Liisa Thomas, Chair, Privacy and Data Security Practice, Winston & Strawn LLP


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Social Media and Consumer Inquiries about Data Breaches – What is the Marketer’s Role?

Consumers are hyper aware about privacy issues, and particularly sensitive to the misuse of their information by hackers and other bad actors. As companies are increasingly coming under attack, everyone in an organization needs to be prepared. The issue is particularly fraught for marketers and their companies’ social media channels when their company is hit by an attack. What can a marketer say that will not impact the company’s underlying legal exposure? What strategies will best protect the company, and the brand?

WinstonLLP Logo_CMYKLiisa Thomas is the chair of Winston & Strawn LLP’s global privacy and data security practice, and author of the Thomson Reuters publication Thomas on Data Breach. She literally wrote the book on this topic, and regularly counsels clients through thorny breach notice and disclosure issues. (Lissa is planning to make some opening remarks and then give the room a Social Media crisis to resolve. Each table is to talk among themselves for 10-15 minutes to come up with how they would solve the issue while she circulates and listens. She will present some of the table’s answers to the room and comment on the resolutions from a legal perspective. Then likely 10-15 of closing remarks.)


  1. How you can use social media to your advantage (or disadvantage!) during a data incident
  2. The biggest risks and pitfalls your company could face during a breach incident
  3. The most common consumer questions companies are asked when they suffer a data breach

BIO: Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the firm’s Chicago office, is the chair of the firm’s privacy and data security practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice.”

Ms. Thomas, who was born in Finland and has lived in France, Egypt, and Spain, frequently coordinates global efforts in the privacy area for her clients. Clients value her global insights and familiarity with business systems outside of the United States. With Ms. Thomas’s assistance, her clients—which include major consumer brands, advertising agencies, and consumer research companies—are able to navigate thorny data breach disclosure issues, use emerging interactive advertising techniques, and create compliant security programs all while effectively managing their legal risks.