish a basis for federal jurisdiction was thus limited to state court. Although every state but two has adopted a variation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, these statutory variations and differing court interpretations created uncertainty in the application of trade secret law, an area of growing importance for companies increasingly dependent on electronic security.


Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Files One of First Lawsuits Brought Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA)

Data LocksWhile advising the board of directors of a company to pay close attention to data security issues is akin to your dentist telling you to floss, the stakes are too high for a board to ignore. The board of any company must constantly monitor and assess its company’s data security procedures and potential risks. Although there is no strategy to prevent a security breach, each member of a board must exercise its fiduciary duty to consider the risks to a company. To the credit of many companies in the last several years, the assessment of data security risks has achieved a more pronounced position.
Continue Reading Board to Tears: Director Oversight of Data Security Issues

spring sunriseIn Part 1 of this blog, I discussed the question of data ownership and data protection obligations in precision agriculture.  More specifically, I noted that all parties along the field to fork chain should give careful consideration to whether farm data likely will be generated at some point in the process and, if so, who is entitled to own or control the data and what data protection obligations exist as a result.  In Part 2, I look at the various types of disputes that can arise if parties fail to reach agreement on key issues before starting work.  Once agreement is reached, these points then need to be documented in a well-drafted contract.  The range of potential disputes that could break out if good contracting is not employed should convince anyone in business in this area to have well-prepared, thorough written agreements in place to govern precision ag-related business dealings.

Continue Reading Agree to Agree: Data Ownership, Protection and Precision Ag (Part 2)

Data Locks“Sorry.” Music service Spotify joins the club as the latest company to apologize to its customers for proposed privacy policy changes. When it comes to bad press, it would be tough to beat Minecraft-founder Markus Persson’s tweet about Spotify: “Hello. As a consumer, I’ve always loved your service. You’re the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil.” Spotify promptly threw itself on the mercy of its customers in a short written apology.

While the scope of Spotify’s policy exceeds the scope of data that most companies seek to obtain, it’s a good reminder for all companies to review their own privacy policies. As a company reviews its privacy policy, it should consider these key questions:


Continue Reading Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word – Updating Your Privacy Policy