Report From New York City: U.S. Privacy Laws, A.I. Developments, And Bryan Cranston Take Center Stage At Legalweek 2024

By Alex W. Karasik

Duane Morris Takeaways Privacy and data breach class action litigation are among the key issues that keep businesses and corporate counsel up at night.  There was over $1 billion dollars procured in settlements and jury verdicts over the last year for these types of “bet-the-company” cases.  At the ALM Legalweek 2024 conference in New York City, Partner Alex W. Karasik of the of the Duane Morris Class Action Defense Group was a panelist at the highly anticipated session, “Trends in US Data Privacy Laws and Enforcement.”  The conference, which had over 6,000 attendees, produced excellent dialogues on how cutting-edge technologies can potentially lead to class action litigation.  While A.I. took the main stage, along with an epic keynote speech from revered actor, Bryan Cranston, privacy and data-management issues were firmly on the radar of attendees.

Legalweek’s robust agenda covered a wide-range of global legal issues, with a prominent focus on the impact of technology and innovation.  Some of the topics included artificial intelligence, data privacy, biometrics, automation, and cybersecurity.  For businesses who deploy these technologies, or are thinking about doing so, this conference was informative in terms of both their utility and risk.  The sessions provided valuable insight from a broad range of constituents, including in-house legal counsel, outside legal counsel, technology vendors, and other key players in the tech and legal industries.

I had the privilege of speaking about how data privacy laws and biometric technology have impacted the class action litigation space.  Joining me on the panel was Christopher Wall (Special Counsel for Global Privacy and Forensics, and Data Protection Officer, HaystackID); Sonia Zeledon (Associate General Counsel Compliance, Risk, Ethics, and Privacy, The Hershey Company); and Pallab Chakraborty (Director of Compliance & Privacy, Xilinx).  My esteemed fellow panelists and I discussed how the emerging patchwork of data privacy laws – both in the U.S. and globally – create compliance challenges for businesses.  I provided insight on how high-stakes biometric privacy class action litigation in Illinois can serve as a roadmap for companies, as similar state statutes are emerging across the country.  In addition, I explored how artificial intelligence tools used in the employee recruitment and hiring processes can further create potential legal risks.  Finally, I shared my prediction of how the intersection of ESG and privacy litigation will continue to emerge as a hot area for class action litigation into 2024 and beyond.

Finally, and probably the most important update to many of you, Bryan Cranston’s keynote address was awesome!  Covering the whole gamut of the emotional spectrum, Bryan was fascinating, inspirational, and hilarious.  Some of the topics he discussed included the importance of family, the future impact of A.I. on the film industry, his mescal brand, and a passionate kiss during his first acting scene at 19.  Bryan was a tough act follow!

Thank you to ALM, the Legalweek team, my fellow panelists, the inquisitive attendees, the media personnel, and all others who helped make this week special

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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